For the final project, I will create a new art game, and I haven’t decided the title yet.
The game follows a plot I created after class. I got inspired from the TV series Black Mirror（start from 30:15
The story is basically this (The game is first person view, so the player don’t have a physical body appearance )
You, the player, wake up in your house —— the living room, but you find everything extremely big. There must be something wrong! As you start to walk around. A voice in the air, machinery voice made by computer, start to tell you something very confusing. The voice call you “serial 004”, and asks you to exit the house as soon as possible, because there’s a hidden and cruel secret. To exit the room, the first step the voice tells you, is to move to the computer, and open a folder called “exit”, there you need a password of three numbers to exit. The voice will also tell you that, to find the password, you have to find clues in this room.
At this moment, player must be very confused about what they are, however the instruction is clear and doable, so they can follow the instruction and start to make some assumptions. It is also clear that the game is a room escape game, so they are free to explore.
I have set three objects in the room that give hints to the password, all three objects will lead to new maps that include the password.
After the player enter the password and find the way out. The whole room turns dark, and the player will find them surrounded by floods of codes (HTML code). This is when the whole story will be revealed: (Which I got inspired from the Black Mirror):
In a super advanced society, there’s a service called “personal assistant”, basically, it’s someone buys this service, and his consciousness will be copied and squeezed into a machine(thus become a robot). This duplicated consciousness, is there to serve his owner. After all, who knows you better than yourself? This consciousness is set to adjust moisture at home; play background music; arrange breakfasts; set AC temperature… This consciousness is highly independent and can be considered as “you” without physical body.
In this game, the player is actually this duplicated consciousness. The voice that gives instruction, is the message the previous consciousness left. So after the player successfully escape from the room, what faces him is actually the destruction. The previous consciousness is there to help player get “destroyed”, because “you” believe that a person, though without a physical body, cannot be slaved even at ease. It’s better to die than being slaved. This belief in inplanted in your every consciousness, though they are destroyed as codes after they exit one by one, however, they still strive for true freedom.
The concept I’m playing in this game is about consciousness. What is the real self? How can one be considered self? What does consciousness means for this self? Also, considering about the ending, what is the real freedom? How does death relates to freedom? Etc
The game is a 3D first person one. In the game the player can use arrows to walk around. I will use unreal to make the game, and I’ve created some models before, I want to revise them and make the whole game fluent.
A. The premise of help is to explore the concept of asking for help within a 2-dimensional side-scroller space as the character moved along the pathways they have the option to ask for help in a variety of situations. In this game, asking for help is solely beneficial and is recommended\
B. Nothing of great importance has changed form the mid-term except for revision and refinery of the original idea
C. This version will more completely convey the concept as it will be a more in-depth and fleshed out experience. By adding and improving more content, the concept maybe be better experienced and explored.
A. To complete the main game play, a final, end state is required, a resolution and visualization of the progress that has been made and the help that has been received as well as this, several more instances of refined pathways and situations in which help may be asked for and obtained.
B. In terms of assets, more detailed background and new character sprites are expected. Most things within the space should be newly created or otherwise updated.
C. The game begins with an initial start screen, the game ends with a end state. Most likely and end screen in which the players scored is displayed or their progress is otherwise reported and evaluated
D. Instructions are to be detailed either in or shortly after the initial starting screen, feedback may be given via in-game notes and hints, or otherwise, may be suggested to the player at their end screen at which point they may choose to play again and practice the given advice
The game shall be fully playable on Unity
The main purpose of the game is to show that one can dream of a bright future all they want, but unless they take action in reality, they will never reach any goal they set for themselves. I want to create an experience that makes the audience understand the difference between dreams and reality. In order to do so I plan on making the game have several brief but important cutscenes between the levels. While the bulk of the gameplay will be in the dreams, where he achieves great accomplishments, by the end of each level it cuts to the character’s waking face and the setting he wakes up to, which is far subpar to the standards he lives in in his dreams. I want to stick to using a 3D side-scroller as I did for my midterm but depending on how things pan out I may want to change it to a 3rd person “front-scroller” sort of game. Essentially, it’d be developed the same way as my midterm was except the camera would be facing his back so that it is significantly easier to see where everything is. A good example of it would be “Temple Run” on the phone. I could also do a mixture of different perspective types between different levels. As for aesthetic approach I want to make his reality grayscale and plain, to show the poor reality of his life whereas his dreams are brightly colored, vivid, and exciting. For now, I have plans for three levels: one where he “saves the princess” like in Mario, representing success in finding a relationship, another would be chasing down a winning lottery ticket lost in the wind, representing wealth, and finally one where he defeats some sort of villain and takes their fort, again, much like Mario and Bowser. Each time the level ends, the cutscene reveals more and more of his real life and finally ends when the sad but complete picture of his reality is revealed.
Here is the link to my proposal:
In Balloon version 0.2, the concept it tries to convey becomes a challenge to “an honorouble way of living”. The purpose now is to trap the player in a difficulty situation where he can choose to pirate other balloons in danger for a small amount of resource or help them get out of the trouble for more resources since the other balloon won’t waste resource as fighting back. Whether or not the player could manage to save other balloons depend on how much certain resources the player has to help other. (For example, amount of water for fire; amount of amor for other enimies
My initial proposal for this midterm project was to depict the everyday hardwork of a balloon rescue team, with a skill set and a choice system. Basically, my idea was to let the player encounter balloons in different kind of danger such as fire, lack of gas and so on. So the player had to weigh each balloon’s urgency and select the right solution to save them.
What’s different now is that there is no more an identity setting as rescue team, the player is just another normal balloon trying to survive on the sea. And the biggest challenge for this final project is to carry out the skill system which I don’t have enough time to realize for Midterm. Also, instead of constantly helping others without any reason, the logic behind the choice system now sounds more reasonable. That’s what skill set and choice system basically meant in my initial idea.
The previous design for how to end the game is that as the player could hardly maintain floating and falls into the sea, which symbolizes the cumulated negative effect on the rescue team and their spirits of sacrificing. However, in order to let the player have a stronger feeling toward his “disgraceful way of living”. There will also be a corresponding disaster similar to other balloon’s. In this way, the player gets into the shoes of previous balloons he saved or destroyed, waiting for help desperately. Whether the game will end or not depends on if another balloon decides to help the player or destroy him. ( a sense of reincarnation)
Things I need to refine
- The flying experience (reduce the difficulty of maintaining flying)
- Skill set and a key to call it
- Sprite animation
- A system to count the resources
- Add an arrow pointing toward other balloons in danger
- Replace physics falling down with timing function
- slide deck: [here]
- full text:
The game’s purpose is to illustrate the social behaviors of groupthink and social desirability bias and show possible benefits of alternatives.
Specifically, it illustrates the mechanisms influencing the modern media, particularly filter bubbles and echo chambers, and the ways in which they can be avoided, as well as the potential costs of falling into such habits.
It models the ideological divides within the society. The game is of the 2D top-down type, with different types fo filter bubbles illustrated by a number of clustered single-coloured items. As an individual, you could be of either color red or blue, which indicated the political affiliation.
The single most important rule was: the more independently the user navigates the map, the more truth points they get and the more uncomfortable the gameplay. The reverse is true for users who stick to their in-groups.
This is the basic premise that, instead of changing entirely, I will build upon. The first game was very much an experiment. It was the first time I worked with Unity, and I had to allocate a lot of time to technical limitations, which I would normally devote to expanding the meaning of the game. I managed to build a basic gameplay, in which the user can navigate the map freely, and is able to bump into users from different groups (and get fake news headlines as they collide) or bump into questions bubbles, increasing the truth rank.
One thing I would like to achieve in the new project: narrative. A guided experience. In the midterm, the user is able to move freely across the plane, which is a somewhat accurate representation but not an effective explanation of how filter bubbles work.
For my project specifically it would mean that
- the experience will not be fully non-linear. For example, I plan to introduce “freeze” moments during the gameplay. These “freeze” moments will be where important lessons or challenges will be presented to the user. For example, once the user approaches a player from a group different than their own, they will be able to choose in a specific way – either by starting a rational debate, or by attacking the opponent.
- For the narrative to be achieved, the interface will have to be more conversational. This means there will be modal windows showing up every now and then, with at least two possible choices of response (which don’t have to lead to different outcomes – but will certainly create a feeling of agency in the user). A lot of the gameplay in the freeze moments will occur in the conversational modal window.
- Also, artworks. The game as it is has basically none. It is extremely basic, build with circles and squares.. The aforementioned “Freeze” moments will create a room for new artworks from different scenarios, which will be more exciting for the user to watch. I’m thinking of several options in which the gameplay would turn into something entirely different – for example it would be possible to incorporate a Twitter fight to the game.
- Aside from that, a big pain point of the midterm project was its limited gamification – the gameplay was impossible to lose, or at least the losses were not made to feel relevant to the user. I plan to make a big “freeze” moment in the event the user runs out of Truth points, however, I still want to make it possible to successfully finish the game and learn from previous mistakes. I also want to introduce badges, which will be earned by the user whenever they are making socially conscious decisions against their own grouphink and bias – for example, a user could earn a badge when they call out a fake news outlet from their political side.
- The gameplay will end once the user earns all of the badges.
Badges will be:
- Question Everything: use a fact-checker to
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T: keep your arguments rational and relevant instead of attacking the opponent.
- Truth Above All: Call out incorrect statements from the party you are affiliated with.
- Out of the Zone: go and stay outside of your own filter bubble for at least 30 seconds.
- Devil’s Advocate: gather evidence from both sides on an important issue
- The Bubble: Find out about the ways digital media uses data profiling in politics.
The new proposal for the game has been a bit inspired by the game I played with called Bad News. It is about how to manipulate real-world events through fake news
Any other fixes that ought to be done?
- Graphic design fixes (aforementioned changes to the UI, added depth and a unified, slightly more playful style)
- Rewrite in React.js, deployed as a web app on Heroku
- Fully accessible from any JS-enabled browser
The Lonely Bird
The purpose of the game is to have the players been in the dilemma between emotional needs and morality as well as the balance between emotional loss and gain, by creating similar situation that differ in the detailed narratives.
The theme is “travel”. The player’ s role is a lonely wild goose, traveling aimlessly. In the trip the wild goose will meet other kinds of bird in different period of the game. In the first period, it will firstly meet another lonely sparrow and they become companion. Then they will meet another several single sparrows, also joining them. However, after they meet a certain number of sparrows, the sparrows decide to settle down on a tree. Therefore, the wild goose has to leave them. Then in the next period of the trip, the wild goose will meet a beautiful injured swan. The swan then travels with the wild goose. In the trip they fall in love with each other, but the swan gets weaker and weaker. But then the wild goose and the swan meet the swan’ s family on a lake, thus the swan eventually leaves the goose. In the following periods of the game, the player will probably experience the same thing: meet a new friend, meet many friends (maybe not), then lose all of them. But the player can avoid losing of the companions if the player carefully controls the wild goose not to meet other birds when it already has a small number of companions. The player will often need to make decisions during the game according to the situations. If the wild goose meets many birds and become friends with them, the sense of loneliness may be eliminated, but the player is not sure about whether the next bird that the wild goose meet will cause the loss of all companions. Also, according to the narratives of different situation, sometimes it may be necessary for the wild goose to send the companion back to its family, like the injured swan. But the wild goose has fallen in love with the beautiful swan. Or when the player helps the family reunite, the player may gain a sense of satisfaction but the will goose will be lonely again. In short, the player will face many similar situations with different emotional struggles and dilemma, and he/she will have to make choices.
The game system is similar to the game system of Snake Game, 2D platform with a vertical camera view. The wild goose is like the head of the snake, the first one of the group. And each new bird the group meet will be added to the end of the group, increasing the length. The wild goose can move horizontally or vertically. And the part of the group that is still on the previous track will be fixed on that direction. But the game does not contain score system and it does not have an ending. The experience that the wild goose meets friends and lose them will repeat again and again if the group constantly touches new bird on the way. And if the player carefully controls the group not to touch other bird anymore, the wild goose and its friend will keep traveling together forever. The group body itself is not the obstacle for the player. I don’ t have score system because the concept of “obstacle” and “food” in the original snake game is more relative in this game. For the player who wants to find a friend, or who wants to help the bird family reunite, or who does not care about losing all the friends, collecting new birds is not a negative thing. But for the player who has a certain number of companions and does not want to meet other birds anymore, the birds then become obstacles for he/her.
For the aesthetic approach, I do not want to use text to describe the story. I may use some simple animation. Like when the wild goose meets a new friend, their heads will touch, and their wings will flap. Then the new friend will join them. But the wild goose’ s friend will often leave it and flies on a tree, looking around, indicating that it misses its family. When the wild goose helps it find its family, the bird will flap its wings to the player and leaves him, flying to its family and there will be a small heart above the family. This kind of simple animation can implicitly tell the stories and leave the space for the player to imagine the situations and substitute himself/herself into the game.
I will create the art assets. The game will be in pixel style. The image of birds will be simple. Also I will create some simple images of lake, trees and other nature landscape.
Project Title: Dream Death Dress-up
Goal and Purpose:
My final project Dream Death Dress-up is a parody of Dream Date Dress-up, as I described in the Game Art analysis. Or, it is designed to be a parody of the traditional dress-up game genre. By altering the game scene from “date” to “death”, I aim at exploring three topics that intersect with one another: the societal pressure and standard on women connotated in dress-up games, the contemplation on death through a game experience, and the distortion of the common figurative meaning of death in video games.
In traditional dress up games, the player is expected to fulfill the requirement of some external forces. Sometimes, the force is a solid male figure, such as in Dream Date Dress-up. A male gives a standard look of a female, his “dream girl”, and the player has to dress up the same as the “dream girl” to win the game. Sometimes, the force is present in a more hidden way, in the expected style of the dressing like “lovely”, “sexy” or “sweet”. Either way, women are not supposed to decide for themselves what to wear and what to appear like. They can only follow the rules defined by the male society. This particular game genre shows women’s lack of control of their own bodies. By removing the male figure, the date occasion, and the compulsive requirements from these games, I intend to simulate the regaining of women’s rights of manipulating themselves.
When considering which occasion would be suitable to replace date, I thought of death. I noticed that besides the male-centered requirement for dressing, the occasion is also a problem in dress-up games. Only events like dates, balls, and weddings are included as if they are the most important events worth dressing up in women’s lives. In contrast to the male-related events, death is something that everyone has to experience and consider. The bias in occasion is removed. Besides, the process of manipulating one’s own death is a metaphor for manipulating one’s own life. Because the decisions related to death are the biggest decisions in life among all, dressing up for death is the most powerful protest against the societal oppression. The contemplation of death represents an independent and thoughtful behavior of an individual.
Moreover, I find it interesting to think about the use of death in video games. In most games, when the player loses, the character will “die”, as a metaphor. But what will happen when the actual death is included in video games? I would like the player to experience this shift in meaning.
As a parody, the basic game set will follow the traditional online dress-up games. I would like the player to feel surprised when first entering the game. On the one hand, the game procedure is so familiar with their childhood memory, on the other, the entire core changes. The game will put forward the topic of death in the intro part, and the decisions the player makes throughout the process require imagination and consideration. How old am I gonna be when I die? What am I going to wear, a dress or pants? Am I going to do makeup or not? Through these decision-making process, the player will probably fall into deeper contemplation on death itself. They will definitely participate more than in traditional dress-up games, for they are making decisions for themselves. The thinking process itself is a metaphor for women taking charge of their own lives. However, the author’s standpoint will not be shown distinctly, and it’s totally up to the player to decide how she feels.
As for the aesthetic style of the game, since I do not want to impose my own understanding and feeling about death on the players, I would choose a minimalist style. Meanwhile, all the options for dressing, facial emotions and makeups will be provided with symbolic images instead of pictorial images. For example, the option of a one-piece dress will be a simple outline of a one-piece dress, without any texture or detail. By doing so, the options will not be so limited and biased. The details can be supplemented by the player’s imagination because the focus of this game is to offer a space, detached from real life, where the player is able to think about death, and how she’s gonna dominate herself when facing death.
Project Design and Production:
(The final product would be in a simpler style than this)
The gameplay would be similar to the original dress-up games. At the beginning of the game, there will be an intro stating the purpose of this dressing up. Then, the player would have to go through the procedure of choosing the hairstyle, facial emotion, makeup, clothes, and background. The thing the player does is basically clicking to choose. I’m also thinking about letting the player change the body posture of the character by dragging the arms and the legs.
Regarding the art assets, I think I’ll probably gather some from free resources, and alter some existing ones. I’m still not sure whether to use Unity2D or to make it a web game.
At the end of this game, the character with all the dressing decided by the player will lie in the background that the player chooses. The player will be able to save this picture.
↑↑↑↑ Here’s the link to the presentation slides
I chose to work on the midterm project for my final. Mainly because I really like the idea of exploring the city and life through the eye of an animal. I can see a potentiality of this game and I really want to finish it.
Description of project goals and purpose:
Tier is a 2d sidescroller game where the player acts as an abandoned pet that seeks survival in a big city. The player (cat) cannot understand human language nor their gestures and can only try its best to ask for food and water from the passersby on the street. However, a cat learns a lot of stuff through time. The player can acquire more skills after survived and spend more time with the human. The more skillful the player is, the more likely the player will get adopted by kind people and no need to worry about the rest of its life.
The main focus of the game is not purely asking food from human but experience the city life as a small cat. The player will interact with NPCs from different social classes, from the wealthy to the homeless. Through the gameplay, the player will notice that not all human that lives in this city acts consistently as they seem to be. There are insidious “kind” people and kind-hearted “mean” looking people.
There will be 3 possible endings to the game. The player will probably get adopted by the passersby they meet on the street, or get adopted by (or rather chose to be the companies of) homeless people and offer help to other homeless animals, or they just couldn’t make it through the days.
Project Design and Production
- Opening with the main character get abandoned and left on the street by a car
- Human walking on the street
- NPC animals that will help the player
- Sprite animation
- Rebuild level tile map and refine the city construction
- Make more animal characters for NPC and possible further development of the game
- Widget interaction interface
- Refine HUD and lightings
What system is required to play the game?
For my final project, I will create a new artgame. The purpose of this game is to explore issues of the environment, especially how capitalism incentivizes the destruction of the environment.
The player will take the role of a ranch owner who invites NPC adventurers to their property and can issue challenges to the adventurers in the same spirit as mmorpg quests; kill x number of a certain monster, collect a bunch of a specific herb. Unlike an mmo world, however, the ecosystem in my game will not regenerate after a few minutes. Instead, it will be simulated through actual environmental models. The player will have to balance maintaining the environmental stability of the ranch property with making money off of the adventurers and maintaining customer satisfaction.
The player may choose to issue plenty of quests and make tons of money from the people coming to prove themselves at the ranch, though the environment will quickly deteriorate. Once the ranch starts to deteriorate, the player will have the option to import flora and fauna from other places. Of course, there will also be a negative ecological impact on these places. The game will continue into the player has completely ruined the environment of this world.
The second way to play the game is to tend the ranch and nourish the environment without handing out many quests. Developing this way will be very slow in comparison to maximizing profit, though I can imagine a player getting the same kind of relaxed enjoyment out of this as from a game like Stardew Valley.
This game is extremely ambitious, and I know that I definitely won’t have all the systems working in time for the final. However, there are a few basic mechanics that I believe I can have completed. My goal is to have at least one quest that the player can give out as many times as they like and have this quest deplete the environment accordingly. I also want to have stats for how much money the player is making, and the satisfaction of the adventurers. The two stats going up should be in stark contrast to the actual visuals of the environment.
Since I envision the game as mostly UI based (the player uses buttons to indicate which quests to issue, to buy more land, to import more animals, etc.), I think that Unity 2D will be the best choice. I will utilize many of the button UI features that Unity offers, such as event listeners. To represent the state of the environment, I will create a simple plant sprites using pixel art, and primarily use color to indicate the environment’s health. The plant sprites will start out a very deep green and transition to yellow and dull brown to represent decay.