Emotion Landscape

20150226_002442

This was a project where I used Unity to create a landscape that evoked a specific emotion for the player. Originally, I was going to make a landscape to show “Peace”, where the player would move through a meadow filled with flowers and light, but I felt this was cliche and wanted to do something different.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.39.18 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.38.57 PM

In the end, I decided upon “Loneliness”. I made a landscape where the player walks around in a desolate area searching for others near campfires. When the player gets close, the other models in the scene start to move away from the player until the campfire extinguishes itself. No matter how much the player tries they can never find any sort of companionship among the landscape as it passes from day to night continuously.

If you would like to see a longer video, please click HERE

For the experience itself, download it HERE (Mac Only)

Advertisements

Loneliness

Loneliness was created when I was feeling melancholic and distanced from people. I felt lonely and alone and thought creating a game to express myself might help.

I had originally started the game as a search for collecting friends but they would constantly disappear. When they were all gone, the game would end.

This was the original character design: character

However, I changed the goal and made it a game where you tried to escape from being lonely and alone. Neither game had a win state as I felt nihilistic and wanted people to experience the helplessness I felt.

The newer character design: idleF5

How to Play: Arrows = Movement

Download:

Both are PC only.

Loneliness (Game): Download Here

Loneliness (Assets): Download Here

Alone (Old version): Download Here

Reflection

Bring your emotions together and feel peace. Your emotions don’t have to be in conflict; they can live in harmony.

ImageImageImageImageImage

20131010_083936

Video!

Description:

Reflection is a game about becoming one with yourself. You control two conflicting emotions at once. You must navigate them through a split level, focusing one at a time, both at once, all while avoiding peril. You need to bring peace to your emotions by combining them within yourself.

This game is designed to help people to understand living with their emotions. Emotions can be powerful. Emotions can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes however it is good to be able to control your emotions or at least put them at peace. This game was created to help people realize this.

The theme we went for was simultaneous opposites. As stated before emotions can be opposed at times but this doesn’t mean that we should ignore any emotion. We wanted the player to control both emotions at once to make them see that no emotion is bad but that all emotions should be brought together to make you more whole as a person.

Development:

We started by brainstorming ideas. At first, the cards that flipped up had us thinking about a stealth spy game where you have to break into a building, dodging enemies, and collecting information. As we collaborated more the idea began to change towards what we finally created. We mapped the game out as a reflective game where you control multiple things at once, while still dodging enemies and collecting things. Eventually we dropped some things and fleshed out a few others.

20131003_142702 20131003_144933 20131004_134057 20131004_140221

Obviously there were challenges but a lot of things we went too. What went well was that everything seemed to fall together once we got the ball rolling. Nothing was last minute. It all went along at a comfortable pace. However, some of the problems took the luster off an otherwise enjoyable development.

20131004_142056 screenshots1

Brenner, who did the art, had issues with the colour palettes. This was because coordinating all the colours with the different opposing emotions didn’t always harmonize together. At times the colours didn’t match or didn’t look good together so they had to be redone a few times. Every piece of art needed to work and harmonize with other pieces of art to make the whole thing coherent and this took a lot of trial and error.

screenshots7screenshots3

I also had my own issues with the game though mine were more technical. Game Maker chugged and corrupted my file at one point near the end (Thankfully, I create back-ups occasionally so I was able to pick up not too far from where I was). This was because I brought a gif into the program that was both dimensionally large and had more frames than I think Game Maker is usually used to. When I stretched the animation, as soon as I saw it lagging, I knew something was probably going to go wrong. It did so I made some animations within the system itself. This caused other problems such as objects not following their commands or appearing and disappearing for no reason. Logically it made absolutely no sense why two objects with the exact same commands would act totally different. I tried to cut back on the complexity of these animations and that seemed to make them work better. Also, order in which you place objects matters from a layering perspective!

Both of us had a problem designing the levels. At first we tried to map them out analog but we quickly came to the understanding that it would be hard to visualize everything on paper so we changed to prototyping in Game Maker. Making levels for one player but two different parts was difficult to balance in the end without making it overly difficult or needing to be super precise in timing.

doubt_esteem_hardmode_original

Future Directions:

In the future, it would be nice to polish the game more; polishing the art, designing more challenging levels and more emotions, expanding the story and elaborating on it. Adding new features, more enemies, other forms of obstacles would be pretty cool too.

Making this game to help people was fun but maybe incorporating a psychologist or psychiatrist would make the game more therapeutic. It would be interesting to create a game that people with mental illnesses could play to help them cope with their illness.

Links:

Game: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1gbhdcnuzsbksoc/Reflection.exe (55.05 MB) {May not work on Macs}

Final Assets: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1sjh0vfe84wcg8e/Reflection_Final_Assets.rar (117.81 MB)

Credit:

Art: Brenner Pacelli De Castro

Programming: Corey Dean

Soundtrack: Apotheosis – Austin Wintory (Journey OST)

Sound Effects created using http://www.bfxr.net/

Game Created using GameMaker