During the summer, I worked with my partner, Parth, to plan out our thesis. As we looked into our ideas during our third year of university, we realized that we had some common interests and themes that we would love to explore together. Specifically, I wanted to look into how people can relate to the ideations presented to them through game feel, immersion, and mechanics, while Parth wanted to look into how mechanics can be meaningful as a relation back to aesthetics and narratives. We noted that a lot of games, especially in the mobile market, depend on needless, random, or spamming of buttons to make the game fun and interactive. Other games use simple button gestures to portray deep actions, which causes the meaning behind the action to be lost as there is a disconnect behind the narrative and the mechanic.
We decided to create a game inspired by my personal experience of losing someone important to death. It is about a young character who recently lost her best friend. In order to grant her friend a grand burial, she sets off on a journey to a beautiful island to collect rare flowers to create a bouquet that will be buried with her friend. In order to to find all of these flowers, the character must solve puzzles along her journey to open new paths and gateways, learn more about her capabilities, and embrace the nostalgia of her friend through every action she takes.
Last year, Parth and I researched into different symbolism and meanings in flowers, and hoped to create each level with a different meaning. During summer, we decided to look into mechanics first, and experimented with swiping as our main technical mechanic. We started experimenting and designing a level where we would allow the character to redistribute energy from parts of the island to another in order to grow flowers. These flowers were to act as platforms, triggers, gates, etc. to help the character move on to the next part of the island.
At first, I experimented more on game mechanics, how characters would move, and the general feeling a player would get from interacting with the iPad screen. For a long while, we were stumped on what the game mechanic of our game would be. We figured that the hardest challenge would be to design a simple mechanic that would work and immerse players to the end of the game. That quickly escalated to me looking into the aesthetics of the game, and researching how to make the art match the mechanic to make each swipe fulfilling. During my last months of summer, I experimented with different styles and learned some texture mapping skills.We were able to push out a small demo level by the first round, and was able to present it in our Thesis class during the first week of school.