Games Aid organized an online game jam on itch.io with the theme of mental health and a duration of a week. So it’s okay to take it slow and be more relaxed about it. And I decided to join and make a game.
Given the theme, I thought maybe it might be very personal, so instead of tapping my artist friends, I decided to draw myself. I am not an artist though. Also since it’s going to personal, I just used my face as a reference (yes, I took photos my myself especially for this, without context though it looks super weird), and it’s a bit uncanny looking at myself.
I have another blog post that’s my game design notes and how I came up with the concept for the game. I decided to go with drowning, because that’s what it feels like to me.
I found some lines I wrote from my old journal entry and I decided to include that as the narrative element of the game. Also, not a writer (unless you count NaNoWrimo and PhD dissertation writing).
See what I mean about the uncanny valley? It’s weird looking at your own face.
I thought for a long while about what to name the game. I wanted to name it “Deep Sea Girl” (lol, but I’m not sure Hatsune Miku fans will be okay with that). Then I remembered Plumb’s song “Sink and Swim”.
I also ran into a musician, Luci Holland (check out her website, she is amazing), on another Discord channel who provided music and sounds for the game.
In terms of audio, the game has binaural audio to provide hints, and tracks that fade in and out based on how deep you are sinking.
But it’s not a game jam unless it has last minute bugs.
Okay, finally… You can play the game: https://purplelilgirl.itch.io/sinkswim
Here is a longer game play video:
And my Game Design notes / commentary:
Developed for GamesAid Mental Health Jam #GamesAidMHJam
Art, Writing, Design, Programming and Additional Sound by: Hsiao Wei (Michelle) Chen @purplelilgirl https://purplelilgirl.com/
Music and Sound by: Luci Holland @luciholland http://www.luciholland.com/
Additional Sound by: alexkandrell https://freesound.org/people/alexkandrell/sounds/170522/
Font: Seaweed Script https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Seaweed+Script
Background: Rafael https://www.flickr.com/photos/rafipics/7914334878
Paper Texture: The Digital Artist https://pixabay.com/illustrations/seamless-texture-background-1657428/
Dirty Lens Flare: MaxP https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/particles-effects/dirty-lens-flare-9133?aid=1011l7QA7
Toon FX: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/vfx/particles/toon-fx-25601?aid=1011l7QA7
Definitive Stylized Water: Marc Sureda https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/vfx/shaders/definitive-stylized-water-87062?aid=1011l7QA7
And since I love recording waves and tweeting about them… looking at waves is just so calming to me.
I also grabbed an audio from the following clip and used it in the game.
And that’s it for now… I’m off to play all the other games submitted to the jam (maybe make a Let’s Play of them).