For the Shadow’s Edge Healing Hearts game jam, I decided to make a game, actually it’s more like an app that allows players to make vlogs.
Since in the game Shadow’s Edge, it explores the use of journaling and art creation to improve your wellbeing.
So in the same way, Healing Hearts, allows players to make vlogs based on different prompts, which are meant to guide you, and after they completed a video it also provides tips (based on 5 Ways of Wellbeing) on how you can improve your wellbeing in real life.
Also at the start of each vlog, you will be asked “How you are feeling today?”. The idea is to keep track of your emotions, and hopefully the more you vlog (and read the wellbeing tips), the better you might feel. During this weird and difficult time, being self-isolated, I personally feel that keeping track of my emotions and my thoughts daily, even though it’s a very simple routine, it keeps me sane.
There is also a mini game, which are puzzles based on icons for the 5 Ways of Wellbeing. I went with the idea of puzzles, because it’s like putting things together, fixing things.
For this game, I chose to work alone, but I relied heavily on publicly available assets, such as icons from Icons8 and models and animations from Mixamo. For the UI and style of the game, I tried to emulate Shadow’s Edge as closely as possible. I even coloured the model blue to resemble their characters. I thought it was a good practice for me as well (being a programmer, not an artist) to practice my UI skills.
Further ideas, is to have customisable characters. The idea is making a vlog and talking through this 3D character provides a safe space for talking about your feelings. Another idea is to even tweak the pitch of the recorded voice for even further anonymity.
I think in total, I worked on this game app for more or less a week, so if there are bugs and room for improvement, please let me know.
You can also read my interview with the developers of Shadow’s Edge here: https://www.shadowsedge.com/healing-hearts-game-jam/