Depression Simulator

Depression Simulator is a point-and-click puzzle game, where players step into the shoes of someone living with depression, wherein even the most mundane task becomes a challenge.

It was developed as part of my Masters by Practice for Video Game Enterprise and Production at Birmingham City University, UK. Depression Simulator is also a semi-finalist for the Stylist x Diet Coke Creator’s Collective.

I went through the process of design which included identifying the problem, research, synthesis and refinement, and it is iterative. After going through the process, I decided to make a point-and-click puzzle game about depression called Depression Simulator. For production, I applied the Agile Methodology, with weekly sprints and documentation via blogs. I developed the game in Unity and drew all the art in Flash.

While I wanted to create a game that is autobiographical but at the same time I also want to represent more point of views about depression. I solicited contributions in the form of stories, images and even music from the collaboration website HitRecord.

This was the first time I ever worked on an entire video game project on my own, and it gave me the opportunity to wear many hats, such as programmer, artist, game designer, producer and even sound designer. Doing this allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the different disciplines, as well as identify my strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome and use them to my advantage. In terms of game design, wearing many hats and agile methodology proved to be advantageous, because I didn’t need to communicate the game design to artists and programmers, instead I can quickly do the art and programming then playtest and iterate. The disadvantages of working on my own is that the project development took longer.

The game demo was described as “deep and personal” and as a great way to show how depression feels.

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