“Being a bit fake is pretty ok.”
This game was created for a target group of VWO students aged 16-17. The given theme was “Fake”, and our team decided to give it a positive twist. Our research showed that every student felt like they did act fake pretty often to blend in better. It also showed that pretending to be somebody else for a bit can help overcoming problems like stage fright. We decided to highlight these positive aspects in our game, to break the stigma and show that it’s okay to be a bit fake sometimes.
The character, Bob, walks around a world filled with characters that look like him, but all are a bit different. While the player walks around, the characters around him form groups and adapt the mannerisms and looks of the other members of that group. When the player bumps into a group, his outfit changes to theirs, and they follow him. The game ends when the player collects all the other characters, changing the world to a big ball of the same type of person.
The process of making this game started with doing research. Working with this age group was a lot of fun, since we could relate to a lot of the things they were going through.
When we came to the design phase, we had decided we wanted to keep the game clear and simple. Teenagers don’t have a very long attention span, and we wanted to keep the focus on the important parts. The character is minimalistic and thus interchangeable. We originally planned to morph our character to different shapes, to show him being ‘fake’. In the end, the character wore different hats, each of the hats being a metaphor for teenage stereotypes.
Another reason we chose to keep it simple, was that none of us had any experience with making games yet. Halfway through the project I started experimenting with Unity; we ended up building the entire game in it. This was also my main concern for the second half of the project. I monitored the design team, but focussed on the game interaction and coding.
Though some of the students were a bit confused by the game, many commented that they liked how different it was from other games at the showcase.