A Game Design Project from the G4C Student Challenge
a High School Student from Bronx High School of Science
About this Project:
My project revolved around the issue that due to the lack of physical contact thanks to the global COVD-19 pandemic, people have started to rely more than ever on the internet to maintain their in person friendships, as well as finding new companionships. This is especially prevalent in online communities revolving around video games, which is what my project covers. I wanted to express how video games have brought together people, and helped them to cope through a challenging time period. People bonding over a shared love and experience of video games as an interactive and cathartic medium of expression became the main core of this project. My project is a playable video game created in RPG Maker MV, which tells the story of a group of offline and online friends bonding over video games together, while the main character deals with their somewhat rocky home life.
Feedback from the Judges:
Vincent DiBartolo 👏 Technology Director at Self-Employed — Emoti-Con Judge
The main theme of this game is brilliantly conceived and executed well. I also love the title of the project since it ties so nicely to the subject matter and is something we've probably all said in the past 2 years. This is the kind of topic that would not have made sense to people pre-COVID but the world is different now and this project helps people understand what that means in a playful way.
I felt the character's script was written very well and was enjoyable to read. The storyline was interesting to follow and reinforced the overall theme well. I would like to see a little more challenge to the player in terms of making choices that impact the gameplay, and using those moments to help drive home the main theme around the physical isolation and digital connectedness.
I'm also really impressed with the use or RPG Maker, which shows a high level of technical competency and artistry. Building off of a "out of the box" platform like this allows you to focus on the creative expression of the project. This was a very smart move on your part.
J. Arturo Mora 👏 Curriculum Engineer at 2U Inc. — Emoti-Con Judge
I love the narrative of the game and how it tells a story that is being experienced by several kids around the world. The pandemic changed the rules of socialization and this game pictures this new reality and its challenges.
Great usage of RPG Maker, this game can definitively encourage other kids around the world to create their own games a as mechanism of expression.
Emily Gregor 👏 Content Lead at Fullstack Academy — Emoti-Con Judge
Thanks for sharing your project with us. I think we can all relate to the idea of "just another day", especially over the past year and a half. I love the design and the script you've written—it's engaging, interactive, and interesting. What would you think of incorporating more conditionals that impact the gameplay? It really reminds me of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, and it'd be cool to see this evolve into a more complex version with different days, decisions, and connection opportunities. Great work on this, and I'm excited to see what you'll create next!
Dan Mehaffey 👏 Senior Account Executive at Microsoft — Emoti-Con Judge
I thoroughly enjoyed playing through this game! You have captured some really interesting sentiments around the teenager point of view that is often missed in media. It is easy for the older generations to dismiss the genuine bond that online gaming can produce amongst friends (we didn't experience it like you do - we all had to be in the same room!).
I thought your framing of the family dynamics was very interesting and has certainly re-framed the discussion around friendship, loneliness and virtual engagement. I think its healthy to normalize all types of interactions as productive as long as they are conducted in the right manner (which this group of friends certainly does).
I think your script writing is excellent and is a skill you continue to foster.
Things to consider:
- How could you make some of the characters choices more interactive so that the gamer can feel more agency in the decision making?
- What was your design process to come up with this game? How could you iterate it further to build on some of these themes?
Feedback from the Community:
Dylan 👏 a High School Student from Williamsburg
This was really fun felt so relatable with online school. When I first tried play I tried to go back to bed but it said my mom would be mad and isn’t that the truth. Immediately getting up just to check my phone instead of going on to my zoom was a perfect description of my 2020-2021 school year. Great work!