In this short point-and-click adventure game you venture into the depths of a magical forest as a mushroom in search of your home. Along the way, you encounter peculiar creatures with their own unique ideas of what it means to feel at home.
2022 // 3:38 min, game demo, Photoshop & GameMaker // Propädeutikum - Fachprojekt Animation/Interaktion, 4 weeks
This project was created for the prompt opposites. My first idea for opposites was individual vs. collective. What does it mean to be an individual in an ecosystem? Can you really be alone in the forest? - I chose a mushroom as the main character because we often think of the mushroom "fruit" as an individual organism but in reality they are often connected by mycelia or even to other flora.
I wanted to create a game with minimal instructions and decided on the phrase "go home". I chose this phrase because I wanted the player to think about their own connections to home and to lay down context clues as to what the playable character is looking for. Home doesn't have to be a physical place.
At the beginning of the project I created these images to explain my concept. The feedback I received on the design was very positive, so I kept the simplistic pixel design and tried to create depth with small animations and more detailed backgrounds. I also created a scraggly pixel font to match the character design.
Similarly to my workflow on space debris I tried to use my inexperience to my advantage and focused on simple movement. As this was my first project in GameMaker, I focused on the flow of the game and the dialogue. The interaction in the game is mainly based on choosing which path to take and talking to encountered creatures. This was achieved with game objects that allow the player to click into the next room and are hinted at with a changing cursor.
After figuring out my focal points, I began to structure the rooms. The only coding in this project was to connect the rooms, trigger sound effects/music and create the dialog boxes. First, I worked on the design of each room and tried to incorporate at least one small animation to keep the scene lively. "still but not stiff" - was a phrase used during one of our feedback rounds and I used it as a guideline for this project. I connected the rooms either based on conversation topic or on physical traits, e.g. pond flows to brook.
At the end of the project we displayed our work and I decided to have a "physical home" ending for the exhibition setting. In the future I would like to make it so that the player can choose a place to make their home.
The music and sound effects are from artlist.io.