Projects

The Festival of The Dawn

Emma Doyle

The Festival of the Dawn is a mini baking game. You play as Basil, a young chef-in- training who visits the historic Elemental Island during his holiday break. As The Dawn holiday celebrates Mother Earth and the creation of Water, Fire, and Air, Basil wants to bake the goddesses a birthday cake. Explore the island and find for the baking ingredients. Use Basil’s physical journal to keep track of the items you have collected with The Checklist and learn about the story behind the holiday!


A Trip To the Known

Roxana Bian

The game is about a journey between two exotic planets toward a known destination. The first is called Aqua Planet, on which has spherical architectures and low gravity. The second is called Turf Planet, which is covered by luxurious vegetation and has criss-cross mazes. The player is asked to complete missions without much context. Once acquire the key, they will be transported to the next location by a space Metro Train that can even travel through void. Travelling through time and space, you will witniss a brand new world. What is the meaning of those missions, and what is the identity of 'I'?" -At the end, everything in the game is controlled by a superior existence outside the screen, and the avatar of player becomes aware of it. This is a reference to Meta Games in which the reality and the virtuality are connected. We never question why we need to complete endless missions in games because we enjoy them, but if we think from a virtual characterʼs perspective, is there anything meaningful when accomplishments are merely digits that can be revised or erased at anytime? Reflecting on our own life, we are born as numbers, live as numbers, and will die as numbers. When the ultimate meaningfulness of anything can be rebuked, the best solution would be to enjoy the process.


Witch Doctor Nabia

Jade Box

This game is about a girl named nabia, trying to navigate a amazing but dangerous environment. While doing this she is trying to help her community and stop the natural disasters that are plaguing her community. To do this she is learning hoodo from her grandma and hoping she can find the secrets of the land.


Full Circle

APRIL DING

A 2D PLATFORMER THAT TAKES YOU THROUGH THE MAIN CHARACTER ORBY’S LIFE. ORBY IS AN UNUSUAL CHILD THAT CAN SEE AND SPEAK TO SPIRITS IN THE WILD. ORBY WAKES UP IN A BUBBLE AND HAS TO GAIN MILK IN ORDER TO KEEP GROWING. ORBY GOES THROUGH STAGES OF INNOCENT INFANCY, HAPPY CHILDHOOD, REBELLIOUS TEENAGE, SWEET FRIENDSHIPS, CHALLENGING ADULTHOOD, SMOOTH MIDDLE AGE, AND PEACEFUL DEATH. WHEN THE TIME COMES, THEY EMBRACE DEATH CALMLY. THERE ARE TWO WAYS THAT THE GAME CAN BE INTERPRETED. ONE IS BEING ALIVE IS NOTHING MORE THAN GOING THROUGH THESE STAGES, WE WILL ALL END UP IN THIS CYCLE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, THEREFORE THERE IS NOTHING TO BE STRESSED ABOUT. THE OTHER ONE IS THAT THIS IS THE IDEAL LIFE THAT PEOPLE WORK THEIR WHOLE LIFE FOR, THUS QUESTIONING THE PLAYER, “IS THERE A WAY THAT YOU CAN NOT LIVE IN AN ORDINARY LIFE LIKE THIS?”


Airwaves

Michael Luo

Airwaves is a 2D pixel art text-based puzzle game about a fictional family in fictional China working as a telegraph & communications operator for over a century. The player will take control over the operator to decipher Morse code, encryptions & calligraphy, and experience 7 short stories by playing through 6 generations of telegraph operators in the same family across important periods of time in China’s modern & future history. The difficulty of the game will evolve across generations from basic Morse messages to deciphering complex ciphers & code conversions. Through deciphering & logging codes and messages, the mystery and the tragedy of the family, and indeed the community, will be slowly revealed to the player. The illustrations of the game are all pixel drawings based on time-specific items.


The Return

Sam Malabre

In an article titled ​Gamings Forever War,​ Andrew Carroll explains the first level of Halo 2, the first game in the still running Halo series: “A lone warrior volunteers to martyr himself. The two Long Sword fighters fly by to give the Master Chief an entry way. The hero surviving a fiery death guided by a voice in his head. Using the aliens’ own equipment to destroy one of their monumental symbols of superiority.” Games in the 2000s were particularly egregious in their warmongering ideology: Halo’s cathartic masculine self-sacrifice or Call of Duty’s constant ramblings about taking the gloves off, crossing lines, and ignoring red tape. Dark Souls​ is game about a fraying world. Withered lords, their power slowly burning away, task the player with taking up their mantle, to travel through a dying kingdom populated by mad adventurers, where time is literally falling apart. All for the purpose of that world's continuation, to restart the cycle again. To preserve a world where nothing you’ve seen is worth preserving. I was interested in combining a difficult traversal system, ‘retro’ pixel art, symbols from these FPSs, and the misleading missions from ​Dark souls​ to make something that speaks to the tired and troubling recursion of these theme and symbols, while also exploiting their resonance.


Looking For Ace

Kaylin Park

beni and ace are two peas in a pod. wherever beni goes, ace follows. tragically a terrible storm hits and they are separated in the process. beni is devastated to find out that ace is no longer by his Side and beni is willing to go to great lengths to have ace back in his life.the player must help guide beni back to ace.


Things We Left Behind

Wenrui Zhang

Things We Left Behind is a tribute to the old technologies and experiences that have been important memories of my generation, but are now gradually becoming obsolete. Players are taken back in time to take a walk in an old town. They visit the neighborhood, stores, book stalls, and other facilities to interact with antique objects (e.g. radio receiver, CRT TV, tamagotchi, etc.) in order to learn more about them.


Addiction Center

Elsie Wang & Michael Luo

Addiction Center​ is a hand drawn, single player 2D stealth role-playing game for PC/Mac platform made with Unity2D, set in one of Yang’s correctional institutions. The game is loosely based on the real-life teenagers in China who underwent intense brainwashing, electroshock therapy, and physical abuses in Yang’s institutions. Addiction Center​ is unique in its approach to stealth, resource gathering and story progression. Featuring abundant dialogue as a resource to gather intel and strategic planning which NPC to befriend and which to betray.


Little By Little By Little

Lee Teng

Your name is Charlie. You’re a depressed twenty-something year old just trying to do what all depressed twenty-something year olds are trying to do: stay on top of your work, have a good time with your friends before they graduate, not think about your absentee boyfriend, and obsess over the identity of the artist leaving sheep graffiti all over your neighborhood. A​ nd h​ ide the fact that it feels like you’re rotting from the inside out. But hey, one step at a time, right? --- Little By Little By Little​ is a third-person illustrated slice of life game. You play as Charlie, an anthropomorphic bunny, and the game follows a day in your life as you try to uncover the identity of the neighborhood’s resident graffiti artist and the meaning behind their work. You also spend the day navigating your responsibilities and your relationships with your friends. There’s Sam, your overachieving and effortlessly cool roommate. Riles, the best friend who’s probably more than you deserve. Isaac, whose confidence levels you aspire to reach one day; Frank, the guy you have a major friend crush on; Benji, your loving but painfully absent boyfriend. As you continue to uncover more things about the graffiti artist, your friends, and even yourself, all the little things start adding up until they reach a tipping point for your deteriorating mental state. (And this is visualized in the game quite literally -- the things that Charlie is feeling affect the in-game models and animations.) And all of this culminates in a final confrontation of what’s really keeping you going at the end of the day.


Sun and Moon

Haejin Suh

On a cold, quiet night, two siblings begin to worry about their mother who has not returned home after selling her rice-cakes in a faraway town. The children, Sun and Moon, make it their mission to find out who, why, and how their mother has been murdered. Sun and Moon is a side scroll murder mystery narrative inspired by the Korean folktale “The Sun and Moon,” involving a death of an innocent, hard working mother, a hungry tiger, and two brave children.


Homecoming

Bryant Rahadian

Homecoming is a game where you play as Aure, who has finally come back to his hometown after living abroad for 8 years. As Aure, you explore a small neighborhood that you hold closely to your heart. Talk to friendly locals and see what they are up to. Exploration is the name of the game - there are no set goals. This game is inspired by afternoon walks around a middle to lower class neighborhood in the middle of a bustling metropolitan city.


Garden of Eden

Zhengyang Huang

Our digital life is born in our compromises with the larger media atmosphere. It’s vast and muggy with choices, rules, communities, characters, aesthetic ideals, blog posts, plugins, troubleshooting and a bitter-sweet hope. In early 2000, we set the hopeful and even utopian view for the online world of Web 2.0, with Linden Lab’s simple idea of a virtual platform for ​Second Life,​ and in the environment of Windows XP’s desktop background of a blissful, grassy landscape, almost as a virtual Garden of Eden. Here, we are assigned to be the creators and controllers but eventually merge into the role of the character and the avatar. This project (in progress, untitled) focuses on avatar-creating as both collective and individual, where the avatar is a hybrid of similarity and difference. By collecting posts from second life(SL) forums and rewriting/reimagining them into diaries of avatar(s), I try to zoom in on the discourse around creating digital representations. Digital representation starts with superficiality and ends with superficiality--it starts from 3D mesh appearances and ends as selfies on a blog, from sensors to numbers and graphs, or from face detection to filtered instagram stories. The behavior, language, and community becomes somewhat a hidden knowledge. In this process, we often act in the middle space between personal agency and the digital environment we collectively create, inhabit and post about.


Pigxell

Zhengzhou Huang

This project is a game/installation happening in three space: play area, backstage and social room (waiting room). The play area is the place for playing the game, in which a character in the game, a pig, trades furniture with the player only if they trade images of their body. I hide and operate the shopp-ing system in the backstage, while also using the images collected from the players to produce posters and distribute them in the social space. I will be at the backstage manually check the images sent from the player, while also use those images to make posters for the game, ads for the virtual furniture company, Pigxell, and videos- These media materials will be displayed in the social room, where people can hang out. This project explores the possibility of digital life in the ambiguity of personal control and automated program/commerce, and also in the crevices between personal-ization/identity making and image production.


ع

Neeku Salehi

N/A




Journey of fulfillment/futility & dreams/destruction & stereotypes/(trouble)shooting

Jodi Cheung

For your entertainment For your visual pleasure For your protection Enter, player, for you are the chosen one As your fortune states Your mission now, if you choose to accept And you must accept because this is a linear path There is no escape You are now in hero mode This work in progress is about the tropes and archetypes of a hero’s journey, as a guise for the pursuit of fulfillment and escapism in life. There is emphasis on “you” and subtle hints throughout the game suggesting state machines and power structures. The music, edited by Dasul Kim, is a mix of slowed down circus music and factory sounds.