Final Project- Experience: Draft 1

by | Mar 28, 2016 | Artwork #4: Experience


The piece I want to do, is about my father’s death. He died from cancer at the beginning of this year, and I have a project in mind that I think can relay my feelings to people as well as help me work through it. The game is a very personal experience, but hopefully will come across tastefully and not over-bearing.

I want to make a small RPG adventure that is in a way representative of the situation and the feelings.

The game will be made in RPG Maker VX Ace

An example of what it will look like is:


The game play will be a somewhat regular RPG,  but will be story heavy and hopefully less traditional and more experiential, and will follow two characters, a boy and a girl.

The game/piece will consist of 4 acts, and will have 4 different “Bosses” that represent different aspects. I am not sure at the moment what all four will be, but one will definitely be a representation of cancer, and the fight will represent my family’s take on the situation.

The 1st Act will be the journey to adulthood, the 2nd will be dealing with leaving home, and also the beginning of the sickness, the 3rd Act will be the Cancer Boss level, and the final 4th Act will be the after affects and “coping” stage.

The game itself will be quite linear and battles will be relatively scripted. All in all it will be more like a story in the guise of a game more than a free-roam RPG.

NPC’s will be representative of the people in my life.

Enemies will be hardships, or obstacles.

For example:

  • Sphinx as enemy would represent tests, or hard classes
  • Goblins, Ogres, and brutes will be physical representations of people and feelings that have slowed me down or negatively affected me.
  • Some NPC’s can be representatives of Nurses, friends, family that ended support, such as Innkeepers, healers, knights and etc.

The gameworld setting is going to be in a fantasy world, and also in a more present regular days setting with schools, cars, and buildings.
I think that this is a good way to explore how I feel about everything through an interesting and safe environment. Games are a really good way to explore loss, and I am inspired by games like That Dragon Cancer, and Dys4ia. I feel like this is also in a way an appropriation, where I take known mechanics, and maybe even known worlds, and I’m building my own narrative through them, while trying to make the experience accessible to others.  As Schrank talked about in his book Avant-garde Video Games: Playing with Technoculture  where games can be on a wide spectrum and be formal or radical and loaded with “political” feeling. I think my game sits somewhere in between where the story is charged and opinionated but in a formal setting. And also, it maybe is somewhat influenced by Yoko Ono’s work and how she brings the audience into her work and has them became participants, in the sense of her artwork and scores. I think it is also in a way reminiscent of Cynthia Carr’s retelling of an interactive piece where she was just thrown into a day in someone’s life and there was drama with relationships and just a very interesting way to experience being in someone else’s shoes. I want people to know and feel my story, but also play through it in a way that I think is enjoyable.