Month: November 2017

Artwork #4: Struggling Relationship

I want to create a small digital game about struggling with being in a failing/destructive relationship. I want the game to focus specifically on a building feeling of chaos and anguish while attempting to still perform normal actions to keep a feeling of normality, like how people sometimes try to convince themselves a relationship is in a better state than it is. The main games I’m taking inspiration from are Every Day the Same Dream, and What Remains of Edith Finch (specifically the cannery scene). Both of these games deal with the evolution of performing the same standard actions over and over, but Edith Finch also focuses on the idea of underlying thoughts and actions becoming more complex and meaningful, which is the kind of feeling I want to inspire with the game. I want this game to use regular, standard, every day activities and objects, like many of the games and pieces (such as ready-mades and games like White Chess) for the standard actions, but then a more psychological, hidden thought-process for the building complexity in the character’s mind like Edith Finch. This is to inspire through mechanics the feeling of going through the mundane every day motions of a failing relationship while feeling the emotional toll build up alongside those standard actions.

Final Project Idea: Join the World Wide Web!


Gameplay idea:

The idea for my piece would be based around the themes of privacy, censorship and government surveillance. Set in an authoritarian world, the protagonist (you) has received a new computer for his / her birthday. The protagonist is required to perform some setting up with the computer in order to be granted full access. The gameplay kicks in from here.

My piece would be a digital game, in which you follow a set of instructions published by the government where you have to browse through different sections of the webpage (kind of like the internet feature on GTA 4), and do different things like setting up accounts, joining wifi devices. It is up to the player whether to follow the instructions or not. The decisions and choices made will have an impact on the final results for the player. The overall objective of the game is to see who follows the instructions and who doesn’t, and the end result will show how much of the privacy of the players have been breached by the government.


I’m inspired by many of the art games that we’ve seen in class that are related to contemporary issues such as the September 12th game where you have to bomb terrorists but actually also end up bombing innocent civilians, thus bringing up the many controversies that arose from the Iraq War. I like how the gameplay is totally different in that game because to win, players must not drop any bombs, unlike in normal games where killing is always the answer. I feel like my piece would have this unconventional aspect to the gameplay as well, because players can decide for themselves, and decide whether or not to follow instructions. I’m also inspired by the Dada movement in Berlin, where many of the art pieces were directly criticising the government and the Great War. My piece is similar to the ideas and motivation behind the Berlin Dada movement too, because I believe that my piece is also a form of criticism against the government and their breach of privacy. Privacy and government surveillance are becoming an issue these days, especially with the recent problem of net neutrality. I want to address this issue through this game and hopefully raise awareness about the importance of internet freedom and privacy.

Final Project Idea: Bank Job Crew


Greed, disloyalty, trust and betrayal always revolve around money and I wanted to create a game demonstrates the power dynamics revolving around this very idea that even when you have a tight group of friends, greed and money always prevails. To demonstrate this concept, I created a bank heist game to simulate the idea of “how well can you really trust someone?”.

Concept and Idea:

  • Objective (Win State)
    • The player with the most money at the end wins the game
  • The Crew (Player Cards)
    • The crew consists of 6 players, which simulate the tight knit friendship who all have skills of their own.
    • Player cards are not to be shown to anyone other than yourself
  • Player Special Skills
    • Each player has a special skill that can be used only once throughout the game
    • Player cards have special passive skills that enhances the bank loot at the end of the mission
  • Bank Job Missions
    • There are a total of 4 missions
    • Each mission requires the crew leader to pick his crew
    • Each mission has a designated bank job leader who chooses the crew members
    • Depending on the number of crew members, each player picks a digit from a pile of faced-down numbers and this will total up to be the loot


Player Cards:

Each player has a special ability that they can use only once throughout the game. There are a total of 6 players.


Take a Bullet for Me – Cause another player to be shot by a gun pointed at you for a round

Vault Cracker:

Hidden Compartment – Double your loot for a round

Weapons Expert:

Always Carry a Spare – Point 2 guns at 2 different or the same player for a round


Wire Transfer – Re-route a player’s loot to your bank account for a round


Disappear – Remain invulnerable to all guns for a round


Brute Force – Force a player to point their gun at another player for a round


Gun-play Mechanics:

After the leader selects his bank heist crew members and the loot has been tallied. The leader counts down 3-2-1 and everyone draws their guns. There are 2 options open at this moment: you can draw a gun at someone or you holster your weapon

If you draw your gun on someone: that person will lose a life but will still get a share of the loot

If more than one person points their gun at you: you lose a life and you do not get a cut of the loot


Mission Board:

The mission board serves as a marker for what mission you are currently on, how many crew members are participating in the mission and how big your loot will be in thousands. On the first mission, a 2 represents a total of 2 bank heist members participating in this round and a total number of 2 digits that will make up their loot (i.e. 10K). Players who are unlucky and draw 2 0’s will have no loot.


Player Lives:

Each player has 2 lives. When a player is shot he or she will overturn their life card to show an “X” meaning that they have been shot.


How to Play/Gameplay:

  1. Pick a player (player cards are distributed and not displayed). Only the player knows his or her character
  2. Move the “mission marker” to the first mission
  3. Crew leader picks the crew members to join him on the job based on the number on the “mission board”
  4. Each crew members pick a number from a bag
  5. The numbers are placed on the table that forms the total amount of loot
  6. Total amount of loot is revealed
  7. The leader calls out 3-2-1 and all players either draw out their guns at another crew member or holster their weapons (see Gun-play mechanics)
  8. Loot is then split evenly between crew members who are still in the game
  9. Game moves onto the next mission and repeat from step 3


Authors Note:

About The Game:

When creating this game, I wanted to create a game where it evoked emotion and forced the players to experience what it is really like to be somebody else. The idea of this bank heist game came to me when my friends and I were watching a YouTube clip of a bank robbery trailer and a he said that if he chose the bank crew, no one would back-stab each other after a successful heist. I wanted to challenge that idea.

Actual Playtest Observations:

When I play-tested this game in class I was very surprised to see that the game demonstrated the relationship between money and trust. The big question throughout the whole game was “who can I really trust?”. I think that the dynamic between power, money and trust was really highlighted in the later phases of the game. In the beginning, when only 2 members were chosen to go on a bank heist they could only receive a maximum of a 2-digit thousand number. So it was almost always split evenly between the two members. No one really cared about the smaller loot numbers and it was rarely fought over. As the game progressed and more and more players were chosen to participate in the heist the loot trust issues quickly began to grow and people started conversing with each other to try to reason things out. Today I played this game again with Mark, Carter, and Rachel. One of the interesting things that happened during the game was when Mark and Carter discussed about a compromise that if Mark pointed a gun at me this round he would not point the gun at Carter the next round. When the loot stacked up to be 5 digits people became anxious and there was no way to tell who you could trust unless you had protection or a way of assuring the other person that you would do what you say you would do.

Classroom Inspiration and Application:

Much of the inspiration came from “Jejune Institute” and the in class game “Room at the Top”. I have found that I like games that make you embody an emotion or a person and ultimately make you feel a certain way about a story or perspective. “Room at the Top” gave me some insight on hidden agendas and how they affect the dynamics of teamwork. I wanted to incorporate hidden agendas because the game “Room at the Top” demonstrated the awkward dynamic of trust and what are you really here for question. I added a hidden identity and ability to mimic the hidden agenda. I really liked how the “Jejune Institute” created a story for everyone to follow. I believe in a successful game the story creates flow in the different phases of the game and most importantly the story has to make sense for the game to be believable. The “mission board” idea was an appropriation of a game called “Resistance”. The board serves not only as a tracker for which current level you are on but also a counter for how many people are playing at a certain time.




Final Project First Iteration University Life Strategy Game

Cards game, cooperating, competitive, communication elements

Basing on my experience of university life,

Meaningful and important college events happened to me,

Learn, changed, improved my mindset or ability, affected my life and so on,

Found some inspirations from Friday indep & art game experience, The cost of life game, the book by Schrank.


Game (more specifically)
Characters: three main roles are students who came from three different majors: computer science, Sociology, and business major. Different major students can have one special quality that can provide advantage for him in the game. Other two roles: one professor, and maybe other roles like mentors, doctors, staffs and so on.


The firs year in the university

Five main events:

  1. Student Orientation:
  2. Get sickness
  3. Take a trip
  4. Fitness
  5. Do assignment at dinner time firstly/ take dinner firstly but maybe study later or study not good
  6. Study as one group for one project
  7. Club Activity:
  8. Assignments:
  9. Midterm Exam
  10. Final Exam
  11. Discusses with professor


Different decisions made in these events can make you obtain different things


Some attributes of players: health, grade, friendship, happiness,


In this game, we should learn to adapt the new environment, learn to have to give up something because we have limited time and energies. Monitor the real situations happened to me in the university.

Final Project Idea

For the final project, I’m thinking of making a card game about the relationship between romance and work, and how does one choose between them.

One thing I learned in this class is that games are not necessarily about winning; it’s about the experiences. A game that can’t be won can speak just as much as other games if not more, such as September 12th, Madrid, and The Graveyard. Therefore, I want to make the gameplay process more important than win or lose in my game. Other inspirations come from but are not limited to Shooting the Moon and the prisoner’s dilemma, for the player can choose to either cooperate or compete with the other player, but it’s hard to know what goal the other player has in mind.

This game is turn-based two-player game that uses a d6 dice occasionally. There will be two stacks of event cards, one for Love Life and one for Career. Each player will also have two bars, one for Career Status and one for Emotional Status. Career events affect the Career Status of the player who plays them, and Love Life events affect the Emotional Status of the other player. Each player will randomly get 3 Love Cards and 3 Career Cards in the beginning, and they will automatically draw from the pile after each round so that they would always have 3 Career Cards and 3 Love Cards. Each player plays one event card per round. There are multiple ways to win the game, the basic ones including reaching 100 Career Points, getting the other player to reach 100 Romance Points, or both players reaching more than 90 but less than 100 Romance Points and more than 90 but less than 100 Career Points.

Artwork #4 Concept

There are quite a few experiences that haven’t been presented in video game format, and a lot of them are because they’re somewhat specific experiences that can’t well be translated into more genres or mechanics. However, a lot of these more interesting and specific experiences I see from games like Gone Home or That Dragon, Cancer, come from a personal place in the developer’s lives. So, following in that suit, I decided that my personal experience with moving countries and the adjustment involved with that would be an interesting perspective to communicate to players who might nor(or may never) have to make a cultural adjustment of that magnitude.

I think the best way to communicate this sort of difference of cultures is through a some sort of immediate immersion into a game’s mechanics, without explaining them with an in-depth tutorial of sorts. The issue there is perhaps is finding a genre or more specific set of game mechanics that are easy and intuitive enough to learn without a tutorial, but complicated enough where they’re not something that just comes naturally to the player. Much like I had to learn a new language, I want to make the players feel odd and out of place at first, unsure if they’re using the mechanics correctly,  but also become able to learn them very easily as they gain more experience and are immersed in an environment where they can observe that mechanic being used ‘correctly’.

A possible way to do this is to add a new, creative mechanic to a 2D-platformer sort of game. This game would be likely taking after a game we’ve seen presented in our previous show-and-tells, In the Company of Myself, a game that I thought was an incredibly well done example of a meaningful narrative that expresses a personal feeling or event that players can personally attach to. This would likely not be a very long game, but just long enough to allow for players of any origin to be able to relate to the cultural barriers of moving from country to country.

Initial Concept for Artwork #4: Experience

Near the beginning of the semester I found out that one of my some of my friends were going out to ice cream, so I sent my roommate a text asking if I could come as well. I got no response. He apparently did intend to respond, but forgot to hit send on the message he wrote. I went to bed early thinking that my friends were ignoring me, and he didn’t ask my why I didn’t come because I was already asleep when he got back. About a week later the conversation turned to the ice cream run, and only then did everyone involved find out that my roommate forgot to hit send.

I want to try to make a game that simulates this feeling of being left out for seemingly no reason, but try to do it in a way that is still fun to play.

The best way to do this in my opinion is to make some sort of hidden role game with multiple layers. Each player will have a role visible to everyone (a color, shape, or something similar), and a hidden goal that only they know. Hidden goals would affect things like how players interact with players that have specific roles in each round. One of the hidden roles would be “The Initiator” or something, who would be the person that is inviting people to go do an activity (like getting ice cream, for example). The game takes place over multiple rounds, or “evenings,” with the goal being to try and “hang out” with friends each evening.

Everyone would be given some time to look at their hidden role and colors of everyone else, then each player would simultaneously pick two people to try and “hang out” with. If two people both select each other, they become a group. The two people “The Initiator” picks are automatically in a group with them, regardless of if they returned the pick or not. Points might be assigned for how many people are in a group, though you might just get points if you are in a group at all. There might be a hidden role that tries not to get in a group or something, but we’ll have to see how testing goes.

This idea is partially inspired by the games of Mafia and One Night Ultimate Werewolf, though without the social deduction aspects of those games. The idea of having two players have to choose each other for things to happen is also inspired by the Jackbox Party Pack 4‘s game Monster Dating Monster. I am also inspired by Yoko Ono’s “White Chess,” and how it makes it very hard to tell who is on what side. I want to try and recreate that feeling in this game.

Artwork #4: Experience pitch

The game that I want to make is a pervasive roleplaying/interactive theater game. It takes place over text message, where several actors play characters in a college friend group. The player or players join their conversations, and roleplay as their friend. Through theses conversations, a story is told about these characters, which all have  backstories and characteristics the actors will play with. These stories will be told naturally through conversation, although events will happen at certain times that will put pressure on the group. The game would take place over about a week, although it  could be edited to have varying timelines. It is up to the player to be a part of this friend group however they see fit. They can act as a consoling friend when their friends are in times of need, or they can be someone to laugh with. The game would ultimately culminate into one large event that shakes the group. The players will then be pushed to take some action as a response to the event. This action would be some sort of real life activity, that may evoke some call to action, or maybe just something playful to make the lives of your friends better.

This game is inspired by many of the pervasive games we looked at in class, as well as some instances of large scale LARPS where the players take the role of a character for more than one day, with an emphasis on interaction and collaboration. This game also borrows elements from Uncle Roy All Around You, where empathy and collaboration is the emphasis. The game is also inspired by the Indie game Emily was Away, which is a instant messenger based interactive novel. It captures an element that I’m really interested in, which is the interplay of friendship in times of need. I really love the idea of taking some play that is private, and letting it extend to affecting your real life. I also love alternative and non-linear forms of story telling, where the player can decide how much they want to get out of it.

This game would require a large amount of writing and participation from talented actors, but I think that I could pull it off.

Final Artwork Concept

For my final artwork, I would like to create a pseudo-escape room, primarily inspired by the game Gone Home. Similar to Gone Home, I envision a highly narrative-based experience that follows the life and experiences of one elusive protagonist through personal artifacts. Ideally, this would be a room filled with artifacts (similar to an escape room) that each contribute to the story.

I want to use this game to focus on the experience of life and some of the messier elements we experience as humans, such as depression and mental health/illness. In this regard, I was inspired by my own room. Looking around my room, I feel there are a lot of elements that are quite revealing and tell a very interesting narrative about the person I am, and this is something I really want to gamify. I imagine that this experience would probably be highly auto-biographical, drawing on many elements of my own life and my own struggles through life.

Unlike an escape room, the goal of this game is not to escape— it is for the player to acquire a certain level of empathy and understanding by piecing together conclusions based on the artifacts in the room. Players would be able to unlock clues through examining artifacts (example artifacts: journals, a computer, props and items that inform the protagonist’s interests and hobbies, etc). I am also considering adding an element of mystery to the game, perhaps encouraging the player to come to an ultimate conclusion or to solve some sort of mystery.

Final project fianl iteration: Trust game

How to play this game:

A murder happened at the Baker Street. Players pretend as detectives and the goal is to collect as many real clues as possible to find the murderer. Detectives often meet at the bar every evening to exchange some clues with each other. Some detectives would like to cooperate with others by telling real clues, some may not. Players need exchange one clue by switching the clue cards with every other player once at every turn. Sheriff wants detectives to find the murderer in 5 days and will reward the one who collects the most clues and find the murderer. Sherlock Holmes hears about that and decides to help. Once both players exchange the real clues, he will provide both of them with two new clues. If both cheat, they will not be provided any new clues. If one detective cheats, and the another one cooperates, the detective who cheats will get two more new clues, the other one will get nothing.

At the beginning, each player will be given a character card. Some character cards have the feature and players should not show it to others. Each player will also be given two clue cards: one fake and one real. The game will be ended after 5 turns or the there’s no more clues. The player who gets the most of real clues win the game.

Those are the card I designed:

Character cards: This is the character card. The front of this card has a small icon and a parallelogram to help you check the how many new clues you can get according to your and other detectives’ actions. The back of the card has the description of the characters.

  • Character is one of following:
  • Really nice guy: You always cooperate.
  • Cheater: You always cheat.
  • Copycat: You start with cooperation. Then, you copy whatever the player did to you at the last round.
  • Simpleton: You start with cooperation. If other players cooperate back to you, you do the same thing as last move. If others cheat back to you, you do the opposite move as last move.
  • Blank space: You can do anything you want.


Clue cards: This is the clue card. The real clue is marked with a check, and the fake clue marked with a “X”.

Art Statement:

Most of my idea is inspired by the reading of Avant-garde Video Games. From the book, I learn that avant-garde game is not only a game to play or fantastic visual effects to watch, but also a way to interact with players and to express something valuable to players. Authors can tell something to player through this game. Author’s expression and players’ reactions are also the most important parts of the avant-garde game. For example, the game September 12th impressed me a lot. It’s trying to tell players that the war cannot eliminate terrorists completely. Instead, the war creates fears and chaos and even leads more terrorists. Some other really good avant-garde games also try to express something valuable to players and invoke them to think about the problem or issue in a different way. Therefore, I want that my game is fun to play as well as will address some society problems. Sarcasm is an effective tool and often used to impress players. I also decide to use it in my game. (I will talk about sarcasm in later paragraph.)

My initial idea is to create a board game which expresses the issue of trust. Inspired by my last intervention project, I was thinking about some reasons which cause people not to sit together. One reason jumped out of my mind was distrust. People would not likely trust strangers because of their awareness of protecting themselves. Moreover, I found that some people wanted to win the game and left his initial group members during the game playing of Room at the Top. It was definitely a great strategy to win the game, but if you did so, other people could hardly trust you anymore. In real life, some people are willing to betray other’ trusts to gain benefits. Therefore, I want to create a game which includes trust and betrayal to see how people will react. Will they cooperate to win or will they cheat to win? Will they trust each other or not?

I am also inspired by Game Theory that everyone wants to win the game. People could choose to cooperate with others or cheat on others to win. Cooperation builds on the trust, and cheating will definitely destroy the trust. In my game, the best situation is that players exchange the real clues with each other for the win-win cooperation. However, there’s another situation that player can choose to cheat and get more clues, but it would destroy the trust and won’t get more benefits from other players anymore. Players can choose any strategy they want and they will see how the strategy will affect the result. People who cheat won’t get more clues if they destroy their trust. They may win in the short run, but people who choose to win-win strategy will win in the long run.

I added different character features, since I think these characters can represent people in our life. The really nice guys represent our family or our best friends. They will always trust you and provide you help, and you also trust them and should help them too. Copy cats can be our normal friends or classmates, since if you treat them well, they’ll also treat you well. Once you destroy the trust between you and your normal friends, it would be really hard to fix the relation. Cheaters often appear around us, but as long as we ignore them we are fine. I think my game is a good chance to experience how to cooperate with other to build the trust and how you destroy the trust.

While designing my cards, I also think about how to make them look clearer which will give the instruction directly and clearly like the score in Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit. Therefore, I create the small parallelogram for players to check the results they will have. At this time, I use the mathematical symbol and numbers to make the “score” instead of only using the words.

For sarcasm, cheaters can get more cards than others and goal of the game is to win. So why don’t we choose to cheat all the time? However, if everyone cheats, no one will get any more clues which means we will never find the murderer. What if we choose a win-win strategy? Then you might lose the game, since others are getting more clues at the same time! I think it’s a dilemma we also have in our society and the whole world. Everyone intends to be the best and the competition is grim, so people sometimes have to sacrifice their trust for more benefits. Competition in our world is nature, but I think people do have chances to choose a better and fair way to win instead of cheating others. A good way to evolve the trust is to have more communication to find the win-win situations. Our life is like a game, we might think the game rules us, but it’s actually our actions decide what the game or our life will be. We are keys to make our world better.

Interesting fact:

Copycat should be the last winner if there are lots of turns, since their principles are “live or let live”. They can cooperate with people they trust and not cooperate with people they distrust.