Pranav Gopan – Artwork #4 “Untitled Fox Project”

For our final project, Daniel Shapiro and I wanted to create a game that delves into the emotions of anxiety. Our game, “Untitled Fox Project”, is a 2D platformer that lets you play as a fox trying to rescue puppies in a building. As you explore and search for puppies, there are wolves that try to torment and stop you. Touching a wolf will have you respawn at a previous checkpoint. All the while, text consistently appears at the bottom of the screen. This text is meant to represent the fox’s inner thoughts and unease. Some examples include “Why can’t I breathe…” and “I’m just not strong enough” (I’ve attached a code snippet that shows all possible texts). The fox doesn’t believe it is worthy enough to take on this rescue mission. Because of past traumatic experiences and the pressure from the wolves, the fox’s anxiety gets to it. However, as you lead the fox up the building and collect more puppies, the fox starts to become more confident. When you approach the top levels of the building, the anxiety text disappears altogether and the fox is unfazed by the wolves. At the very end, a final wolf appears, asking you for forgiveness. You have a choice between answering yes or no. Choosing either will send you to a blank screen and the game will end.

We wanted the wolves to represent an emotionally abusive partner. Though due to the nature of the game, they can be perceived as the fox’s inner demons as well. Some things that the wolves say are “You deserve nothing.” and “It’s all your fault.” We left some vagueness so that the player can have their own interpretation. We also left the ending open-ended. There truly is no right or wrong answer when it comes to forgiving someone who has emotionally abused you. We believe that a person has truly moved on from their pain if it longer affects their life. The blank screen is meant to represent that. We drew inspiration from our own past experiences and games that were mentioned in class. Loved and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom were two in particular. The style, tone, and message of these games helped us form our own creation. The idea of going against the narrator’s demands felt inspiring. We wanted Untitled Fox Project to be a game that allowed people to step into the shoes of someone who experiences anxiety and is attempting to overcome it in a meaningful way.

Pranav Gopan – Artwork #3 News in Runescape

Something that has always fascinated me is bringing the real world into the digital space. Thanks to the many MMORPGs out there, people can communicate via text or voice chat in different game worlds. Some use communication for strictly game purposes, such as completing tasks or missions. Others enjoy the social aspect of it. In worlds meant for slaying dragons and collecting jewels, you may find parties with players dancing and talking leisurely with one another. And of course, there are those who don’t use communication at all. For my project, I wanted to explore an aspect of communication that isn’t frequently used in video games. In the real world, we learn about what happens outside our homes via the news. It’s important to stay updated, as what happens outside can have a direct impact on our own lives. When we play video games, we immerse ourselves in the game world. Despite the joy that comes, it’s important to stay grounded from time to time.

I created a score that involves the following steps.

  1. Choose an MMORPG.
  2. Enter a game world with a decent amount of players.
  3. Customize your avatar so that it is bright and noticeable.
  4. Open a web browser and load different news sites and fact pages.
  5. Go back to the game world and find other players.
  6. Type out different news headlines and facts around them.
  7. Try to relate the topics to what is happening in the game world.
  8. Wait for a response.

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to find a way to bring the real world into the digital. This score was how I did so. The MMORPG that I chose was Runescape. For an hour, I traveled to different parts of the game world and encountered various people. My main goal was to spark reactions from other players and possibly carry out conversations. At first, I would stand next to players and type out random news headlines. For example, one headline was, “Trump says Ukraine whistleblower must testify, blasts offer of written answers”. However, I did not get many reactions when I did so. Most people would walk away or not reply at all. After some time, I decided to try a different approach. There is a place in the game world with many cows and I found one player slaying them. I began searching for cow facts on my browser and typed them out on Runescape. After saying, “A cow will chew about 50 times in a minute”, I received my first reply. The other player responded, “Nope”. I wanted to keep speaking, so I typed, “Cows have great senses”. The other player responded, “You can’t tell me what to do your not my moo”. For me, this was a win. Though the conversation was simple, I at least received a reply. I continued my journey to an in-game ore field, where I saw a few players mining. I took this as an opportunity to search for real-life facts about fracking. After describing fracking in the game world, one player replied, “Really? Didn’t know that”. I felt happy at this moment. Mainly, it was because someone learned something new through the score.

From what I observed through this experience, players don’t enjoy listening to the news in game worlds. However, when performing long mundane tasks, such as slaying cows or mining ore, players are interested in listening to relevant facts. I can understand seeing how these tasks take up a decent amount of time and can get pretty tiresome. Having someone there to surprise you with knowledge might make the experience a little better.

Link to gameplay:

Pranav Gopan – Indie Game (Loved)

In almost all video games, players have to follow a set of rules or instructions. If they deviate from them, chances are, they will lose the game. Loved, however, is a unique exception. An indie platformer game made by Alexander Ocias, Loved begins with the question, “Are you a man, or a woman?” If you choose man, the game will respond, “No, you are a girl.” If you choose woman, it will tell you, “No, you are a boy.” Following this, the game asks if you need instructions to play. If you respond no, it will tell you that you will fail. From the start, you will understand that the narrator does not want your best interest. The platformer part of the game soon begins and the narrator’s text will occasionally reappear on the screen. Here is where the game gets truly interesting. The game world is black and white, with minimalistic art and eerie music playing in the background. Often, the narrator will tell you to do a certain task, such as touch a statue or take a certain path. If you listen to the narrator’s instructions, the game world will change into a detailed version of itself. The narrator will hauntingly tell you that you’re doing a good job. On the other hand, if you refuse to listen to the narrator, the game world becomes more colorful. The narrator will try to demean you each time you do, but it might be better to simply ignore it. The game is very short. It takes 5-10 minutes to complete one run-through. Depending on how you play (listening or refusing the narrator), the game will give you a different ending. If you consistently listen to the narrator, in the end, the narrator will tell you that it loved you. If you refuse frequently, it will ask why you hated the narrator. Though there are several interpretations for it, Loved is meant to be a game about dealing with abusive relationships. The narrator’s text can represent inner thoughts that stop us from achieving our potential. It wants you to follow a set path and not deviate it from it at all. Each time you do, it scolds and demeans you. It can also describe an abusive partner that forces you to act a certain way. When you beat the game by refusing, the narrator is clearly hurt, showing a personal connection to the player. By the end, you might have feelings of guilt, despite the narrator’s clear desire for control. Overall, Loved is an experience that comes with a bag of mixed emotions. Though short, it is thought-provoking and leaves you to question what it means to truly love another individual and yourself.

Pranav Gopan – Artwork #2 Donut Defender

In most video games, you play as a hero trying to achieve an objective while defeating some enemies. Take Space Invaders, for example. In the classic arcade game, you play as a pilot ship trying to destroy evil alien aircraft. It’s obvious that you need to defend what’s right and take down what’s wrong. For my project, I wanted to spin that concept around. In my game, Donut Defender, you play as a pizza slice and your goal is to block and deflect any delicious healthy fruits that fall down the screen. By the way, there is a donut at the bottom of the screen and if a fruit touches it, it will replicate. If enough donuts fill up your screen, you lose the game. Now you might be wondering, shouldn’t I have made a game where the objective was to defend fruits and extinguish donuts and pizzas? Well my goal was intentional. I wanted this game to be a subtle reflection on how America values unhealthy foods. According to data from the federal government, breads, sugary drinks, and pizza are among Americans’ top sources of calories. They are also made from seven crops that are greatly subsidized by the federal government (corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, sorghum, milk, meat). This means that junk foods can not only be made in great quantity, but also for a cheap price. The real kicker is that the government gave $170 billion in agricultural subsidiaries between 1995 and 2010 in order to produce these goods (O’Connor 1). If we live in a society that pushes for so many healthy eating initiatives, how come the money is going to the foods that aren’t so healthy?

Now that I’ve explained my game’s hidden agenda, let me go into detail about the game’s mechanics. Though it is currently a computer game, it is intended to be played on mobile devices. You would use your finger to drag the pizza icon and deflect incoming fruits. For each fruit you deflect, you earn 10-30 points. Apples give you 10, pears give you 20, and bananas 30. My original design had it so that every time a donut replicates, the player would earn more points. This gave the player the incentive to spawn some donuts, so that they would earn more points by the end of the game. I’m still unsure if I want this to be the case and further play testing might help me come to a conclusion. There are also coins that randomly fly across the screen every now and then. If the player were to risk moving to a different position and acquire the coins, they will eventually be able to buy different donut skins. I created five skins so far, but if I further develop the game, I could create more. Overall, I wanted this game to be an easygoing experience that also builds your finger reflexes (and maybe make you think about the FDA).

O’Connor, Anahad. “How the Government Supports Your Junk Food Habit.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 July 2016,


Pranav Gopan – Appropriation Object

At first glance, this object looks like a normal camera lens. It’s the same exact shape, has image stabilization controls, and a distance indicator. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll realize it is actually a cup. There is a bar in Chinatown called The Ghost Walks. If you go there and order a drink called the Paparazzi, you will receive alcohol in this same exact cup. Made to mimic a Canon camera lens, the cup even has “Caniam” printed on it to make reference. It is an interesting take on what can be used to serve drinks.

Pranav Gopan Score #1 – Shared Fire / Shared Passion


Two people, one piece of canvas paper, one lighter

One person holds the canvas paper at a 45-degree angle.

The other person takes the lighter and makes a mark on the paper using the flame.

Switch roles after each mark is formed.

The game is over if the paper catches on fire.

The game is won if an image can be made.


Intimacy is like a dance. One person makes a move and the other mirrors with their own style. Repetition of this creates a flow between two people. The flow can be smooth and beautiful. A mutual understanding can build into something memorable and worthwhile. At the same time, a single mistake can break the rhythm. Once a delicate image can turn into something unrecognizable. And soon the flow between two people is gone altogether.

The idea behind this project is to reflect the nature of relationships. Two people have to work together in order to create a beautiful picture. I chose fire as the main element because of its relentless and unpredictable nature. To leave an elegant mark, one must hold the flame just at the right distance from the paper and just for the right amount of time. All while, the other person must steadily hold the paper. Relationships require care, attention, and trust. When done right, beautiful memories are formed. But a single mistake can make those memories disappear. Just like in this score, a single mistake can lead to the whole paper catching on fire and destruction of past marks.

I knew I wanted to work with fire after seeing Wolfgang Paalen’s work, Fumage, in class. I spent the past summer working on various fire paintings myself, so it was exciting to start another project. Since I couldn’t find a friend who was brave enough to work with fire, I’ve attached a video of me playing both roles, along with a few of my own pieces.