Level Design: In Loving Memory

In this shooter modification game, my goal was to make things as abstract as possible, since the game before this was so literal (the Reagan game). The basic world metaphor of my game is the same as the one as the world metaphor for my conference but a bit less defined and more abstract, it is a metaphor about memory and grief. The player moves a small blue circle around the screen, shooting hearts at ever-shrinking spirals. When the heart bullet collides with the spiral, it expands for a moment, then continues to shrink. Once all of the spirals have disappeared from shrinking too far, or if the player preserves a certain number of memories, the game is over and the player is given the opportunity to “Grieve Again.”

My design didn’t change too much over time,  I wanted a simple mechanic to match the simple, abstract art. One thing that kept changing as I developed the game, though, was the way I coded the shrinking memories. I kept reworking the code, looking up and figuring out other ways to write functions to make the memories shrink.

The constant shrinking of the memories definitely pushes the players away from their player goal to keep the memories growing. In fact, it’s impossible to keep the memories growing forever. In this way, as the memories disappear and the score is subtracted, anxiety in the player increases.

A more developed critique of this game is present in my conference critique since this game has the same metaphor and mechanics as the second level of my conference game.