A mobile game to promote self-care via abstract story telling
This project was created in order to respond to the lack of education and empathy regarding depression and self-care. This mobile game allows the user to delve into an immersive story that follows a character on their journey to a state of emotional well-being. The goal of this project was to transcend beyond the barriers of language, and educate the public about depression.
Role: UX Designer, Illustrator, Motion Designer
Research: Interviews, Prototyping, Ideation
Tasks: Branding, Interactive Design, Motion
Result: Social Media Deliverables, Low-Fidelity Interactive Game
"Create an immersive mobile game that will help users empathize"
A cocktail of depression and anxiety have ruled over my life for as long as I can remember. The most difficult part of being diagnosed with these mental illnesses, is trying to decipher how to heal myself. In response to this problem, I wanted to create an accessible mobile game that would transcend demographic borders. Through abstract story telling, I wished to showcase the importance and benefits of self care during turbulent times.
The research phase of this project involved researching several government sanctioned websites and interviewing several local therapists. With seeing and hearing about the several types of depression and anxiety, I ran into the problem of trying to cater to all needs. This unnecessary effort ended up dizzying the end goal, and provided a keen insight into who my target audience should consist of.
A typical response was that the concept felt distant, and required empathy. Having learned this, I quickly began brainstorming for the next solution. As I began to sketch out ideas and iterations in my sketchbook, I came to realize that I felt comfort when others were able to empathize with me. I wished to create something accessible on mobile platforms, while maintaining a new goal: to help users not only understand what depression may look like, but also how it may feel.
04. VISUAL LANGUAGE
Initially, I found myself digging a hole to a designer's worst nightmare: something that just looks "pretty." Even though the visuals were originally accepted, I came to realize that the style inevitable marginalized those with varying sights. Wishing to remain loyal to the original goal of keeping the game accessible, I went back to my sketchbook. What followed, was the challenge of trying to develop a visual language that would be accessible and beautiful.
05. COLOR PSYCHOLOGY
Understanding the importance of color psychology was incredibly important during this process. With research, I later discovered that blue and purple are associated with tranquility, serenity, and curiosity. After choosing a blue/purple toned color palette, the next step consisted of finding the perfect hues.
06. AUDITORY EXPERIENCES
As a fan of what sound can provide for the user, I curated a short playlist with hypothetical songs that would be included in the game.
07. SCENERY DESIGN
I wanted to continue developing a game that had the main character, B, face obstacles that required the collection of five pillars. Each pillar was to represent an element that associated itself with depressive episodes. Fire would represent the lowest of times, the earth would represent a rare sense of being grounded, and the list goes on.
08. CHARACTER DESIGN
Creating a ghost character wasn't a choice of maintaining a "cute aesthetic." As I was going through different character iterations, I challenged myself and wondered how I would explain how depression felt to a child. As someone who battles with depression and anxiety in a debilitating way, I related how I felt to a ghost. Post depressive-episode, I tend to feel hollow. It is immensely difficult to feel grounded, and I considered the ghost to be representative of that.