everybody's sad is a a weird, therapeutic, kinetic VR experience about learning to balance self care and care for others.
AVAILABLE NOW ON STEAM AND ITCH.IO
2018 GAMING EVERYWHERE EXHIBITION
The goal of this project was to provide players with an experimental VR experience that pushes the envelope of what VR games can be. By making players use their voices and bodies in new ways, we aimed to provide them with a more immersive experience in which they can discover the delicate balance between caring for others and themselves. Through this game, we wanted to emphasize the importance of balancing caring for others and caring for yourself, as well as innovating what games can do in VR.
Our mission was to create an innovative play experience for VR. To us, that means something that is non-violent, short and easy to learn, that uses room-scale to its full potential. everybody's sad can be played at home, but was designed to be a festival experience, meaning play will only take about 15 minutes.
everybody's sad was created as a senior capstone project at UC Santa Cruz. Our team comprised of students from the Computer Science: Computer Game Design and the Arts, Games, and Playable Media undergraduate programs. It was originally developed for the HTC Vive, but has since been ported to Oculus Rift and Quest.
I served as the team's Art Director and main
Since this was a student game, everyone on the team wore many hats. I also contributed to interaction design, voice acting direction, and promotional and marketing materials design.
Our design process for everybody's sad was based on the MDA framework developed by Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, and Robert Zubek. MDA stands for mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics, the three components of the game experience.
With our aesthetic goal (self reflective) we moved backwards through the framework to develop our mechanics within the constraints of VR. Beyond our aesthetic goals, we also hoped to create an experience which was funny, cute, and emotionally intimate, which greatly influenced our visual direction.
everybody's sad is a game about self care and the dangers of people pleasing, which we aimed to reflect in our mechanics. Some of our interactions are intentionally designed to be uncomfortable, for example the chair character asks the player to sit on them, which requires the player to hold a squat position for a strenuous amount of time. The beer bottle character asks the player to drink from them, causing the visuals to wave and blur, an uncomfortable effect in the realm of VR.