Trailer (YouTube Link) : https://youtu.be/vGMKHkdelpM
Playthrough Video (YouTube Link) : https://youtu.be/uCazMyLhmLE
The depiction of trauma in mainstream media, especially video games, is often quite stereotypical. There, it serves as a catalyst to make the protagonist a ruthless killing machine; Max Payne( Rockstar Games, 2001). Or an unstable, unpredictable wreck; Dead Space 2(Visceral Games, 2011). This depiction is quite reductive, explored through dialogue by most games. There are very few games that discuss the process of recovering from trauma, so I have created this vertical slice for a 2D side scrolling game, Shackled. This aims to tell a story without dialogue, instead using the level design technique of environmental storytelling (Henry Jenkins, 2003) to convey this narrative. This project combines a gritty pixel art style with childlike, drawing visuals as a means of environmental storytelling.
With this vertical slice, I intend to demonstrate the importance of presenting narratives about trauma with a positive note, as well as explore how a story like this can be expressed without dialogue. Through this, I aim to make my community of practice consider using level design as a means of storytelling, as well as create works with a more nuanced depiction of trauma.