Week 12 Concept Design & Metaphor Explanation
Metaphor and concepts explanation: The theme is trying to express the main character’s (Peter) emotion changes through the journey without using dialogues and facial details from him. In this way, metaphors are the most important tool in this game. So, this week will focus on explaining all the concepts, design intentions, and metaphors of this game.
1, Weather: Weather is one of the main metaphors that express the emotion of the boy, I divided it into two parts, the inner weather (happens in the boy’s mind) and outer weather (The actual weather). Outer weather: Sunny day (relatively hot, strong sunlight.) Inner weather: Cloudy, Rain, Heavy Rain, Sunny day (Back to reality) The real weather keeps the same all the time in the game, so the way to show Peter’s mind is by using the rain dropping sound, only the sound, there is no rain at all in the screen. This idea came from the weekly theme about sound, the worse mood Peter has at the moment, the heavier the rain happens in his mind, the louder rain sound will appear in the game.
2, Shadow: Shadow is another metaphor that is about expressing the character's mindset. Shadow of Peter: the shadow length decreases through the journey, which means that he comes closer and closer to the light source or the sun (His friends) in his mind. Peter’s friend has no shadow because they are the light source itself, if they have a shadow, it might feel like there is a dark side of them which may cause some mislead about the concept. Pedestrian’s shadow all point to a different direction which means everyone has their own situation, they have different light sources, for example, family. The idea came from the weekly theme which is about light, I was trying to use different light sources to form different shadows for every character. And shadow can be used as a metaphor to show everyone got their own situation.
3, Reaction from Pedestrians The reaction from pedestrians can also influence Peter’s mindset. Sometimes, when we are in a bad mood, we feel like everyone is against us, although the truth is they are not even talking about us. I was trying to form this kind of feel in this game by using pedestrian’s reactions. Umbrella: When Peter passing people who have umbrellas, they just hold up their umbrellas. From Peter’s point of view, he feels like they trying to isolate the connection with him by holding up the umbrella, the truth is they just want to shade themselves. The game is a top-down view perspective, when Peter passes those pedestrians, people hold up their umbrellas, it looks like Peter’s emotion can spread to influence other people. Dialogues: Pedestrians will talk to each other and Peter can hear those dialogues. They talking about their own experiences but in Peter’s point of view, they are talking about him which made him feel even worse.
Character design: The character design mainly focused on the question about what expression should this character provide? In order to respond to this question, two main aspects which are colour and characteristics were considered. Peter: Colours used are between cold and warm colour which means this character is at a fork in life road, he can walk into a dark bad ending or a lighting good ending, both are possible and depends on the player’s action. Trying to form a neutral personality, which can help players make their own choice. Friends: More warm colours were used, to show that they have a positive influence on Peter. The boy has a naughty and emotional person who also really cares about friendship and the girl is a naive and considerate person. They are like very classic characters in Japanese anime. Pedestrians: More cold colour applied to these characters, to reinforce the indifferent feeling that Peter feels from them, although they are not real unconcerned people. Character’s posture and clothing also design based on that feeling.
Interact part: Player can walk around within the game, when Peter walks close to a character he can hear the dialogues or observe what they are doing. The player can talk to pedestrians as well, for example, staffs of stores. There also are some events that will happen during the journey, for example, Peter’s exam paper will drop on the ground, the player should pick them up, simultaneously, this will remind Peter what the teacher said to him.
Topic: The topic that this game would like to discuss is hidden behind pedestrian’s dialogue. Although people talking about their own thing, not Peter, they still judging other people which means bully not only happen between student and child, the adult’s world is the same. Even Peter meet the good ending, the problem is not solved as well, but that does not mean we should stop fighting, even things can be really tough sometimes, there still something worth fighting for, for example, family, friends. This is the topic, even it is hard, and all the effort may be useless, but we should not stop fighting for wonderful moments around us.