Our emotional well-being affects everything around us, from our ability to work to the way we treat others. A few games have explored the ways in which mood swings can impact gameplay, with Nintendo's Super Princess Peach and Namco's Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures drastically shifting their mechanics and objectives based on their main characters' emotional states.
For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, our readers designed games with mechanics that focus on the main character's mood. Here are our top picks!
Hue Lorène, Game Design Student at ArtFX in Montpellier, France, Dramatic Theater (see page 2)
Feng Jinn Phang, Game Development Student at KDU University College, The Last Journey (see page 3)
Stevannus Lake, Game Development Student at KDU University College, The Theft! (see page 4)
Gustavo Moreira, Game Designer/Student at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Pain7 (see page 5)
Owen Jones, Writer & Blogger, Emote Fighters (see page 6)
Emila Skwarek, Unaffiliated, Fast Learner (see page 7)
Hue Lorène, Game Design Student at ArtFX in Montpellier, France, Dramatic Theater
Dramatic Theater is a rhythm game, inspirited by the game Princess Debut, set in a 2.5D view, in a coloured and cartoon universe. Platform: Nintendo 3DS.
The player embodies an alien whose spaceship crashed on Earth. Unfortunately, the crash of his ship killed a man. To avoid suspicion, the alien decided to take the place of the victim. Unfortunately, the victim was a drama actor, and the alien is unable to feel any emotion. In the hope of leaving the planet, the alien will have to play the comedy in order to earn enough money to repair the parts of his ship.
For this, the character must participate in theater scenes and succeed in his work as an actor. After each performance, the character will earn money which he can then spend to repair his ship.
Character: On the top screen, the character plays a theater performance directly impacted by the player's movements on the bottom screen. If the player misses his action, the character fails.
Theatre: Each party is a representation of theatre with different scenes and acts. Each level has a name like Hamlet, the misanthrope etc...
Rhythm: During each scene, the player press buttons on the screen and uses the stylet to move a sphere between several buttons. The rhythm is base on the sound and the visual of the theater representation.
Emotions: The character must represent the right emotions to succeed his action during his performance. For that, each emotion requires a precise rhythmic pattern to succeed.
Free moments: During certain passages of the performance, the player is free to perform the pattern to the emotion of his choice. (By using his memory.) There is only one correct answer to get a maximum of points in this moment, however if the sequence is successful, the player will earn a certain number of points. If it fails, the audience's gauge will go down.
Score: The game awards points both for accuracy and for synchronization with the beat (visuel to the theater representation). Degrees of success: Miss, Nice, Great, Amazing, Perfect.
Money: At the end of the representation, the character gain money usable to repair pieces of his space ship, or to buy cosmetics for the character. (Skins) The gauge of audience give a bonus (or malus) depending on its fulfilment, on the money gain.
Feng Jinn Phang, Game Development Student at KDU University College, The Last Journey
Genre: Fantasy, Turn-based RPG
Premise: Hero and his/her team travelled to Demon King Castle to defeat Demon King. In the epic fight, they lost and died. With a mysterious blessing (voice of goddess/spirit) that had casted on hero long before the end, hero was brought back to life. But there is nothing he/she can do, until he/she casts the miraculous time spell that comes with a price.
Concept: Hero travels back in time to discover the mysterious blessing/voice, unfold the story behind his/her teammates, and learn the overlooked consequences of previous expedition. Once hero is not able to pay the spell price (Level/Exp), he/she will lose the power of time travel. And thus, begin his/her last journey to save the world.
Gameplay Summary: Player starts in the last stage of the story: Demon King Castle. A mysterious voice will guide player to travel back to the beginning and alter the destiny. To reach true ending, player needs to collect key items and defeat demon king.
Combat system: Although it is a turn-based combat, there will not be any skill nor normal attack for player to choose. As the hero is getting weaker and weaker, the only possible way to defeat enemies and monsters is through the help of hero's allies. While in combat, player can choose how the hero communicates with allies who have their own emotion to deal with as well. Explore each character's story to understand their personalities better, and consequently, have a better control and strategy in combat.
Example of how the combat works:
1. Hero communicates with ally A using happy emotion. Ally A has a favourable impression on Hero and has the role of spell caster. As the Hero's health point is full, so the outcome will be ally A casting a damaging spell on enemy.
1. a. Hero communicates with ally A using angry emotion. Assuming in first turn of combat, ally A damaging spell was not effective at all. In addition, player only goes through ally A ‘have a favourable impression on Hero' story. Therefore, the outcome of second turn may be ally A skip a turn or even run away from the team (leave Hero's party).
b. Hero communicates with ally A using happy emotion. Player does not learn the story where it shows ally A has strong confidence and learned magic: FireStorm. Ally A may attack enemy with normal attack only with high chance of missing the target.
2. Because of ally A (let's say leave the party), ally B that has a depressed personality may escape the battle no matter what emotion player chooses to communicate with him/her (depends on ally B's story that player has gone through).
3. As player has learned the part of ally C's story (berserker that only trusts ally A and dislikes Hero), as ally A left, communicates with ally C using angry emotion may cause ally C to betray.
Stevannus Lake, Game Development Student at KDU University College, The Theft!
The Theft! is a 5v5 team-based multiplayer action game that will be released for Windows . Each team consists of five players that are fighting each other for treasures . The game will end when one team success to collect a certain amount of treasures in their container.
In 3050 where all the futuristic things are existed , there are two team of thieves that are trying to steal treasures from a secret time traveller container at a hidden secret place . At first , both teams do not realize that there are another team that are also trying to steal the treasures . After a while , they finally realize that there is another team to fight in order to complete their mission .
Features 4 type of emotions that have advantages and disadvantages for players to choose :
Normal movement speed ; Melee or Ranged weapon with normal damage ; Ability to heal himself or surrounding .
Move very slow ; Ranged weapon with high damage ; Ability to spread a bunch of deadly arrows in front of him .
Move very fast ; Melee weapon with high damage ; Ability to explode himself at certain radius .
Move fast ; Melee weapon with low damage ; Ability to become invisible at certain time .
Core Game Loop :
Player can choose their favourite emotion type at the beginning of the match and will not be able to change until the game ends or start a new game . There will be a number of places where treasures are hidden on the map. So the players must collect treasure as a team and win the match. The player that died will respawn in the random respawn spot in the map ( different from the first time they spawn or respawn) . When players are carrying the treasure , they will not be able to do anything rather than just moving unless they drop the treasure on the floor.
The players in a team are able to choose to leave all the treasures they have collected by himself or wait for their friends to come and escape together. If the player choose to run away with all the treasures they have collected by himself , he will get all the big winning prizes for himself and the rest of his team will be considered losing the game. But, if they run away as a team then the winning prize will be shared between them or the winners.
Gustavo Moreira, Game Designer/Student at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Pain7
Inspired by Wandersong, Journey and Gris, "Pain7" is a puzzle platform game where the player take a place in a journey to discover himself and the world. The world lost the colors and remains in silence. People are confuse and drowning in their feelings.
Each emotion is related with a color. A color/emotion will affect the world while is activated.
For example: activating the emotion fear gives the player the ability of stealth. The scene objects what is related with green will be colored. The main character also will change its for a dark shade of the color/emotion activated.
The player doesn't have health bar but instead it has to manage his feelings to not overload. When a emotion is activated a bar related with this emotion will start to increase, when is full the player will back to his last checkpoint.
There is 7 chapters in the game. Each chapter is represented by a color and an emotion, which unlock an ability. Chapters and abilities listed below:
Chapter 1: Sadness
Color Blue - Ability: Swim.
Chapter 2: Empathy
Color Orange - Ability: Interact with NPCs.
Chapter 3: Anger
Color Red - Ability: Dash.
Chapter 4: Fear
Color Green - Ability: Stealth.
Chapter 5: Love
Color Violet - Ability: Double jump.
Chapter 6: Loathing
Color Indigo - Ability Glide.
Chapter 7: Happiness
Color Yellow - All the colors in the world are restored.
Owen Jones, Writer & Blogger, Emote Fighters
Emotions are both beautiful and ugly thing to experience. Just being able to laugh, cry, and feel love is something that we all should do. But when negative feelings appear it can truly cause a major disaster for you and others around you. So in order to stop them from wreaking havoc on the outside world, you have to take care of the problem from within.
Emote Fighters is an RPG game that focuses on battling the evil mental organization known as the Disorda. You play as the human who is next to feel Disorda's wrath. As you travel farther into Emotia, the dream world that your brain created, you run into beings all based on human emotions. With the physical generated body sensitive to Disorda's army you need the help of the widespread of emotions that you know from heart. It is time to introduce the guardians of your emotional state.
Each guardian is not only a protector that makes sure you function safely but embodiments of your actual emotions. Join forces with the classic trio team Happy, Sadness, and Anger to start off as your Emote Fighters. In a turn-based fighting mechanic, you fight off the remnants of Disorda's army to be able to take down the head honcho yourself. Along the way, meet up with other emotions to build your fighting roster to overthrow the enemy before they put you in a neverending stasis of negativity. Have them fight alongside you as partners or form a bond with the emotion as they transform into their attack weapon.
Yes, your emotions are also your battle items to fend off evil. Anger turns into a pair of gauntlets that fuel the burning desire to punch Depression square in the face. Happy acts like a giant blaster that shoots waves of smile energy to cheer up even the saddest enemy. Sadness possesses a powerful sword that can slice through the joyful feeling of prideful enemies kicking your butt. There are so many emotions to Not only are the weapons alone are powerful but imagine what combing certain emotions together gives you.
Along the way, there will be special action moments where you need a certain emotion in order to complete the task and explore more of Emotia. For example, let anger bust heavy objects that are blocking the path or hiding a secret treasure within the walls. Let Sadness sibling Sorrow fill an empty river with its tears in order to let the water mill produce energy. Not every emotion will look exactly like you as they are a separate being themselves.
Choose how your emotions look like by selecting their gender of either being male, female, androgynous or their beast form. Customize your characters with special outfits that can increase their stats and give them a better percentage to inflict emotional status effects. Signs of emotional status would be like nausea (poison), confusion, and afraid (paralysis). Are you the master of your own emotions?
Emila Skwarek, Unaffiliated, Fast Learner
You just got to a totally new environment, you have your backpack full of sources (for now) and believe that you are a fast learner!
a. mood sources:
4 types of mood sources (emotional, social, mental, physical)
source need to be charged
source has more than one booster
sources are needed to complete the challenges
are hidden in the environment (natural beauty, relationships, environmental)
1 booster can charged more than 1 type of source
you need to pay points for the boosters
c. Mood enemies
are source suckers
1 enemy can suck from a few source
enemies are hidden in the environment (natural obstacles, interactions, environmental)
to complete the challenge you need to have a right mix of the mood sources
every challenge has the information about the type of sources needed to complete it
the is no information about the right amount of source in the mix needed to complete it
to get the highest amount of points you have to have the right amount of the sources
you can still complete the challenge with source shortage, but you will get less points
You are in a totally new environment - yesterday you were a student and today you are starting an internship in a big company in crowded city! For 2 weeks you are going to face not only a new tasks at the internship, but also live at much bigger city. Soon you will find out that you have just the specific amount of mood sources every day and you need to get smart on using them.
Remember - you are not alone, you can always count on your mood source, but you will have to find them. For example - you will find your emotional and physical mood booster visiting cafe, talking in the queue. Everyday challenges - based on your hunch and experience you need estimate, if you have the right amount of source in your backpack to complete the challenge Be careful and watch out for the mood source suckers, they might be everywhere! If your physical mood source would be bad you would probably did not talk in the queue and lost the chance to charge the emotional source of mood. Just look around, act and make conclusions - everything matters!