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Our Epiphany

Event: Young Games Designer AwardsDate: Saturday 29 June 2019  Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, LondonHosts: TBC-Area: Game StillsBAFTA/Yue Qi

Our Epiphany (Desktop) – Yue Qi (15) Coventry

“Pretty lies hide behind a pretty guise and, just as that is so, the layers we unravel from someone's words can reach a much deeper level than what we typically expect.”

"Our Epiphany" follows two boys who bump into each other, and not just figuratively, in a busy street by sheer coincidence. The strong undercurrent of Maicha’s bubbling anger, combined with the shock and worry felt by Daichi causes everything around them to pause – literally. This unexpected surge of opposing emotions contorts their plane of reality, allowing them to see odd, ‘dandelion-like’ critters hovering around the stationary humans. Humans who are all frozen, except for the two protagonists.

Much of the aesthetics within the game will portray significant levels of colour, the varying spectrum is able to aid visual storytelling due to the emotions they can connote. The element of colour is primarily found within the fictional species of Mihua who serve as the main metaphor in this story. In earlier chapters, there will be a lack of Mihua surrounding the main characters but as the story progresses, they will become more understanding of their hearts - perhaps an increase in yellow ones when they are happy to have succeeded, or red ones when they discover their feelings for the other protagonist.

Similar to most other desktop-based games, "Our Epiphany" will use the keyboard to navigate throughout the game but would also be compatible with items such as controllers - which can be connected to the desktop device. General interaction within the game will use the spacebar and arrow keys. 

The player will be able to choose between the two main characters to control for the portions of interactive gameplay, the other will be navigated automatically behind the player. There will also be an option for a second player to participate - the second player will control the other character not already in use.

Storytelling games incorporate a broad audience, appropriate to how stories can be universal and perceived in many varied ways. In this particular case, the main audience of this game would be younger children around 7 years or older as the game carries the moral code of what many of us are told in our younger years – that words can hurt - yet we never fully learnt about the exact consequences. I do still believe the audience can be expanded to reach an older age group looking to experience a simple yet immersive little story with a twist on the aforementioned idea.

More games in recent years are trying to incorporate increased levels of an open-minded approach in design; whilst it is delightful to see this progress, the way topics are being touched upon seemed too forced for younger children to consume at an appropriate level. "Our Epiphany" will show messages and topics in a more passive way, not dulling down the importance of a subject but making it so that children can start to understand the things that may not often be explained at an adequate level. Topics like sexuality, race, disabilities and so on are often loudly emphasised in a game for diversity when they shouldn't be. These are normal things and should be presented as such, they shouldn't be the sole appeal of a game/narrative standpoint.