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

Wip (Unity) – Adam Pace (18) Sunderland

“A short story-driven platformer about friendship, loss and moving forward.”

You the player come across a PC that is running an old operating system and has been out of use for many years. Stored within it you find an abandoned game project and its protagonist "Char1" a highly advanced AI that has been running on the desktop. "Char1" asks you to help him navigate through the game's levels and defeat the colourful characters that exist in the world. Through the adventure, he forms a bond with you (the player) and tells you more about himself and the game's creation. As you approach the end of the journey you come realise the unfortunate reality of "Char1's" existence and he asks you to make the ultimate decision regarding his future.

Through working on Wip I developed numerous skills in game development, art, animation and most of all storytelling and world building. I tried taking on a whole new way of creating games, taking more time to focus on the story and atmosphere of the game. The story is one I’d wanted to tell for a while as it has a message that means a lot to me. So making the story as best as I could was a must. It was a great way to exercise my creative writing skills. As well with the atmosphere, in my previous games, I've often overlooked the power of lighting and how it can really set the tone of a level. So with each level, I tried using different techniques to get a different feeling whilst playing through. This worked especially well with the final stage where the bright colourful lights contrast with the grey lifeless city.

The biggest difficulty I had was when writing the story and dialogue for 'Char1'. I wanted to make him a likeable, friendly character and to get him and the player to form a connection with one another. I really needed that to convey the message of finding friendship in unlikely places. I also needed the ending to be impactful and memorable, and a one that wraps up the story well, so the player walks away satisfied. I kept scrapping scripts for the game over and over as I could never think of any way to make the story work well. I eventually sat down and properly thought about not just the story of the game but everything surrounding it like, how was 'Char1' made, what kind of computer was it running etc. This made the story easier to piece together and how I ended up making the script.

For future development, I would like to add a way for the player to interact with 'Char1'. Like with simple yes and no answers which would change the outcome of the story and 'Char1's' attitude towards the player. This would give a much more interesting dynamic to the game and make the player's experience more emotional.