Presentation Slidedeck: Link
Remember your first Pokemon game. One of the first questions the Professor asks you-- even before you get to choose your Pokemon-- is this: "Are you a boy or a girl?" With particular avatars to match. However, life isn't that binary. For that reason, I created a different type of game that's more inclusive of the different people across the gender and sexuality spectrums.
What it does
Meet a LGBTQIA+ friendly queer crew! You can explore who you are and what you want in Prideland. Witty or flirty branching dialogue options. Explore this safe haven's beautiful surrounding environment created from colorful amethyst. Converse with the inhabitants of Prideland to play minigames like "LGBTQIA+ Trivia" to learn more about queer history and icons.
- Branching dialogue options!
- Beautiful environment to explore.
- Cast of LGBTQIA+ characters to converse with.
- LGBTQIA+ Trivia Game
- Currency System
> Caption: Mace: "Are you lost?" Choices: -- Reply 1: "I am never not!" -- Reply 2: "Yes, I am lost in your eyes."
How we built it
I was the game designer, programmer, and environment artist, and I built this game built with the Core Editor powered by the Unreal Engine. I scripted all the gameplay logic from scratch in Lua, creating a Branching Dialogue System, a LGBTQIA+ Trivia Minigame, and a UI Manager for for player feedback and a player gold inventory.
For the environment art, I kitbashed the game from primitives and modular pieces provided as free assets in-built with the Core engine. I purposely chose a color palette with relaxing shades with unsaturated pastel inspiration. In contrast, I played around with camera perspective, color, and lighting in the game to juxtapose the loneliness of feeling lost and alone in the dark with the color that sweeps the world up when one feels like they're in a safe place to express themself.
Below is a collage of how I made the game in the last 7, starting on paper with brainstorming. Then, I prototyped and grey-boxed maps. In the last 24 hours, I solidified and cleaned up my ideas to polish up the game.
Challenges we ran into
The game was overscoped, and there were many more mini-games I would have liked to add (such as "Guess the Flag" for LGBTQIA+ groups), as well as wanting to add more characters to converse with. That being said, I'm really proud I was able to build the groundwork of the game, and I believe applying the same logic elsewhere would work with a few tweaks. Hopefully, that means the game will be able to soon be fully completed in a way similar to my original vision!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
I am really overjoyed by how good the game looks (to me). I don't really identify with being an artist, but I do like things looking aesthetic and want to learn and improve! To me, I took a big step in the right direction by tackling perspective, light, and color in this game. The below gif shows my iteration process to create one of the skies in-game!
If this GIF link doesn't load on DevPost for you, you can see the it here on the last slide.
What we learned
I learned about how to create branching dialogue systems and how to play with lighting and skyboxes to set moods. Usually, I do programming and do not touch the aesthetic that much, but in Prideland, it has a whimsical sky with a depth-of-field postprocess and bloom that really makes the game look good! It took quite a bit of experimentation, but I feel much more comfortable with it now. I have always admired artists, and while I still can't draw very well, I'm really happy that I have a better hang of colors and lighting.
What's next for Prideland - The Game
I'd like to continue development of the game, adding more characters to converse with and more minigames to collect coins! I'd also like to implement a shop so that the coins can be redeemed for cosmetics or camaraderie points to unlock more potential opportunities to become closer with other Prideland inhabitants, a little similar to Stardew Valley.
Being able to see people like us in-game is empowering. Normalizing people asking for each other's pronouns politely if they're comfortable is great too. There are so many different people out there trying to self-actualize, and this game is designed to help people feel okay exploring who they are through the lens of other people they may identify with.