Pre-Thesis Week 11: Reference and Storyboard

Dazhen Yang
3 min readDec 6, 2021

I found several excellent games as examples that could convey concepts and ideas through storytelling and game mechanics.


This is my favorite game recently. The player would control the character as a girl, Madeline, who has depressive disorder to climb the snow mountain. In the process of climbing the mountain, the player would overcome difficulties and learn to deal with her negative thoughts. In Chapter 2, the dark side of the girl would be visualized as another character that just seems like Madeline, but with purple hair. And the evil version would chase the player to get the player feel nervous. And this mental state is just like how people are depressed would feel. The anxiety and fear could be shown by the rhythm of the background music and character’s jumping.

Dark side of Madeline
Madeline’s depression
Friend who helped Madeline
Best friendship is to help each other

Because I planned to design a platformer with puzzle-solving, and the kind of the game is similar to Celeste, I would refer to many of Celeste’s mechanism.

The white Door

Since I am not very good at drawing, I might have difficulties preparing art assets, so I searched some games with special and simple art styles to refer to. Pixel art first came to my mind, but I personally dislike the style. For a period of time, I just get stuck by deciding the art style, then I found this game, with simple lines in black and white. Surprisingly, the game plays well with great interaction and sound effects. It is also a puzzle-solving game with great storytelling, so it would be another reference of me.

Here is the website showing the story of The White Door:

The White Door | Rusty Lake Wiki | Fandom

Main scene & Detailed Scene
Excellent Game Interaction
Dialogs in the game
Puzzle-solving Elements

I’m also playing through Disco Elysium to learn the non-linear narratives, cause I want to include conversations in my game to convey some possible methods to release player’s negative feelings caused by social media in the real life.