This week, I began to design my game.
I hope to use the game mechanics to convey the interaction between users and social media platforms. And social media is about contacting friends, posting, liking and commenting others. Therefore, I design the main mechanics to take photos in the scene, and to post the picture on the phone interface. Different places around platforms in the scene have different scores assessing how many likes and comments could the player get after taking and posting the photo. Then these likes and comments could be used as additional platforms for the player to jump to higher or far platforms to find people and add friends. With this mechanics, players would focus on the amount of likes and comments like they do interacting with social media in the real life.
There are three chapters in the game. I picked common topics that are frequently shared on the social media platforms. In the first chapter, the player would find some people and talk to them. After talking to them, they could learn about their personalities and social media use patterns. players could decide whether to add this friend into his or her contacts.
In the Chapter 2, some friends might have negative effects on the player. For example, the person who seems unhappy all the time would eject bullets that stand for negative feelings contagion. (The purple one in the storyboard of Chapter 2 below) Around the person that seems successful and happy, there might be some traps or obstacles that the player should avoid. These traps represents social comparison. In this chapter, the player should overcome these difficulties to reach to these friends and talk to them again, and decide whether to delete or shield them.
In the final chapter, these friends’ bullets or obstacles would turn into another form of help to facilitate the player to access the final goal. So actually the three chapters are linked to each other by these interactions with friends. The player could make their own choice to pass the chapters, and the process could reflect their daily use of social media.
Next, I would design the scene and characters in details, so that it could be clearly recognized as symbols of social media interaction. Conversations between players and these NPCs are also of great importance. Through these dialogues, I hope the player could learn some ways to escape from negative feelings and deal with social comparison in an effective way.