Pre-Thesis Week 14: Presentation and Feedback

Dazhen Yang
3 min readDec 16, 2021

This week, we had our final presentations.

And I got many useful suggestions and feedback from the Miro board.

Since the last presentation, I had feedback about addiction psychology, and I found that the book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, really interesting. Part of my target players are just high-functioning workaholics, who feels that the harder they work or push themselves, the more anxiety they would get. And the more anxious they are, they would procrastinate. This is one phenomenon happened on people who have addiction on social media. Since there is always fresh information for them as excuses of procrastination. I might read through the book to learn about brain circuits that control the part of addiction during the winter break. Maybe some theories and cases could be used to design the story in the game.

Similar respect about physical cause of addiction which result in social media overuse in the late night, is about natural hormone and serotonin level changes throughout the day. People tend to make emotional decisions at night, as well as tendency to feel loneliness and depression. I would definitely search about these.

Other feedback about game mechanics recommended interactive fiction as a form to decision mechanics. I would combine interactive fiction as a main part in the game. The player could explore in the 2D scene and talk to NPCs. The significant decisions they would make in the game is to add or delete friends, which would affect the traps or helps they would get in the later chapters. So my another goal is to balance the difficulty level after these choices. Because I do not mislead the player that they should not make friends who are always depressive or love to show off. I just hope that they could learn how to deal with their negative feelings after viewing contents on the social media and be positive to confront with their present and future in their real life.

For example, if the player make friend with the purple character who stand for depression in the first chapter, in the next chapter, this friend might eject some sticky things onto the player that make the player jump lower and run lower. But if the player could survive in this chapter and talk to this purple character, in the last chapter of the game, this character could help the player by creating additional platforms. I want to convey the idea that some people with pessimistic view of life might be more sensitive and have the gift to understand people, so they know better how to help them. Similarly, other NPCs would have skills that could disturb the player in the chapter 2, but help the player in the next chapter. But if the player choose to delete this character from the social media friends list, this character would disappear from the following chapters.

Professor Dan’s suggestion on the game mechanics that the player’s posts could get short-term boosts in energy with an urgent health bar, but this could do harm to the player in the long term. I just thought that the likes and comments the player got as contemporary platforms that could disappear later, but using these additional platforms would have negative effects is a good idea. I would consider to add this into the game mechanics.