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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Heavier Rain

    - staff

  • Sam Sandoval, Game Development student at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, My World

    Have you ever jumped into an imaginary world to escape from the daunting realities of the world you live in? Sure, I'm sure we've all been there once or twice; but what we sometimes don't realize is that these fantasy worlds often end up teaching us very important life lessons.

    My World is a heartwarming exploration into the mind of a young boy named Lucas.

    Lucas' older brother, Patrick, is bedridden from an unknown illness. Lucas and Patrick usually do everything together, but since he is ill they are unable to play outside like they normally would. So Patrick suggests to Lucas, ‘How about I tell you a story?'

    Once Patrick begins telling his brother the story, the player gains control of the character that he had just created through his storytelling and begins his adventure in the story world. At that moment, two separate playable worlds in the game are created. The player goes back and forth through the imaginary world of Patrick's story and the real world throughout the game.

    As the game progresses, elements of the real world start to creep their way into the world of the story that Patrick is creating. The player quickly finds out that it's Lucas' imagination and real world experiences that are populating the story world. For example, in the real world you'll have to do simple tasks for Patrick. He may request a beverage because his throat is sore from telling the story, and during your errand in the real world you might meet a shady character by the store with a weird eye and a limp in his step. Later on, when back in the story world, you'll find similar characteristics in a villain that is introduced. The world of Patrick's story is blatantly and intentionally ‘cliché,' while the real world's story is much more developted to emphasize the metaphors drawn between the parallel worlds.

    This story lends itself well to the QTE based gameplay of Heavy Rain. Every piece of the real world is there for a reason with a counterpart in the story world. The player will constantly be presented with choices in the real world, whether it be as simple as choosing which direction to go or how to respond to the given situation. Once these decisions are made, the player is able to see the fruits of the path he has chosen in the world of Patrick's story. QTE's in the real world will be more ‘every day task' centric while the ones in the fantasy world will be action-packed and fast paced.

    Nearing the end of the game you find out that Patrick is actually dying from the illness. Patrick knew this all along, but he didn't have the heart to tell Lucas directly fearing that he would be too young to understand, so he's trying to tell it to his brother in terms he can digest through his story. Lucas will have to overcome the loss of his brother's character in the story and continue alone to save the imaginary world by himself, just as he will have to continue without his brother in real life.

    My World is a game with an extremely low barrier of entry due to the easy to pick up gameplay and invites all players to experience its powerful yet charming story.


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