SCOPE: FALL 2020
ROLE: GAME DESIGNER, NARRATIVE DESIGNER
Sweetfield City is an interactive game intended for millennials and Generation Z, who will be the next environmental action-takers of the future. With a focus on climate justice, my goal was to explore how environmental racism impacts vulnerable and underserved communities around the United States. To narrow down such a complex issue, I focused on sacrifice zones, which are defined as “areas that are targeted for the disproportionate burden of pollution, and for the by-products of consumerism and of industrial regard.” You can learn more about this here.
The relentless search for hidden treasures around the world has destroyed the land as we know it. Sweetfield City is now seen as a dangerous, unsafe, and grim place. Once glorious, its sweetfields are now desolate, its air toxic, and its people divided — all thanks to the unrelenting men of its neighboring city of Goldfolk. As a bright and noble young woman, Felicity Walker is Sweetfield’s only hope.
As the game progresses through a series of interactions, Felicity hopes to find the courage to start a revolutionary organization called the Freedom Fighters. Armed with newly gained resources, knowledge and their courage, Felicity and the Freedom Fighters try their best to save their hometown, but can they defeat the destructive ways of Goldfolk and restore Sweetfield City to its former glory?
refining the idea
The game structure is essentially based on Maslow's 8 tiers of Hierarchy of Needs, which is a theory in psychology consisting of 8 tiers, depicted as a pyramid, that models human needs. In the context of this game, it suggests that despite our willingness to take action and alleviate environmental injustice within, around, and beyond us, we are unable to do so when we are worried about meeting our most basic needs such as our health, safety, and security. The game’s progression will be based on these 8 tiers, each serving as one level, for a total of 8 levels.
CHARACTER & GAME DESIGN
Creating the characters was tricky in this project because there exists a fine line between appropriate representation for people of color as well as having the creative freedom to step away from accurate depictions of the real world. So, I designed avatars that have both realistic and fantastical characteristics such as having long ears and pointed feet but also having human features such as the hair, face and body.