Our research consisted of looking into the long-term and psychological effects of loneliness on a person’s both physical and mental health. This was about learning about why loneliness affects us so drastically and affects our way of communicating with the world. We wanted our game to be an experience that reflected on an important aspect of social connections and how we connect with the world around us. Especially with online culture becoming more prominent and more digital friendships becoming people’s only means of connections, we wanted to explore what we would be in the absence of real connections, and relationships with people. We found that while isolated, people fall into a vicious cycle, their loneliness leads to depression and a lack of self-worth that in turn makes it harder and harder for them to overcome their loneliness. People who become chronically lonely have a higher chance of having physical illness too, with weaker immune systems and weaker hearts, linking into a broken heart syndrome and dying alone. But what we wanted to explore was whether loneliness is learned or inherent to being human; What if you never met another person? What if you had never felt a connection with another person? Would you be able to feel lonely? In terms of in our society there a very few cases of people growing up without some form of connections, wild children brought up by animals still develop connections, and the culture of those animals and sadly those brought up in abusive households still experience a form of human contact even if it’s cruel. We were worried about both misrepresenting this type of mistreatment within the game and also we realized the impact this would have on the development of our character, so after a very long time of brainstorming, we decided to make our character an android that doesn’t know they are a robot. This was so we could explore complete loneliness without having to explain away the developmental problems this would cause the character growing up, moreover to separate out our theme on human relation to loneliness, exploring whether an android would be able to experience loneliness and having them navigate these feelings would be both an interesting concept and would be a great storytelling device for our game, having a character arc that the player can follow.
The goal of this project is to create an experience that truly gets across the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Wanting to help others empathize with those who are truly alone and help people recognize those feelings both in themselves and others. We personally want to create a game that both highlights our skills sets and separates us apart from others but also really showcases our talents and passions in games. I want the people that play our game to know what a good Metroidvania is like and enjoy playing it.
From a professional angle, we want our project to be accessible to a broad audience and reach all users that would want to play our game; we have made efforts to make all aspects of our design and process approachable for both new and experienced players so that they can pick up and play our game without much hassle and really get a feeling for what we were trying to achieve within the game. If by the end of our user’s experience they had fun and were invested in playing our game we have achieved our goal with the game.