Crowded Places is an interactive game that explores a personal perspective on introversion, the desire for moments of silence and solitude, and the satisfaction of finding hidden havens away from overwhelming crowds and situations.
In the game, the player navigates through various crowded spaces with the intention of going home. In order to weave through crowds the player must incorporate audio (loud noises or throat clears) by clicking on the text on each screen to activate the microphone. Throughout the experience/game, the player has a limited energy level that depletes the longer the player remains in the crowded space. Random hideouts and hidden rooms are dispersed around the space for the player to discover and “recharge” mentally before moving on.
The goal of this game is to place players in a situation in which crowds appear to be overwhelming and exhausting. With the incorporation of audio input from the player, the game demonstrates the additional effort and energy required to be acknowledged and “exist” in a large, social situation. The search for hidden havens and hideouts is also intended to depict the satisfaction in finding spaces away from concentrated areas where the player can take time to breath and meditate.
WORLD OUTLINE & PROCESS
I began this project by first mapping out the world, determining where I wanted each hideout location to be, where I wanted the game to begin, and where I wanted it to end.
The text on each screen was sourced from thoughts from my own personal experiences as well as the experiences of friends who have also felt discomfort in crowded places.
ILLUSTRATIONS & STYLE
The visual style of the piece was relatively flat with subtle animations to bring life to the imagery. To create a distinction between the crowded spaces and the hideouts, I incorporated a sense of depth of field to the hideouts to make the scene appear more intimate and personal.
INSTALLATION & SENIOR EXHIBITION
The installation was meant to be a physical rendition of the hideouts depicted in the game. Hidden away in the corner of the UCLA Broad Art Center EDA gallery, the space was decorated with cozy rugs, fluffy blankets, and fairy lights.