Memoriam follows the player as they explore objects in their childhood bedroom, reliving old memories through mini-games. Made during a 48-hour game jam, all mini-games are inspired by old 2D games. You activate them by looking at objects in the environment to emulate drifting into a memory. Winner of Best Game Design at the SCAD chapter of GGJ, our goal was to create a well-scoped narrative experience that would leave an impression. The prompt was, "what does home mean to you?" It inspired us to focus largely on nostalgia for things out of use.
The Game Core
Growing up through memories: The main character's life unfolds through the player re-experiencing their memories.
Pillar 1: Variety of game modes
Every memory is themed after a different style of 2d games to help make each feel unique and stand out.
Pillar 2: Memory anchors
Every memory is accessed by the player looking at an object associated with the memory in their room.
Pillar 3: Narrator’s Bias
Not randomly disconnected, these memories all build into a narrative the main character is coping with.
During the game jam, I wore the hats of a game, systems, and level designer. The entire team of 9 brainstormed the initial concept together. I then worked with two other designers to formulate what each minigame would entail and the overall story the game would build towards. The minigames were then divided among the 3 systems designers on the team, with myself working on the bike level.
Our primary objective when working on this project was to make something reasonable to do in 48 hours and leave an impact on the person who plays it. The narrative that attempted to describe Home began with creating a feeling that the player was reliving childhood memories through found objects. This concept ultimately developed further into moving out of an old home and coming to terms with the death of their mother. For this reason, we wanted minigames to be entertaining but never nearing too frustrating as this would pull away from the emotional impact.
This project was my first time developing a 2D game in unreal, and I had to learn quickly. My only qualifications for my level were that you were biking down a road with cars on it, so to make it more interesting, I added a hearts system, oil spills, and stationary obstacles. This was determined by a timer moving to different states, determining what to drop other than the houses spawned and dropped randomly, indefinitely.