The following is a story I crafted as part of a narrative consultation for a student game team at DigiPen Institute of Technology.
Moira has a secret. She sees things that most people have long forgotten. With her trusty camera, she makes entire worlds come alive. Moira’s journey proves that possibilities are infinite and the future is bright if only you change your point of view.
In Shuttershy, the player learns that she must soon move to a new town. Moira, a little girl of 10, is scared of the unknown and unhappy about moving. The night before the move, the player’s mother tucks the player into bed and assures her that the new town will be exciting, that she will make new friends, and that she’ll have plenty of interesting things to photograph. The mother gives the player a scavenger hunt (clues and a map) that the player can play once they get to the new town the next day, tucks the player in with her camera, and turns off the light.
Once asleep, the player wakes in an ethereal dream world, exploring the different environments and taking photos of brightly-colored items so as to assemble new objects with which she can then interact. The player begins with only her camera and an obscured photo map divided into 6 segments to guide her through the beautiful landscape. In order to wake up, she must find all 6 items (1 in each environment) and take photos of them. After she takes a picture of an item, she can interact with it and that photo appears in the photo map. After the player finds all 6 items, the 6 photos fit together to make one single, final photo: a picture of some of the people and things in the new town to which she’s moving.
Because her mother gave her clues and a map for a scavenger hunt in the waking world, Moira finds those clues scattered throughout the dream world to help her figure out where the perspective puzzles are located. She could also simply start each level with a new clue.
These clues should be short little rhyming phrases scrawled in cursive on parchment, such as this quick one I made up for the red hot air balloon puzzle:
Fly with no wings – you can do it, I swear!
These red friends will lift you up and help you soar through the air!
After the player collects all 6 photos and reveals the final photo, she awakens in the car on the drive to the new town. When she gets out of the car, she sees all of the items that she collected – now real people and things – and she realizes that change isn’t so bad. Essentially, the dream makes her change her perspective on moving.
I limited the photo map to 6 segments, as I’m unsure of your art scope. I don’t feel like 4 images are enough, as the image will likely be too obvious after the player finds 1 or 2 items, but you may want to experiment with that as well.
Copyright Alexandra Lucas 2015