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Creative Team & Level Design - MAGNOLIA

This entry is pre-presentation piece that I wrote for my game team's blog, which can be viewed here. *** Over the past few weeks, the Creative Team has discussed feasible gameplay with the neuro-headset, narrative development through the storybook pages that serve as transitions between levels, and the importance of color in their weekly Writers Room. In order to stay within the game's art scope, the Creative Team has also been communicating with the Technical Team for help with interesting features like tree growth in the forest sections of the game and advanced particle systems. In response to these discussions, Bear Timchuck, our lead designer, developed detailed descriptions, drawings, and color palettes for each of our 6 levels: Tutorial, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. A few of these levels are featured below.

Anger In this earlier section of the game, the player should feel the rage that can accompany learning such unfortunate news. The color palette is primarily comprised of striking reds and contrasting greens; while pure, primary red is often associated with violence and warfare, dark reds can call to mind elegance and grace. The parents of the real-life Magnolia dealt with their daughter's illness not with violence and rage, but with quiet dignity and appreciation of the time they had left. The primary gameplay in this section is that of chasing a quick, angry fairy, so the level will feel hectic and likely frustrating at times.

Bargaining In this middle section of the game, the Creative Team wanted to convey a feeling of moving towards a point of no return. Unlike the previous level, Bargaining can be a calmer and slower process. Bargaining in the context of grief entails negotiating a more ideal outcome of a situation - in this case, Magnolia's terminal illness - when no other outcome besides the one that has been given is possible. There is a certain beautiful tranquility about the changing of the leaves in autumn, and the "Opening and Closing" puzzles quietly block off different paths that the player could have taken. While it is sad, the player knows that the only way to move is forward. We will reveal all of the levels and the full details of our story at our Segment Prototype presentation next week (Friday, October 30th; time and location TBD). Hope to see you there!

Copyright Alexandra Lucas 2015

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