CHI PLAY 2020 - Student Game Design Competition
Best in Show
Equilibrium is a mix between a skill game where the player has to keep his balance walking on a wire while being attacked by monsters and a game of narrative exploration where he visits different memories of a young woman suffering from depression.
My role on the project was to design and balance the different game systems, as well as the overall structure of the game, and to write the game's story and dialogs.
I was also in charge of assuring the good progression of the game by taking the role of co-leader of a team of 23 students from 3 different universities.
The game is only available in French.
A full playthrough of the game can be watched here:
The biggest challenge of the project was to create a game system that was original, that played well and that represented well the feeling of suffering from depression.
We quickly started working on a collection of 3 systems:
A system of tightrope walking. This system offers a challenge to the player, which represents well the difficulty of going through and overcoming depression. Balance is also a symbol that's often used when talking about depression, be it the chemical balance in the brain or the balancing of different aspects of one's life.
A system of enemies, Shadows, under the wire. The Shadows make the tightrope walking more difficult by attacking Claire, our main character, and represent her bad thoughts and the difficulties that she is going through.
Finally, we created a secondary character, Obscure, to represent external help, which is really important in treating depression. Obscure follows Claire throughout the game and helps her keep her balance on the wire by chasing the Shadows.
Those three systems changed a lot as we progressed on the project.
Three-act structure and transformation of the story during production.