Back in January, Lou and I worked on the first chapter of an interactive story called ‘Luna and Sol’. The story is about two youth’s struggling to make ends meet in the city of Phantom, telling tales of their challenges with mental health and portraying a different light on depression, anxiety and paranoia.
Putting our time into this project helped our wellbeing a great bunch. We found therapy in creating digital artwork, figuring out bugs, and watching the whole story come together. Had it not been for our collaboration, this project would have never succeeded. Teamwork and support is one of the most important aspects to develop a game, especially if you’re feeling any of the mental strains of doing something alone.
We created the game using Unity and Fungus, Twine helped us structure the story. We used Photoshop and Illustrator for the artsy bits. To keep it accessible, we used a point and click interface to assist people with motor disabilities. We implemented animated sprites for people with processing difficulties and implemented text and audio for visual, reading and hearing disorders, such as dyslexia. Accessibility is one of the most cherished parts of our work and we’re always looking for new ways to design things. We’ve included a few shots of this story below.
We tested it with various people including at the Mental Health Festival in Newcastle. It was received well, with most comments being that it would appeal to younger people which was our aim. We’re looking to raise awareness of ways we can overcome obstacles, using gameplay as our medium. We can’t thank those people enough who found the little bits that didn’t work, or the things that didn’t quite sit right. Your feedback really helped us!
The next chapter of this game is a 2D side scroller & platformer telling the perspective of our second character, Sol. Sol’s quest is to solve the problems in the city where characters are in sticky situations dealing with mental barriers. We’re using C# for the coding, will be implementing an inventory system and a different UI. We want it to have a lot more functionality than the first chapter, more characters and items. You can still visit Luna who can help you craft weapons with the item’s you find. We’re hoping to have this complete by December.
Here are a few shots of the game in development. This is Sol investigating Nova’s home to why she is feeling depressed.
Written by – Jessika. Games developer and founder of Luna Code.