By Brian Ressler
Empathy is a two dimensional, abstract experience that players in the format of a game. The only difference is that there is no win condition and rather your are encourage to explore the space, take in the ambience, and interact in any way that you discover. You can also leave a message expressing what you feel about the space or in general, which other people that visit will be able to read.
The controls are reminiscent of traditional 2D games for PC’s, those being the arrow keys or W A S D, and the mouse for clicking on objects, particularly the bottles floating in the ocean and the UI controls. This game likewise only currently optimized for home computers such as a desktop or laptop. Controls for phones may come soon.
An explanation of some of the symbols seen in this project.
Residing on the Island on the west side, this space is inspired by a symbol that comes from the Ghanian culture. This symbol is derived from two alligators that are conjoined where they even share stomach. Likewise this is representative of cooperation, and unity.
The majestic sea turtle that is seen here is inspired by a symbol from the Maori culture which comes from what is modern day New Zealand. The turtle symbolizes peacefulness and unity, as well as navigation.
The symbolism here is derived from the Aztec Calendar and specifically with the god called Patecatl. This symbol is often associated with forging alliances against oppression as well as medicine, tenacity, etc. My interpretation of this was less literal, opting not to show Patecatl’s true form but rather an element that is frequently used in drawings of them, that being the agave plant.
These are the things that make this project do everything that it does.
Node JS is the the server component that I used to allow for the message bottles to appear in real time and also be retained when visiting again. Specifically I used Socket IO library to acheive this.
Unity as many people know is a platform for creating 2D and 3D games. I ended up going with unity primarily for its ability to create interesting textures and behaviors with relative ease.
C# is the programming language that is used by default in unity. And this allowed to program more discreet behaviors such as the UI windows, and other event driven functions.
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