2016 - 2018

Research, Illustration, Storyboarding, Visual Design, User Interface Design

Relationships are complicated, but is the foundation of our lives and goals. For my Master's Thesis in Digital Media, I researched how bad relationships have an effect towards social conflicts like racism and slavery, and why we need to form strong relationships with each other to fight it. I designed Florian to present my findings and teach teenagers + young college students about relationships by using a mobile game interface as a visual medium to tell a story about a teenager caught in a battle between two fictional societies with opposing viewpoints on human value and relationship.
Design Goals

How do we tackle social problems using digital media? What is an engaging way to present a serious social issue to a target audience whose lives are influenced heavily by media? How can I design different deliverables that will prompt my audience to take action?

A snippet of my research and the background story of Florian. Click to view full-size PDF. The research is compiled into my Master's Thesis and is available upon request.

I wrote the story of Florian to focus on two main topics - racism and slavery. Below is a partial storyboard of the central plotline. The player character, a Florian boy, has been been taught his whole life that the Norinan people are inferior. Yet, he chooses to rescue Rona, a little Norinan girl, from being kidnapped by his own people.

Florian and Norinan characters are aesthetically different. Florians have dark skin and colorful hair/eyes, with long noses and small irises. Norinans have thick and striking black hair, large and bold blue eyes, and tiny noses and lips. They are intentionally designed to not resemble any real world races.

The user interface of Florian follows a common structure found in independent mobile games, vertically oriented, with the story divided into chapters so that players can re-explore chapter by chapter and collect missing pieces. Below is a moodboard of games that have inspired Florian aesthetically and/or in user experience.

Branding for Florian and its marketing material.

In the mid-fidelity prototypes below, players can choose from four actions to navigate the player character's (PC) relationship with Ellie, a non-player character (NPC). Ellie is the PC's crush, and is connected to Dylan, a student at the Guardian Academy. The PC must interact with her to get information, because Dylan may know who is behind Rona's kidnapping.

Once the design is complete, I will be creating the #RonaRescue campaign to market the game and spread the message to my target audience. My goal is to partner with a non-profit that fights modern slavery, such as Destiny Rescue.

Rona is based on young girls in Southeast Asia who are sold by poor families or are tricked with the promise of good jobs. I wanted to create a character that players would love and have empathy for so they are driven towards my campaign to fight for real life Ronas.