Astronaut Proposal

Idea: This will be a top-down game in which you are an astronaut tasked to destroy an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. You have been given a single bomb, which you must place at the right spot in order to destabilize the asteroid and save Earth. In order to find the spot, you have to piece together a map that you find throughout the playing area.

The scenario is a metaphor for a person struggling with depression, who is about to commit suicide (the asteroid hitting Earth). They have to locate the ‘root’ of their depression and comes to terms with it. Periodically, they will experience impulsive thoughts in which a bit of static appears permanently on the screen. Eventually, they will be unable to see the game through the static.

On the asteroid’s surface are diagrams that hint at the true nature of the game, and where to find pieces of the map. These diagrams might resemble religious, occult, electrical or psychological diagrams I found on the Internet. You can also find escape pods crashed on the asteroid’s surface that adds to your oxygen supply, even though your current supply is too already large to ever run out. These represent pills that have no permanent effect on someone’s mental state.

There are three screens – a regular top-down view, a map screen (which also contains your heartbeat, oxygen supply and connectivity to Mission Control), and an internal view of yourself in which your spine fluctuates depending on your mental state. I don’t know if the map or internal screens have any  effect on the gameplay yet.


Other idea: You’re looking at a fractal-like microscopic image that you can scroll in and out of to decrease or increase the scale of the image. There are symbolic things like animals and religious things inside this giant fractal image. If you scroll out all the way, you find out that you’re looking at a bottle of pills that a character swallowed, and that the fractal is a kind of history of his/her life told through images. You find that you can change certain things in the fractal by clicking on them, and if you change certain things in the right combination the “final” image (the one with the pills) changes.

  1. I really like the way you’ve planned out the game and I think that the metaphor works well. I’m not so sure about the idea of using a bomb to explode the asteroid, though. Maybe instead the clues lead you to realize your delusion and ‘snap out of it’ before the asteroid hits Earth?

    I’m also curious as to what the visuals will look like – will it be very colorful and trippy like your other astronaut game or more realistic?

  2. I honestly really like both ideas equally and knowing the work you’ve done already I know you would do a good job with either one. You seem to care a lot more about the first idea though, so you might want to go with that one just because it is what you want to do. I think the second one is an absolute fantastic idea though.

  3. I’m interested in these charts and the information giving on the player; those that will show the effects of stress and depression. I think these are your gateway into explaining that there’s more than just ‘saving the earth’ representatively going on. Perhaps the vitals spike/ spine tweaks for no apparent in-game reason; depression may come in waves for no reason, for example.
    Does the player contact mission control? maybe the character’s messages to mission control are another way to explain the underlying issues.

    I think that the second idea would be aesthetically very satisfying. I’m excited to see this game which has a clear end/finale in which things aren’t resolved, but this character’s situation is explained. No critique, interesting concept.

  4. I like the depression metaphor, however I’m not wild about the static part. If the player doesn’t realize that the static is cause by a depressive impulsive thoughts, what would the static be/what would cause it? If its randomly happening I think that would be a little off-putting. The rest seems solid 😀

  5. I love the first idea much more than the second… i guess because i don’t quite see how you can make the second interesting to play even though conceptually the idea is interesting. I’m really curious to see how you establish this metaphor. I think it may be difficult to get this idea across to the player

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