Alex Lee – An Illustrative Model of Anxiety

An Illustrative Model of Anxiety

Here’s my project. Use arrow keys to move and space to interact. It’s an .swf file, so open it in Firefox or Chrome. On some computers it lagged pretty badly, so I tried making a large version and a smaller version (both below). You might also try reducing the quality. Thanks for looking!











  1. Incredibly aesthetically effective to begin with. I found myself stopping constantly to try to read all the text, which feels like this slow, unprogressive process that anxiety is. The instructions are clear and the visuals are crisp. I’m not sure how i feel about the wing animation, how it stops at weird angles and spins, it doesn’t quite read right. Also the song that begins when you get the wing is really abrupt, and while more upbeat/hopeful, it doesn’t seem to fit. The bobbing motion while in flight is really nice though. Not sure why it’s a duck, but cool.

    1. What are you talking about!? It is obviously a swan Eric.

  2. This is beautiful. I think the flying animation is a little funny and takes you out of it a bit, but then again it is a really nice moment when you get your colorful wings and the music changes as you start flying around. I like the feeling of freedom you get from flying and it is nice that you left some stuff up in the area where you aren’t really supposed to be flying around in since otherwise flying would be a little more disappointing. It would be cool if there was an easter egg in the sky over toward the beginning for those who really get into that, but that is just a thought. Great use of typography. Pretty awesome!!!

  3. Yep… that was great. I had a good time reading and understanding. The bird was questionable? I don’t know why but I feel the character could of held more weight if it weren’t an avian thing.
    Wonderful job. Loved it.

  4. The game may be about anxiety but I found it to be more relaxing. The bird character was out of place for me because of animation issues, a little to fast and awkward. But I suppose the ability to fly gave you an extra level of dimension to work with. The most anxiety rich part was right after the heart when you could hear what sounded like wood burning and knew there was a new element added to the game, one that could hurt. If you could play with this feeling that there is something on the edge of your view waiting for you, then I believe this game would be about anxiety. Very nice style overall.

  5. I disagree with Nathan simply because I don’t know what else you would have as your main character that would fly and run into electric wires. I agree with Martin that the flying animation was a bit awkward but it actually started growing on me and felt like an artistic take on birds flying. You have really mastered words as art which is quite hard to do and I like the color palette and progression of color. The sound change of you getting the wings is a bit jolting which I guess is fine but maybe you need a visual jolt as well? I also think that the thing chasing you should be a bit faster. There was a few times I stopped to check if it was still going after me and lost some of the initial “oh shit im going to die” feeling.

    1. Oh I also like the multiple endings

  6. Very nice aesthetic, though I did find myself running up against my own impatience (and difficulty standing on my hear) when trying to read the gears. At first I didn’t realize I was supposed to run away from the red, and then realized that I was supposed to run away from the read and got the escape hatch ending. Are there more endings than those two?

  7. This is beautiful but the ending seems a bit abrupt.

  8. Visually, this succeeds. What if it were a HUMAN character that gained wings instead? Less realistic obviously, but maybe that fits better.

  9. I think the combination of sound and visuals in the game is great. The reading of the poem and the pace of the game was also really nice, I found myself reading as I was walking and also hearing the music and going around with all the wheels. Like always, I love your projects!

  10. Visuals were super great, there was a sort of pressure to the atmosphere that really works for the anxiety theme. I was only able to get on ending, the red kept catching up to me before i could find a way out.

  11. Good job, not much to add. I’m wondering if you need a bit more time and breadth to convey a sense of anxiety. That can and should happen through the game mechanics and not just the visuals disseminated on the linear level. Games can be pretty good at generating frustration and anxiety, the bird/player could be put in a more uncomfortable situation at first in order to make the flying breakthrough more intense.

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