Lecturer in Game Design | PhD Student

Honours Blog

Honours Project Subject: Dementia

For my honours project, I wish to create a game which brings awareness to the illness that is dementia. The game will be an interactive 3D exploration based art experience similar to games like Dear Esther, 9.03m and Gone Home . Narrative will potentially be delivered indirectly through objects, but could also be implemented through some narration of the characters thoughts. The reason I chose to create a game based around dementia was due to the lack of awareness, support and the fact that the illness is one that has effected people close to me. I realise that  such a sensitive topic must be handled with utmost care as not to offend or cause controversy with people, thus extensive research into the illness and portrayal of  character must be taken.

Dementia effects people differently be it changes in personality, insecurity, forgetting faces and loved ones etc. But the one thing that is a constant is the constant deterioration. Once someone begins to suffer from dementia, there is currently no proper way to halt the process. For my project I will have to create mechanics or find mechanics that will best represent the symptoms and the constant deterioration of the characters condition.

I intend to base the narrative from stories of people who have had loved ones who have suffered from the illness and memoirs/diary excerpts from my Grandfather (Opa). This will inject a more personal element into the game and will hopefully allow for more self-expression in the final piece.

Areas I will need to research further into for the project to move forward:

  • Dementia (And Alzheimers)
  • Unreal Engine 4
  • Delivering narrative both directly and indirectly
  • Studies on similar games

Deliverables for first semester:

  • Concept Art/Storyboards
  • Game Design Document (or rough template)
  • Working Prototype of mechanics & visuals