Justina Yeung a 4th year Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design. She is a game designer, artist, and storyteller. She loves creating environments and worldbuilding and is interested in exploring how narratives are told, what forms they should embody, and in what way they could be presented to the audience.
DaYa’s World is a short 2.5D interactive story game that follows DaYa as she uses her magic brush to create and restore her universe. My goal is to introduce players to the style of Chinese painting and calligraphy and allow the player to take interest in Chinese myth through environmental storytelling.
Even though mythology-based games aren’t something new, many of them were usually inspired by mythologies that have a greater presence in popular culture like Greek or Celtic mythologies. Chinese mythology on the other hand does not have that presence. I wanted to take this as a chance to not only explore my cultural background, but also to encourage others to do the same.
Some questions that I've asked throughout my process includes how can I take a 2D form like Chinese painting and recreate it into a 3D form, what aspects of calligraphy can be put into a game, how and in what way can I integrate a story and how can I guide players.
With my game I wanted the main experience to be calming and tranquil as this is the main emotion I feel whenever I paint landscapes. Through the game, I wanted to create a sense of vastness by using fog and camera movement, I also decided to use animations for building my world to mimic the sense of fluidity when painting using ink or watercolor.
The inspiration of my drawing mechanic came from the story of Ma Liang. In the story he obtains a magic brush that brought whatever he drew to life. I wanted to evoke the feeling that the player is a creator of this world. The myth of Nuwa inspired the journey of my game. Nuwa has many names, she is known as the The Repairer of the Pillars of Heaven, The Creator of Humanity, and The Mother Goddess. In her story she saves earth during a war by collecting five stones of color. These colors also represent five main elements, white for metal, black for water, blue for wood, red for fire, and yellow for earth. These were the elements that I decided to visually show through calligraphy and connect with through animation.