Using a common practice in movies, in video games.

Throughout Studio 2 I worked on 3 main projects, and one side project for my CIU211 class.

Winter, my second project was inspired by the philosophy I’ve found in movies and books, that, if you want to make something sad, or depressing, You have to kill a dog somewhere. Dogs make people happy when alive, and depressed when dead. My design process started with looking at ‘Marley and Me’, a movie about a dog and his owner’s life with him. I wanted to have a sense of trust and grief in my game, and I set out to implement a way to have a companion such as the dog in “I am Legend”.

Being in a situation where the only companion is a dog, was my way of implementing a trust relationship, I was hoping to implement mechanics to interact with the dog, and to build a bond between the player and the companion. Beginning with naming the little guy, which is where the player would grow attached to the animal. Much like after reluctantly getting a puppy in Marley and Me, once he named the dog, an attachment was formed and their relationship grew from there.

On the other end of the spectrum, the end of the dogs life, I looked towards I am Legend. The canine in I am Legend was doing her job, protecting her owner and being an all round good girl. But she is tragically beaten and injured at one point… Causing the main character to think seriously about how he’ll handle the situation of his only companion. Does he inject the dog with a serum that can hopefully cure the dog of its wounds, or does he leave it to die?

I designed a mechanic that allowed the player to chose, whether to send the dog out on cold winter days and at the risk of the dog not returning. My design behind the game I believe was sound and was heavily inspired by practices in movies, and in books before, I tried to design a game about a helpful companion that the player would start to love but eventfully pass away. My attempt at it was less than successful, but I hope to return soon with a higher skill set to reattempt my original design goal.


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