ENCHANTED FOREST





Enchanted Forest
May 2020

My Role: Programming, Conceptualization, Illustration, Concept Video & Imaging
Collaboration: Ana Acevedo
Tools: p5.js, Illustrator, Photoshop
Timeframe: 5 days

‘Enchanted Forest’ is a web browser multiplayer video game experience where the player explores anonymously an enchanted forest while meeting other players to share their journey together. Without the ability to chat or have a username that identifies them, players are prompted to develop an unspoken conversation and define how they want to continue their exploration journey.

‘Enchanted Forest’ was conceptualized, designed and developed in a timeframe of 5 days. The concept for the game came from the idea that our desire for human contact and the call for adventure and exploration, are two of the most defining characteristics of our species.


Currently under the current COVID19 pandemic situation, we are experiencing times where we are forced to stay home and avoid each other’s physical contact. As a consequence, our exploration endeavors have turned towards the digital world and our contact has changed form rapidly into a digital format.



In the world of ‘Enchanted Forest’ players explores anonymously an enchanted forest while meeting other players to share their journey together. The idea was to remove any recognizing feature of other players, such as usernames or the ability to chat or communicate. Without these, players are prompted to develop an unspoken conversation and define how they want to continue their exploration journey.


Other than the chimes of bells signaling their proximity to other players, there is not other indication on where the other players are located. The forest has different environments where you can enjoy the poetic and calm experience of meeting others and exploring together.


Each one of these environments has a unique visual style and different sounds that are spatially located in certain areas of the map. Players can explore the map and discover each location and sounds, as well as locate themselves in space either by visuals or sound cues.  



Process:

‘Enchanted Forest’ was created in the timeframe of 5 days.

While developing the game, two of the constrains were that it needed to be created in a timeframe of 5 days and using p5.js, a Javascript library. This resulted in interesting ways of creating the effects of movement, other visual feeedback and the possibility to include spatial sound effects in the game, all while still keeping the game web browser friendly.

The process of exploring p5.js in a game related context was particularly interesting to me. Since it is a really easy to use visual library, the process consisted on creating a concept and then start rapid prototyping and play testing in order to see what could be done in such a short timeframe.

In order to design the game we needed to create the possibility to move across the map, which took multiple iterations to convey the right feeling of the character, but most importantly so that two or more players could all share the same space while moving in different directions.

 v 1 on movement
v2 easing 
v3 multiplayer
v4 background

This process also included the randomization of where in the map each player would appear everytime a new was started and the creation of a notification once two or more players were near each other. 

The map and other assets such as the loading screen and the player’s avatar were created both in Photoshop and Illustrator in the process of 1 day. It was important to keep a consistency among all assets, but also create an environment that was interesting and fun to explore.

During the process of creating and illustrating the map, we tried to separate it in different areas and add identifiable details to each one of these. These could include flower patterns, floor textures or bigger items such as a tent.

Apart from the visual elements, we really wanted ‘Enchanted Forest’ to be a magical and relaxing experience for each player exploring the forest, that is why we decided to add identifiable sound effects to each area that would play once the player walk through it. These could include, animals, the crackling of a fireplace, wind and others.


‘Enchanted Forest’ was a fast but very detailed experiment on doing web browser game that relied specifically on one programming language, was multiplayer and could create a sense of peace in the players. Our main goal was to allow players in their houses during the COVID19 pandemic, to connect and explore with others, without language barriers or identifiable features, creating a more poetic sense of exploration. Once they found and connected with others, they could decide how to proceed along each other without any form of communication.