- Game Designer
Greater Vancouver's 'International Buddhist Temple' inspired adventure game!
My Role: to Lead a Team in the Creation of an Experience Based Around a Greater Vancouver Landmark. My Decision: To Make an Action Adventure Game About the Virtues of Enlightenment! Only by the Grace of Our Talented Programmer* Were We Able to Pull It Off in the Three Week Production Period!
Our first assignment for Building Virtual Worlds class was to create an interactive experience based upon a Vancouver landmark. Our team pulled 'The International Buddhist Temple', the largest Buddhist temple in the Greater Vancouver area. I was immediately hyped due to my interest in Buddhism, and quickly got my video game savvy team to agree to create a video game, and the role of designer fell to me. We decided to make an adventure game based around learning and using the core tenants of Buddhism. Consequently, Journey to Enlightenment was to see the first iteration of the notorious 'meditation mechanic', which would make it's way later into Esoterica America. It was an amazing learning experience, since, as the team looked to me for instruction, writing, level design and general direction on everything, I quickly realized how much detailed planning went into even the simplest of games. I soon looked straight to the most formative adventure games of my youth for inspiration, and as such learned that the vast tributaries of my childhood memories were an invaluable resource for game design minutia. Moreover the extremely tight delivery deadline for the game taught me a thing or four about scoping, as my original design called for six levels representing the Buddhist cosmos which I soon had to tighten and scale down into three. The result was a fun and quirky, nicely illustrated, quest game which, to this day, I believe would be a welcome attraction for young people to become interested in Buddhism.
*Jeunessa Chang, now a programmer at Kabam