Waypoint Cafe| Ryan Chen

Description: 

Waypoint Cafe is a single player story-based game geared towards casual gamers who enjoy shorter narrative experiences. The game is set in a fictional city where aspects of daily life, such as work and social interactions have been gamified. Putting players in this strangely familiar environment, Waypoint Cafe draws parallels with our own data-obsessed culture, exploring privacy and media influence through a critical lens.

You can find the download to Waypoint Cafe HERE

Goal

The purpose of this project is to explore the consequences of attempting to gamify social behavior. The most prominent example of this in our world is the Chinese social credit system, but many other nations and corporate entities are responsible for this as well. The points rewards card you hold for your local grocery store, the raffle ticket stuck to the side of your morning coffee, even credit scores are used to change the way you behave and encourage acting in line with the goals of those who implemented these systems.

Process

Much of the project was researching and sketching game mechanics that would fit the theme of social credit.  The challenge was finding the right balance of simplicity and engagement. After all, if the game is too easy, it becomes boring, and if it’s too hard, people give up.

The main mechanic I ended up tweaking and tuning was having the player actually living in a fictional world where hyper-tuned social credit systems were deeply ingrained in daily life. players would focus on maintaining their score while working at a mundane day job. The challenge is maintaining a good score while being presented with moral dilemmas and financial challenge while also remembering how to make that caramel macchiato the customer ordered.

Reflection

The main challenge I faced throughout this project was time. As I chose to be a solo act for this project, I was responsible for creating the entire project from concept to art to development. This also included processes that I was inexperienced in, leading to a lot of my time being spent learning as well. In the end the demon we all fear cut my project short and I was not able to complete the game I had envisioned before the end of the school year. However, I was able to create something playable. It’s not much but it’s something I’m proud of and I personally had a blast making, and I hope you get to enjoy it too.

Again you can find the download to Waypoint Cafe HERE

About Ryan Chen

I’m a firm believer in fun things. Growing up, it was always my dream to work on the very video games that I was playing. In my free time you can find me drawing pictures, tinkering with electronics, messing with code or playing games.

I just graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a bachelors in Interaction Design. I’m currently polishing up my UI design skill and learning motion graphics in hopes of finding work in the games industry.

Check out my portfolio: chenryan.ca