Rija’s Day at Meaningful Play

One of my games, Rija’s Day has been accepted into the Meaningful Play conference at Michigan State University. I’m very proud to say that my composer, Daniel, and I will be attending to present the game. Prior to my submission to the conference, I made multiple beneficial changes to the game, which I believe helped immensely in getting the game accepted. I will discuss these changes below.

Music

One thing that was missing in earlier iterations of Rija’s Day was music. While it contained some sound effects, I felt that I implemented them poorly, and the audio lacked balance. I asked my friend Daniel J. Cohen to compose music for the game. Together we decided that the musical theme should represent Rija’s emotional state throughout the game. In the beginning, she happy and excited to go about her day. During her interactions with the games bigots, the music stops, yet it starts again as Rija continues forward. By the end of the game, Rija has been through a very traumatic experience, and as such, the music takes a much sadder tone. However the melody repeats the beginning, despite being emotionally distraught, Rija perseveres.

Art Changes

The major art change I made was to change the Unity UI text elements to speech-bubbles that actually fit the game’s art style. I think this small change made the game much more visually pleasing, as the UI text felt very out of place before. Other than the speech-bubbles, I added more buildings, changed the city background, added the street, and fixed a few layering issues causing visual bugs. Overall, the art, though simple, became much more pleasing.

Code Changes

Rija’s Day was one of the first games I made using the Unity engine. At the time, my programming skills were practically nonexistent, and thus the code was quite the pile of spaghetti. While I added a few new scripts, and rewrote a couple old ones, I left the majority of the code base in its original state.

Overall, I am very happy with how this new version of the game turned out and I’m excited to display it at Meaninful Play on October 20.

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