Boat for Two

Boat for Two

A Game about poetry

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Boat for Two

Tools Cinema 4D, Logic Pro X, Unity3D

Period2015

ClientGamification Lab, Leuphana University Lüneburg

Linkswww.boatfortwo.com

Love is rarely a bed of roses. It oftentimes throws us into stormy weather only to surprise us with the most stunning rainbow afterwards. Fortunately, a successful relationship is not a pure game of chance. In the Boat for Two you will take up the reins, floating through its beauties and hardships. Withstand the whirlpools, underwater currents, and icebergs. Maneuver it wisely and see how strong your bond is.

The game is designed as a ludic poetic experience for touchscreen devices. The mechanics is based on creating waves, which push the leaf down the river. Two players are encouraged to cooperate and negotiate their common journey through the unknown lands. The scenery, music, ambient sounds, and poetry change in accordance with the stage of the metaphorical relationship.

The story of Boat for Two should be transported through poems which have a strong connection to the theme of love and the metaphor of a boat steering through different kind of waters. The poems will show up at premarked spots in the game, for example when we find ourselves at a calm and beautiful rose colored morning after a wild night. They take a huge part for the player in understanding the story and the different segments of the game.

The first concept was based on a simple action of throwing stones into water and moving a boat forward, carried by the waves produced as result of the stone throwing. The navigation up the river should begin with a simple learning how to move the boat forward without bumping into the banks of the river. As the game proceeds, the objective of keeping the boat moving would get harder through different kinds of obstacles like curves, narrow passages, rocks or currents. From the very beginning we thought about the players perspective and different angles of view. There were options like third person view, a straight perspective from the top or a guided camera. At a later point we decided to use the last one, due to a more immersive and emotional way of playing the game.

Before the decision was made that Boat for Two would become a mobile only game, there were several ideas and concept sketches about making it a life-sized installation. We were talking about multi-beamer curved projections, Kinect body tracking, game controllers especially made for steering a watercraft or letting the users even sit inside the boat. But all these solutions would only work in a kind of exhibition context and many players from over the world would never be able to play the game. This point, combined with the problem of a very tough timeframe, led us to the decision that Boat for Two would be available for mobile devices, so that this would be a kind of „classical“ game development and we could get a huge base of potential players who can enjoy our game.