My role: All art direction, assets, music, game design and coding.
A wholesome simulation game where you are hired as the new florist to a beautiful shop. Complete various requests for customers and make unique arrangements. Cheesy dialogue ensues.
I started creating this game during my freshmen year, and it was my first full-scale game project. I still believe this game is the basis of my design philosophy, having something elegant both visually and in terms of gameplay. The entire game is simply completing requests for people who want bouquets for special events, teaching the player flower language and emphasizing the importance of empathy for others. I chose to go with a pixel/retro art style because it evokes nostalgia, and it almost feels like one has been playing this game for a long time.
In addition to the simple but elegant user experience, I also carefully crafted the UI, logo, HUD, and experience flow through numerous user testing sessions and feedback. The goal of the game is to make people feel relaxed and learn more about the meaning of flowers. Thinking about how to best optimize the design for the gameplay and message was done through many iterations and testing.
You can play the demo for free at https://lizuyu.itch.io/bloom-room
My goal in Bloom Room was to evoke a sense of empathy and calmness, targeted at young adults who might be stressed or emotionless to their environment. The gamification of having to run a successful flower shop allow the player a sense of escapsim from the real world and take comfort in a low-stress job. The gameplay involves the reader having to learn about each flower and their meanings in order to choose them accordingly for their bouquet. So when I first started drafting the UI and UX for the main part of the gameplay, I was thinking about how to show all the flowers available and their meanings, without over-crowding the interface. Choosing to put all the flowers on one side allows the user to focus on the assembly of flowers on the right side. The name and description of the flower only shows when the player hovers over it, also saving space if the player has already read and memorized the meaning of the flower.
Since this is a browser/PC game based around clicking, it was important to make my buttons unique and responsive, providing the player with as much feedback as possible to know when something is clickable. Each button has a different sprite for its base, hovering and clicking. This creates a mini animation that is not only pleasing to unfold, but shows the player the interactivity of each object. It is small details like these, or "juice" that make or break the user's experience with a game.
Logo and Visual Identity
Through the development of this game, I learned that the logo must also be intertwined with the game itself. Rather than having the logo speak for the game, the game must also speak for the logo. When I was brainstorming for the logo, I came up with several illustrative concepts at first, but decided to go with something that was pixelated and repeated in the assets of the actual game. I wanted something to radiate positivity, but also grounded in the medium of games. It is also recognizable when scaled down, making it suitable for the favicon in the game website and I've included it in assets of the game, specifically the text boxes. Having this repetitive visual identity sprinkled throughout the game and its logo will make it stand out in marketing and in the consumer's consciousness.
Logo Designs, from concept to final
This is a game that means a lot to me, and I want to expand this game in the future, hopefully releasing it as a full game with many more features than its current state. I am working on this game whenever I have free time, and the only thing I've outsourced is the music. I believe it is important to have this type of empathy-inducing game for the market out there, as it can serve as a reminder for many people like me to understand the importance of giving. It is hard since it is a solo-developed game, but I believe it has the potential to be something meaningful.
I have since redone a lot of the art and UI assets, and is slowly chipping away at all the programming and game play improvements in the future.