A.Way is a short “texture interactive novel” I did as a result of a summer school on interactive storytelling. The goal of the summer school was to create a visual interactive novel working on storytelling strategies, interactivity and visual styles.

In the game you play as Ayvee, the main character, who is following a personal process of self-discovery, but this means to leave behind the security of everyday life, Tera included, her partner she doesn’t love anymore. Using the cumulative narrative structure, the story is based on conveying the feeling of cognitive dissonance and the impossibility of taking action when Ayvee’s personal needs are opposed to people’s expectations.

To explore the feeling of cognitive dissonance - an emotional situation in which you are overwhelmed with multiple contrasting thoughts that prevent you from being certain about which decision to take - I designed the gameplay so that every time you will be asked to take choices, four similar options will appear dynamically one after each other, as different dissonant thoughts come to our mind in confused ways. Choices are also timed: like in reality the feeling of not taking action is tied to the time that passes, so in the game there’s a limited amount of time for selecting your option.

The visual art also contributes to the game aesthetics. Each characters is identified by one animated textures. When both of the characters are in the scenes, the textures overlapped each other creating starving optical effects and evoking the silent fight between two intertwined identities.

(Thanks to Anita Verona and Irene Camporeale for the contribution to the design of first prototype. Special thanks to We Are Müesli.)

My roles and expertise

I directed the overall design of the game: I authored the story and the dialogues, the character design, I create the visual art and also the overall user experience and gameplay design. Coded by me in Ren'py.