Song of Bloom is an intense narrative puzzle game. Intense, as a mashup of styles and interactions, to mirror the protagonist’s emotional world. Narrative, as a playful comment on our culture, with all its benefits and mistakes.
The game breaks away from standards in terms of controls, gameplay and design. It is a genuine mobile experience, and understands the device as its real context – It’s not a story, told behind a screen, it rather IS the story. It plays with the expectations of the player, and animates them to playfully explore the scenes. The game makes use of the whole device: It begins as a game, mainly controlled with known touch gestures, developing into something that is controlled through the whole device – gyroscope, volume buttons, charging cable.
What makes my game unique?
The game features 18 different art styles that change rapidly. Each art style is being controlled in another way. For the game, I made clay animations, knitted, crafted, carved, modeled, photographed, shot films, painted and sketched. The wide variety of styles force a visual overkill and suck the player into the mind of the protagonist.
Song of Bloom is not only personal, it is individual. That happens through the close way of storytelling, and the fact that it is different for every player. What mobile devices lack of cinematography, they compensate through their usage: The owner identifies much more with their phone than their TV. The game finds out the name of the user by analyzing the device name, and tells the story with a correspondingly male or female voice. In one scene, the character forgot his own name – here, the actual name of the user is not only shown, it is read out fluently in the spoken text. Another scene with a calendar shows today’s date. On the gameplay side, the player is determining how hard the game is. While the game itself can be solved without any help, the tree allows the player to get two layers of hints, and never feels lost. This helps to stay in the stream-of-conciousness-like state.
The story unfolds with the game. The main scene is quite abstract, but it gets clearer towards the end. It can be solved by drawing elements on the films, revealing what happened: The protagonist felt misunderstood, and has left the earth to live on another planet. Now, their resources are nearly exhausted. The protagonist climbs a mountain to plant the tree mentioned above, that is a metaphor of their memories of earth.