Roots


HackMIT 2022 submission







Awards
meta logo
“Meta: Help make the Metaverse a reality!” challenge winner
HackMIT 2022︎︎︎




Project details
Timespan
24 hours

Event
HackMIT (spectacle submission︎︎︎, original website︎︎︎)

Team
Bryce Li (art, programming)
Cameron Chiu (music)
Raymond Lennon (3d modeling, hardware)




The project
Over the span of 24 hours, my team and I set out to create an experience based on a simple hardware input: a dial that we had found.

Inspired by Shel Silverstein’s picture book, The Giving Tree, this project is a narrative about balancing compassion and self-care.

The player plays as a tree in a magical forest that can grow either its branches or its roots. If the player grows the branches of their tree, various wildlife will enjoy the shade and shelter of the tree. However, if the player neglects their roots, their tree will be blown over during a storm.

If I had more time to work on this project, here are the couple things I would do:

  1. More player affordances, as well as connecting the gameplay directly to the overall narrative theme.
  2. Add more animals to the forest: Raymond worked really hard on animating deer, owls, and other creatures that we ran out of time to implement. This would give more gameplay depth, as the player could grow their tree even bigger and attract more diverse animals.
  3. Maybe port this to VR: the judges really liked this project, and they were also hoping that I could port this and put it on the Oculus App Lab.

This was an awesome experience: from the scramble of trying to find last minute housing, the amazing group dynamic, the couchsurfing, the extreme sleep deprivation, and the exploration of Boston, I would absolutely do this hackathon experience again. Thanks to the team from thatgamecompany︎︎︎ for the mentorship!