Every Time a Bell Rings
This video contains some harsh language
Every Time a Bell Rings is a minimalist VR game that explores the player character's life through their social media newsfeed and short flashback memories. It is a serious game made with the intent to open a productive dialogue about depression, suicide, and loss, helping to end the stigma against discussing mental health issues with others. It attempts to show that the way a person presents themselves and their lives through social media rarely reflects the actual struggles they face in their day-to-day life, and that social media is no replacement for face-to-face communication when checking in on your friends. The player is left to unravel the player character's motivation and mindset through the clues left in old social media statuses, and is able to make minimal dialogue choices that don't change the course of the story, but rather change the player character's view and mindset about the events that took place.
Platform: PC/HTC Vive
Role: Producer, Designer, Writing/Timeline Creation, Voice Acting
Team Size: 6
Prototype Duration: 2 weeks
Lessons Learned: Narrative games take a lot of time, effort, and patience. Because this prototype required a full script and full voice acting, we were very pressed on time to make the final product a cohesive whole.
VR is also very hard, and we lost a lot of time to troubleshooting headsets and controls. While it was exciting to have the chance to develop a VR game, if I were to do this project again, I would make it browser based. The central core of the game is a social media timeline, and it would be easier to reach more people as the cost-for-entry of VR is still very high.