© 2019 by Cindy Chen

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MASTER OF ARTS IN GRAPHIC DESIGN THESIS

For my Master's thesis, I designed a game that achieves cognitive flow through graphic design and entertainment. The game is based on an Escape Room structure, and consists of 3 stations/puzzles leading to a password that unlocks 1 reward (app).

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GAME POSTER

The promotional poster was designed similarly to a film poster, but with the simplicity of text of a normal game poster. It reflects the ambience of my thesis exhibition, which is full of depth and childlike curiosity, with allusions to the finite nature of time.

DOCUMENTATION BOOK

This book encompasses 2 years worth of research about positive psychology, cognitive flow, game research and studio experimentation that led to my design making. It is designed like a game manual so it serves a big purpose in the exhibition. Full document (desktop) and excerpts are shown below!

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PLAY SIGN

To prompt my audience into interacting with my design pieces at an art gallery, the play signs are posted at the front of the exhibition space with instructions on how to play the game.

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GAME PASSPORT

To start the game, each player must take a game passport to use as their guide. Each station is provided 3 clues. Once the puzzle is solved, the station reveals one or two digits that eventually complete a 5-digit password that unlocks the Mirror app.

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THESIS WEBSITE: THE GAME AND REWARD

At the end of the game, the thesis website showcases the reasons behind the game, explained the significance of the answers, and all the artwork within each of the stations. I designed the website on Wix, and the app on Adobe XD, then prototyped it on Invision.

 

I named my game "Living in a Daydream" because we all tend to fall into the trap of going through the motions and not being mindful of what we are doing. I want people to become more present and more aware. Cognitive flow is arguably the most 'present' you can feel as a human being. It is linked to the theory of happiness because our brains release happiness hormones during and after the flow experience. (If you are interested in learning more, scroll up to read the documentation book!)

To view the website, click the image below and enter the password:

2 5 9 1 5.

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GAME STATION 1 - "FIBONACCI PLAYING CARDS"

In each photo, I was the art director, model (besides the card for 3), makeup artist, headpiece designer and retoucher. I manipulated the image to be a 3D glitch on Photoshop and designed the playing card on Illustrator. The back sides of the playing cards were also designed on Illustrator as vectors and were heavily influenced by the Art Deco era. 

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GAME STATION 2 - "PORTALS OF REALITY"

Each piece was designed on Photoshop 3D. Any faces were from my art direction/photography work. This station was created to resemble mystery doors, as such, they were metaphorical "portals" between escape and reality.

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GAME STATION 3 - "BOARD OF REVERIES"

Crafted to be arranged as a chessboard, I designed 9 patterns out of numerical type, and printed them into keycards that slipped into black and white envelopes. The patterns were created in Illustrator.

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REWARD - "THE MIRROR APP"

The Mirror app is a playful, stress management app, which encourages you to think about your thoughts. We all go through levels of stress, but when it becomes too much, then it gets in the way of productivity and daily life. The app is based on mindful meditation apps, but is not meant to be used as therapy treatment. To tie in a game-like environment within the app, users may choose to express themselves through icons instead of words by toggling between the verbal and nonverbal modes. This was designed on Adobe XD and prototyped on Invision. Click on the image below to see the prototype.

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