Rate my Life

Title: Rate my Life
Based on „Eisenhans“
Inspired by the Atari 2600 game “Dragonstomper”

The game takes the essences (“Life your own life and don’t let anyone tell you how to” and “Making mistakes is part of progress”) of the fairy tale Eisenhans and wants to free it from as many connotations as possible. Like Warja Lavater in her leporellos did, the visual language is very reduced.
The player (green triangle) has to do her first moves in the titlescreen to actually start the game. There is a gallery, where one can find the latest 5 highscores and the corresponding goal to that very life. Before the game can be started, the player must enter a goal (honest or invented) and then move to the furthest right platform. Once there with all conditions matched the game starts.
The player has to explore the area and while doing so (living the life) 3 different scores are counted without the player noticing. They can be made visible by standing on the platform in the centre of the level (but only 2 times without ending the round, the 3rd will return the score and then return the player to the startscreen, where one can decide to stop playing or play another round).
The goal of the player should be to live a good life – which means in the games context to collect as many yellow circles as possible (this shape is also part of the startscreen to elevate its value). There are obstacles, distractions and hidden spaces that occur while playing. The game ends, whenever the player decides to stop playing (of course one can play multiple rounds).

Thoughts during development (these information are not meant to be revealed to the players)
Green triangle = Johannes, youngster, gets kidnapped by Eisenhans to learn, also the player
Pink Square = Mother, tries to distract Johannes, can be interpreted as all the distractions around the player (Social Media, addictions, …) which are not leading towards her goal.
Small pink square = the desire of the mother, the desire of others

Blue circle = Eisenhans, supportive father, helps Johannes in need and teaches him how to deal with mistakes, can be interpreted as loved ones that help the player overcome obstacles and face new challenges
Blue triangle = a mistake made, a mistake we can learn from, we can grow
Yellow circle with a hole = golden fountain, the place where mistakes happen
Black triangle = a hazard to the flawless fountain, a mistake which has to be made
Yellow circle = golden apple, the reward, the goal
Green triangles with black spikes = an obstacle in our life

The 3 scores:
Dedication: Finding and collecting yellow circles rises this score, it cannot be reduced
Consumerism: Finding pink squares and letting them collide with the mother rises this score and is reduced over time. The mother will always follow the player except when she is in the starting area or close to a fountain. The higher this score, the higher is the scale of the mother. Every time a pink square returns to the mother, the player gets a speedboost.
Perfectionism: Protecting the fountain from the black triangles rises this score. It is reduced when a black square collides with the fountain. Is a certain amount of score achieved, the fountain will release a blue square after a black triangle collided with it. The blue triange can be picked up and slows black triangles down to make it easier to protect the fountain.

Hidden Mechanic:
The blue triangle can be brought to the blue circle. This will end up in a level up for the player. There are 3 fountains and so 3 blue triangles hidden. The first gives the player a permanent speed boost, the second shrinks most of the green triangles with black spikes and the third gives an auto-recharging one-time-protection-bubble. All these effects are meant to make it a lot easier for the player to get around and collect all the yellow circles.

There are some platforms hidden, that display some story-text to the player (with the intention to bring her to think about the content a bit more, and contextualisation). They have no other game-play effect.

When the game ends, the scores are saved, but only the Dedication score is showed in the startscreen.

– Manuel Wirth, Retromorphose