A third-person survival game based around global warming as experienced through the eyes of a polar bear.
Global warming has a severe impact on life in the arctic. In Thin Ice the player gets to experience these impacts first-hand through the eyes of a polar bear. The player takes control of a polar bear on the hunt during the winter of the years 1994, 2006 and 2017, each year the ice having melted progressively. The goal of the player is to eat enough seals during the winter in order to sustain themselves through the summer. This, however, gets more difficult as the ice melts.
Thin Ice is as much a call-to-action as it is a game. Much like documentaries portraying the deteriorating condition of life in the Arctic, Thin Ice attempts to explain the dire situation by invoking a feeling of empathy for the polar bear character in the player.
The core loop of the game is sneaking up on a rookery of seals and successfully catching one. Throughout the game the player must do this three times for each level before the sun goes down. Furthermore, Thin Ice is a minimalist stylistic experience that does not take more than 12 minutes to complete. Enough time to get the point across, but not enough for players to lose interest in the simple core loop.
Role: Lead Game Designer
The demo was in development for one semester (14 weeks) as part of a course in Game Development. I pitched my original idea in front of a panel of experts from the video game industry and got selected to build up a team among my peers. The team consisted of five member in total (two designers and three developers). We collaborated with the other designer regarding design decisions on gameplay and aesthetics. I was in charge with developing the levels and a variety of 3D models. I also helped with parts of the development and marketing strategy.