09 . A. Way

Annamaria Andrea

A.Way is a short texture interactive novel about dissonances, desires and fears.

You play as Ayvee, a girl looking for her real self and struggling between the desire of starting a new life, and the fear of abandoning what she has now and, Tera.

The story unfolds through Ayvee narration of her deepest thoughts. In this flow of thoughts and dissonant mood you will decide how Ayvee is going to behave with Tera, or in “jailbreak” situations. Indeed, Ayvee will face lonely escape moments (like smoking or dating a third person) where she could act differently from what she usually does, to overcome the feeling of failure tied to the impossibility to break with Tera and to express her real self. Anyway, while she might want to smoke a cigarettes, she knows Tera wouldn’t approve. This escape moments interrogate players about their set of values and priorities when their choices seem to be governed by opposite feelings: personal needs, and other people’s expectations.

To explore the feeling of cognitive dissonance ­ an emotional situation in which you are overwhelmed with multiple contrasting thoughts that prevent you from being certain about which decision to take ­ every time you will be asked to take choices, four similar options will appear dynamically one after each other, as different dissonant thoughts come to our mind in confused ways.

Choices are also timed: like in reality the feeling of not taking action is tied to the time that passes, so in the game there’s a limited amount of time for selecting your option. Nightmares are part of the story too, speaking for Ayvee’s subconsciousness and suggesting something is not working. The visual art also contributes to the game aesthetics. Each characters is identified by one animated textures. When both of the characters are in the scenes, the textures overlapped each other creating starving optical effects and evoking the silent fight between two intertwined identities.

Special thanks to Irene Camporeale and Anita Verona for the contribution to the design of the first prototype. And also special thanks to We Are Müesli.

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