A Mile In My Shoes
A downloadable experience for Windows
A gay boy whose childhood friend was taken by death, and who was made homeless by his family due to his sexuality conflicting with religion.
A girl who desires freedom from the tyranny of a mother who abuses and threatens her.
A social media star struggling with hoards of hate comments as a result of being transgender.
Journey through the stories of these people as you discover their joys and downfalls, and engage in conversation to better understand and potentially help them through their struggle.
Although A Mile In My Shoes has been publicly released, there is still the high probability of there being bugs within the game. If you find any, please make sure to let me know via the comments on this page, and I will try to work on fixes when time allows.
A Mile In My Shoes (AMIMS for short) is a game that was created for one of my year 12 semester assessment pieces in 2019. The theme of the assessment was 'Empathy with Others.' Whereas I knew a lot of people in the class would be turning in static pieces that embodied their perception of empathy, I wasn't satisfied with something like that. To me it seemed like it would be underwhelming, and considering that this was for a year 12 assessment piece, I really wanted to push myself to do something that my school hadn't seen before.
In mid 2018 I had an idea for a game that vaguely mimicked what it was like to interact with people online. The objective of the game was for the player to interact with ten different people, helping them through their issues. However, each time a person was helped, it would lower the mental stability of the player themselves, symbolising how taking on the burden of others can sometimes hurt the helper. At the end of the game, the ten people you had helped would come back and act as support for you, helping the player to return to a sound mind.
While this was the initial idea, a game on this scale would never be feasible in the timeframe - three months - that I had to work on it. Due to this, I had to minimise the amount of people you would help in the game, and also change the ending where the player would be helped. As it stands now, when playing AMIMS you encounter three people with very different backstories, and by talking to and finding out the stories of each you can gather a picture of their life, and eventually talk to them. When talking to them, you can choose how you act and react, leading to whether you end up helping this person through their issues, or whether they fall deeper into their instability.
My focus of this piece was to force the player to have to see the world from the perspective of the characters they interact with and, if they wanted to win the game, show empathy towards them. I wanted to bring to light some of the things that some people have to deal with on a daily basis in perhaps a more confronting way than is typically seen. I also wanted to touch on some issues that aren't commonly seen through shared media, and I sincerely hope that it was done in a considerate and accurate way.
For a long time it was a goal of mine to do something big, achieve some large goal, while I was still 16. Until the start of 2019, I thought that this goal would go unfulfilled - however with the announcement of our topic of work for the first semester of the year, and my recalling of the old idea I had thought of the previous year, the date of completion would coincide perfectly with just before I turned 17. I'm not going to lie - this project, at times, was extremely stressful. In the brainstorming phase I questioned myself big time as to whether I should do it, because getting it done in the timeframe I had was extremely risky. But I am very, very glad that I did go forward and do it, because I don't regret having that chance to complete a project so large like what I had always wanted to do.
All graphics and songs within this game were uniquely composed by myself for the experience. AMIMS marked the first time that I had created a game myself outside of five minute test runs, and marked the first time that I developed a game within Gamemaker. It was a tough 3 months, but thanks to the help of the Gamemaker Marketplace and the various helpful tutorials online, I managed to get this done within my tight timeframe.
AMIMS itself was not just an assessment piece, but also a project that I hoped might, in some way, help others. For anyone curious on playing the game, I will warn you that it deals with some more heavy-hitting topics which, if you get triggered easily, I don't recommend watching or playing through. Leukemia, religion, homelessness, household abuse, transphobia, online harassment, death, depression and needles all make an occurrence throughout this game. If you are sensitive to any of these topics, don't play.
To those who have played it, thank you very much for taking the time to undergo my experience. I hope that it was relatable or enlightened you in some way to the issues that others deal with, and I hope you enjoyed your time playing.
Interested in seeing the process behind making this game? Check out this journal for plenty of livestreams of the creation, screenshots, journal entries, the individual songs, graphics and more!
Enjoyed the game? Consider leaving me a tip on my Ko-fi! I'm a young, solo, and currently unemployed developer, so any tips would be highly appreciated!
A Mile In My Shoes was entirely developed, designed, illustrated & composed by Gryphonic.
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