Meet Sprout, the adorable platform game based upon the science and studies of how plants make us feel. This project was an exploration in how to convey the specific emotions houseplant owners felt when around their plants. Sprout aims to create stress relief, generate joy, happiness, and relaxation for the user.
For my capstone project I had a fascination with the popularity of houseplants. Everywhere you look on social media, people are posting their plants. I dove into my research to try to get an insight as to why people had suddenly taken to sharing their plants, collecting large amounts, and sharing their love of plants on media. Many studies on plants have shown that just being around them has a positive affect on our brains and stress levels. Further first hand interviews I conducted shed light on the topic of how plants make us feel. Many people stated that being around and caring for plants made them feel peaceful, calm, happy, and gave them further purpose in life. I based my project on those feelings. I wanted to create something that could emulate all of the positive emotions people feel when around houseplants, into a simple video game experience.
Why Video Games?
For our capstone projects we were encouraged to really explore different ideas, mediums, and programs before settling on a solid direction. I knew I wanted to research houseplants but I was not sure at first how to go about making a project that would reflect the emotions and experience of owning plants. However, I had previously had it in the back of my mind to create an app related to plants and ended up discovering the program Game Salad, which would allow me to go beyond just mocking up game concepts. With Game Salad I was able to develop a playable game which gave me many more options such as sound effects and movement that would better invoke feelings than a static design. Video games have, and always will be powerful tools for story telling, interactive design, and creating emotion.