INSTAFAME: A GAME OF LIKES AND FOLLOWERS – Game Design, UI/UX, Unity Development

A micro-celebrity simulation game that integrates the player’s Instagram data.


Project Type
Master’s Thesis

Platform
Unity

Tools Used
Dialogue Plugin
UI Plugin
Unity Animator
Instagram Plugin

Link
Thesis Blog


(For the newest development of the game, go to the design blog page)

Instafame is a social media simulation game that aimed to show potential teen downsides of being a micro-celebrity. To maximize the number of followers in the game, the player will perform activities to gain attention but also face pressures from the audiences. In the game, the player will meet a girl, Alice, who left social media and inspired a backlash. Would the player take side with Alice? Or would the player denounce Alice like everyone else?

In 8 months, I developed the game from the mission statement of my thesis. And fit in gameplay systems, narratives, and visuals to best represent the dynamics of social media. As an innovation, I incorporated player’s Instagram data as a part of the gameplay and narratives.

As a master’s thesis, I was the sole developer of the game. I faced a difficulty, as while social media is game-like, it does not translate to a game. In engaging the player, I designed mechanics and events, such as modifying picture posts with different tags to please the audience. I implemented an RPG-like event system similar to Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, where messages will pop up when conditions meet.

Thesis board:

  • Theo A. Artz (Advisor, Drexel)
  • Dr. Jichen Zhu (Committee, Drexel)
  • John Hanke (Committee, Niantics .inc)
  • Justin Patterson (Committee, Disney Interactive(formerly))
  • Nazanin Andalibi (Expert, Drexel)
  • Heidi Mcdonald (Expert, Game Designer)
  • Natalie Lyon (Writing Partner)