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The video game concept

Game visuals developed using Unity, and assets available on Unity store. More information in the bibliography section.

Built on 3 pillars

The video game concept and its gameplay was designed using three pillars in mind: educate, empower, and emulate. Educate refers to education for the youth, kids or anyone who plays the game. Empower refers to empowering people to partake in a cultural event even when physically not possible, and for businesses who can now reach their customers online. Emulate refers to emulating a realistic experience with e-commerce, and an exact replication of the event online.

Educate

The game was designed with inclusivity in mind, therefore it should include people from and beyond the culture. The game has two modes – open world and storyline. The storyline gameplay takes you through levels where you play is different avatars of Durga as you progress for each of the nine nights, and learn about the cultural significance.

Empower

Making this game in itself empowers people who can’t physically enjoy the experience, still partake in the festival. Apart from that, the game empowers culture, networking, gathering etc. through the built-in secure audio and text chat. The game empowers businesses through small stalls that allow them to sell food, services or merchandise to gamers directly.

Emulate

With the first and second pillar, the game is half-way towards replicating a realistic Navratri experience. The realistic appearance elevates the experience, created through of some pre-existing assets. Features like building custom characters, choosing a dress, player control, dance moves etc. are yett o be added, but will take the experience further.

Level 0 is your entrance to the story-based gameplay

Built as your entrance to story-based gameplay, you go through level 0 as an innocent girl who activates the powers of Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva, the gods of creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe, respectively. They enrich the girl with the powers to give birth to the almighty Durga. The girl symbolizes the innocence and purity in the female, whereas the evolution into Durga shows fierceness, feminine strength, and power. 

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Interaction in gameplay

There are interactive elements in the gameplay. The player steps on them, spawns them, or completes tasks to activate them. For example, activating Shiva’s power to reveal Durga’s “Sinhasan” the rock she will sit on as she evolves.

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Story mode: education

The story mode can be used to educate players of the game to learn more about the history, mythology, and the narrative behind the game. The applications of this can include anywhere from increasing diversity in workplace by interactive gameplay, to using the game as a tool to teach kids about the significance of the festival in schools or relevant learning institutions.

Stock image turned into a mockup.

Team work. Unsplash.com.

Browse Bibliograghy section for more info.

More images of the gameplay

First-of-its-kind e-commerce in digital gameplay: empowering local businesses

Enabling not only people and culture, but also businesses through an online experience was vital. Research has shown several businesses have gone bankrupt in India and other places due to a grim, uncelebrated Navratri during the pandemic. By making realistic e-commerce for product, services, food etc. through gameplay, we’re making these offerings available to players who can’t otherwise access them due to any reasons whatsoever. Images show how shops are laid out, where player approaches the snack shop and an interactive shop page opens. 

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Casual gaming and celebrations

The open world gameplay opens as the festival begins in real life. Not only can Norta be used to celebrate the festival but also to connect with friends and family, or to just play casually to relax.

Night TV Mockup. Candacefaber.com.

Browse Bibliograghy section for more info.

Why a video game?

After conduction thorough and extensive research, 'Video games' appeared as the most apposite choice to execute this idea, given the popularity of the E-Sports genre and how widely video games are accepted as a part of the youth pop-culture today. Not only video games can be used to educate the youth, but also to provide a way for anyone who cannot partake physically, to do so virtually. Therefore, for this idea, I thought of developing a concept of a video game, as it would be presented to a venture capitalist or an investor, but emancipating it with my graphic design knowledge and skills. 

Venero, Bob. Forbes.com

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colleges in US alone have esports programs with 40,000 players

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of teens aged 13-17 play video games and watch gameplay videos.

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of teen boys aged 13-17 said they played video games/esports in 2018.

Why Navratri?

Navratri is a festival of nine nights celebrating the victory of good over evil, and the feminine power in the Hindu mythology. It celebrates the myth of Goddess Durga taking nine avatars on each night to fight the demon Mahishasura who wreaked havoc in all three realms. People in Gujarat, India celebrate the festival by performing dance forms like Garba, Dandiya, dressing up in traditional wear, meeting & connecting with their loved ones and eating local foods. 

The concept video game is based around a festival I personally relate with and know about well, it is a tribute to the festival, the culture, the people, and the businesses. The nine-night festival is loved and cherished by people in India, and South Asian communities around the world of all ages, dancing to the folk songs and melodies, the businesses that get a tremendous boost, and the youth to learn about. 

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Research has shown several businesses have gone bankrupt in India and other places due to a grim, uncelebrated Navratri during the pandemic. Globally, niche and small businesses that rely on cultural or traditional items, products, services or food already have a small customer base, with the pandemic, or in the situation of not being able to reach their consumer base for whatever reason, they’re at a higher risk of shutting down.

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Lack of cross-cultural understanding and awareness about different cultures, especially in countries with very diverse populations such as Canada, is a major concern. In situations where students, working population and other immigrants aren’t able to partake in their cultural events due to distance or other reasons, they feel distant and left out. Furthermore, with globalization, rise in immigration, and developing a cultural identity, or maintaining their own cultural  for the youth has become even more difficult.

Islam, Farah, et al. Psychiatry, vol. 14, no. 1, 2014, doi:10.1186/1471-244x-14-154.
Raja, Aditi. Indianexpress.com.
Browse Bibliography section for more info.