Automata

A Sci-Fi-Adventure about what it means to be a mother.

The newly introduced NannyBots, robots made for taking care of children, are dividing nations: should we really let our kids be raised by machines? In Automata you take on the role of a NannyBot and get to experience two memories from mothers, letting the robot know what it really feels like to be responsible for a human life.​

Automata was made in my third semester at studying game design and was the project that also sparked my interest in learning how to code (still working on it!) Because of a small team size and some general problems I took on a lot of roles during development, which really helped me grow my general knowledge of Unity and also made me interested in the role of a Lighting Artist.
 
The mainframe of the university course was to develop a game based on the theme of motherhood. I didn’t had any inspirations for the story itself, but the visuals were very much inspired by games like Everybodys Gone to the Rapture and The Uncertain. You start at the laboratory from where you can switch to the two memories. Through hacking the devices (presented in a minigame) you are able to gather information about the stories of the mothers.
 
Here is a short summary of what I did during development:

 

Game Design
  • Designing the general narrative and stories of the two mothers
  • Designed the memories and placed the 3d objects into the scenes
  • Wrote short little dialogues that get triggered
  • Designed the core loop of the game
  • Lighting out scenes, creating particle FX and using Post Processing
  • Created a NavMesh in Unity for the Point-and-Click-System

Programming
  • Made a basic Point-and-Click-System in C#
  • Various triggers for scene changes, cutscenes and dialogue
  • Created a Silent Hill-like camera system in C#
  • Designed and scripted the minigames (based on Brackeys‘ Tutorials, bless him)
UI Design
  • Created the main menu
  • Made little dialogue pop-up windows
  • Created and designed the interactable on the ingame computers (mailbox, chat, bank account)
Moodboard for the appearance of the NannyBot, obviously not our own concepts
First row: screenshots from my prototype, second row: visual examples for the look

Overview

Platform:

Windows

Tools Used:

Unity Engine, Microsoft Visual Studio, Trello, Sourcetree

Development Time:

Five Months

Team Size:

Three

Role:

Game Designer, Programmer, Narrative Designer, Level Designer, UI Designer