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Role: Producer, Game Designer                                            Duration: 1 Month                                      Project Nature: Minigame Challenge

Tool: Unity, Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, Figma, Sibelius, etc.                                     Cooperator: Minjie Tang, Yawen Chen, Jingwen Yang

Game Beginning.png


After reading “The Art of Game Design” by Jesse Schell and becoming interested in games, I decided to look for a project to start my first step in the field of game design. Then I set my sights on the 2022 Netease Game University MINI-GAME Challenge.

The theme of the competition revolves around the Chinese character "信" (Letter). Even though the submission deadline for the contest has passed, I still started this game project. As a producer, I recruited three artists to be responsible for the art design.



Translate Aesthetic Connotation into Game Language

The beauty of letter comes from imagination. Because of various factors, the letter writer and the recipient can only imagine the other party's moods, emotions, and what they have experienced through the content of the letter.

Based on these factors, I further brainstorm how to translate them into game design language because restoring these factors reproduces the unique oriental implicit aesthetics contained in the letter.




Therefore, some core elements of the game can basically be confirmed, such as two-line puzzle, space transformation, time span, and some features of plot design, etc.

Then I decided to find a classic story that can meet these design elements after adaptation, such as
“The Miracles of the Namiya General Store” by Keigo Higashino, “The Castle of Crossed Destinies” by Calvino, and “Letter From An Unknown Woman” written by Zweig.






Finally, I thought of a poem written by Li Shangyin in the Tang Dynasty of China. This poem is his reply to his wife. The following are the Chinese and English versions of this poem :

Novels Considered

Written on a Rainy Night to My Wife in the North
Li Shangyin
You ask me when l can return, but l don't know;
It rains in western hills and autumn pools overflow.
When can we trim by window side the candlelight
And talk about the western hills in rainy night?
(Translated by Xu Yuanchong)






The essence of the poem lies in the last two sentences. These two sentences connect the time of "Now" and "Future", cross the space of "Strange Land" and "Home", and frame the emotional contrast between "Lonely, Sad" and "Accompanied, Happy". The author's imagination of the reunion scene vividly expresses the desolation of the rain in the place where he is now, the longing for his wife, and the desire to go home, giving readers unlimited imagination.

Elements in Poetry

Story Based on the Poem


In a rainy autumn, a poet strands in a strange land. After finishing his letter, "Written on a Rainy Night to My Wife in the North", in reply to his wife, he gives it to the messenger to send home.

Then he tries to return to his hometown in dream-like scenes and reunite with his wife. When he encounters difficulties on the road, his wife always helps him solve them in the scene at home.

However, when the poet returns home after solving a series of puzzles, he finds that his wife has already passed away. On the table is only the unopened letter he sent home, that is “Written on a Rainy Night to My Wife in the North”.

Two-line Time and Space Puzzle Solving & Scene Switch
Core Gameplay

The game develops in the way of two-line time and space puzzle solving. One scene is the scene where the poet is on his way home, and another scene is where he is reunited with his wife at home.

On the way home, he encounters many difficulties, but a candle 
(the candle mentioned in the poem, “When can we trim by window side the candlelight”) in his hand is always lit. When staring at the candle, he can travel to the scene after reuniting with his wife at home, where he can complete interactive puzzle solving with his wife and key items. Then when traveling back to the way back home with the help of the candle, he finds that the difficulties on the way have been solved accordingly.


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Two-line Time and Space Puzzle Solving Gameplay & Scene Switch

The game deliberately blurs the boundary between reality and unreality, leaving players room for multiple understandings.


Traditional Chinese Ink Painting Style
Art Style

In terms of art, we intentionally refer to the scene art style of classic domestic Chinese style cartoons. The game is in the style of traditional Chinese ink painting to show the strong oriental aesthetic conception.



Besides, we also refer to a lot of Tang Dynasty elements and ancient Chinese culture in the design of characters, buildings, and scenes.


Style Reference

Level Design

Poet Sends the Poem to Wife and Begins to Go Home
Scene 0 - Initial Animation & Story Background

Scene 0 - 1

A simple game startup animation.

Scene 0 - 2

Scene 1-1.png

(Camera through the night rain, from the window to the room)

The poet is sitting at the table writing something by candlelight. (Camera zooms in on the content of the letter: "Written on a Rainy Night to My Wife in the North")

The letter was slightly wet from the rain.
(The camera is put into the envelope from the perspective of the letter and then the screen goes black.)

Scene 1-3.png

The poet hands the letter to the messenger.

Scene 1-4.png

The messenger turns and leaves.

Village in Rainy Night
Level I

Scene 1

image 4.png


Players need to walk through the village in the heavy rain at night with as little rain as possible.



Gameplay & Interaction

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The size of the rain will randomly change, and there will be interactive signs around the player to indicate the humidity.

The heavier the rain, the faster the humidity of the player will accumulate.

When the humidity is full they will be teleported back to the last place they took shelter.



Players can enter corridors to take shelter, where humidity decreases slowly over time.

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Players can also enter villagers' houses to take shelter, where humidity decreases quickly over time. They need to knock first.


After knocking on the door, a dialogue with the villagers will be triggered.

During the dialogue, villagers may allow the player to enter the house, or reject the player, this happens randomly.

If the player is rejected, the humidity will continue to increase.

The player passes the level successfully when leaving the village, then walks to the river and turns on level II.

Swollen River in Rainy Night
Level II

Scene 2 - 1

image 4.png


Players need to cross the river in rainy night.



Scene 2 - 2

image 5.png


The player needs to complete some interactions with the candle and items on the table.



Gameplay & Interaction

Scene 2 - 2

Scene 2 - 1

Gameplay & Interaction 2.png


After the player reaches the end of the level II, the inverted mountains in the distance turn back upright, the river turns into a galaxy, the fireflies turns into stars. The player falls into the mountains. Level III is activated.

Maze of Mountains
Level III

Scene 3 - 1

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The mountains repeat periodically like a maze, and players cannot walk out of the mountains directly.



Scene 3 - 2

image 5.png


The player needs to complete the puzzle.



Gameplay & Interaction

Scene 3 - 2

Scene 3 - 1

Gameplay & Interaction.png

Pier without a Boat
Level IV

Scene 4 - 1

image 4.png


Players need to find a way to leave the pier and go back home by water.



Scene 4 - 2

image 5 (1).png


The player needs to interact with the wife‘s belongings.



Gameplay & Interaction

Scene 4 - 2

Scene 4 - 1

Gameplay & Interaction (1).png

Poet Arrives Home and Finds Wife has Passed away
Scene 5 - End of Story

image 1 (1).png

The player’s ship docks.
(The screen turns black and "Chang'an" appears.)

Scene 1-1.png

(The screen gradually brightened, the camera opened the door and then focused on the table)
Wife has passed away. There was only a letter on the table.

Scene 1-3.png

(The camera zooms in and focuses on the letter)
The letter on the table is exactly what the poet himself sent home, "Written on a Rainy Night to My Wife in the North".
(The screen fades to white)

Scene 1-4.png

On the white screen, the picture of the poet and his wife getting along is played back frame by frame.
(Finally the screen turns white again and the game ends)

Compile With Unity

The compilation work is still in progress, only some of the results are presented here, with level I as an example.

Set Physics Barrier, Anchor Point, Camera, Player, etc
Scene Building

Scene Building.png


*Set Physics Barrier, Anchor Point, Camera;
*Add collider for buildings to trigger player interaction and rainwater collision effect;
*Add code to control player movement

Rain Changing Size, Particle Effects, Sound Effects
Rain Setting

Rain Setting.png


*Use particle system to make raindrop effect;
*Add code to control the size of the random change of rain

(Rain have modes of heavy, medium and soft, random changing every 5 seconds. Rain sound, raindrop number will synchronous gradient)

Humidity Setting, UI Design, Button Trigger, Dialog Effects
Interaction Setting

Interaction Setting.png


*Add code to control the appearance of interactive prompt buttons;
*Make several UI styles and conduct research and testing, then choose one;
*Add code to control the increase or decrease of the player's humidity;

(humidity decreases slowly in the pavilion, decreases rapidly in the house, and increases at different speeds depending on the size of the rain outside)
*Use the plug-in Dialogue System for Unity to make dialogue logic and effects
(randomly trigger dialogues to realize the situation where villagers allow or reject the player to enter the house)

Compose a Oriental and Impressionistic Piano Piece
Background Music



I created a short oriental and impressionistic piano piece, which I performed, recorded, post-processed and added to the game as background music.


* Design language is sometimes the best language. The emotional resonance brought by immersive sensory experience can convey values and aesthetics that transcend natural language.

* As a medium, technology influences the upper limit of design experiences. Exceptional technical implementation can transcend design constraints, opening new dimensions of creative thinking.

* Collaboration

Being a leader and producer means being in charge of the project quality and pushing the project forward. I set up an online shared table listing out the planning content, art requirements and important nodes for each level and scene, and assigned each task. My partners would update their progress in the table every day and raise their difficulties encountered, while checking each other's messages in the table and giving suggestions.

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