HAW In-Game

Head Above Water

Role: Designer, Developer

Tools: Java, LibGDX

Date: Fall 2016

The objective of the game is to swim across a river, making sure the player does not drown on his way by managing their oxygen and stamina. If he swims for too long without taking a break, he will become exhausted and sink into the river, making him more likely to drown. This balance between replenishing oxygen and replenishing stamina is the game’s core loop.

It was an experiment in balancing between two resources: when one is being consumed the other is being replenished. Placing it into the narrative of a man crossing a river was intended to create a system where player action has larger symbolic implications; namely, the struggle of a person to keep themselves out of harm’s way, to make it in the world as an adult.