Silver Linings

This cartoon style game is a 2.5D platform game. To create the extra dimension, there is be a background, mid-ground and foreground along with a 3D character in order to give visual depth.

Story

The game about a dog called Smudge. Smudge wakes up in a cave, lost and unsure how she got there. Scared and alone, she must face her own fears and her inner demons to find her owner again. As she begins to explore the cave, she meets a spirit, Astra, who takes pity on her and vows to guide her home safely. Astra teaches Smudge to hone her senses in order to see beyond the physical world and help her to explore the environment around her. After focusing her sight and smell abilities, Smudge finds clues that lead her to the edge of the forest where she is reunited with her owner.

Idea Origins

I originally had the idea for my game after losing my dog, Smudge, to cancer back in March 2019. She was a part of my family since I was a child so to suddenly lose her felt awful, and anyone who has loved a pet understands the difficulty and grief in putting them down. I wanted to make a game that reflects this unconditional love between humans and dogs.

My first idea was to make a game where the player character was a dog who had just died. The dog would be between worlds and could not pass on to the afterlife without their owner. The player would have to explore the veil, completing puzzles and fighting enemies, until they were reunited with their owner who had eventually died of old age.

With only a year and only myself to complete this project, I decided I would need to simplify the idea far more in order to meet my deadline. Instead, I settled on a game that very literally shows a lost dog trying to find their owner again, this can also be a metaphor for death and potentially being reunited again one day but does not require the storytelling and scale of the previous idea.