Christopher Okumura – College of Engineering
Collaborators: Lili Omilan – Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design; Emily Song – College of Engineering and Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design; Paul Young – LSA; Parth Narang – Ross School of Business; Daniel Tian – College of Engineering; Yuhong Chen – College of Engineering; Alexander Hawthorne – School of Information; Nikhil Ghosh – College of Engineering; Grace Hsia Haberl – College of Engineering; Vivian Du – UC Berkeley; Chellina Okumura – Chaminade University of Honolulu
Bluebird’s vision is to create a game/app for people that will provide a fun, rejuvenating, and enriching experience for people when they’re stressed or down-in-the-dumps, all from their phone. Our interdisciplinary approach stems from the harmonic mesh of character & environmental art, UI, SFX & music, design, programming, philosophy, and business all in a single integrated package. No one person can specialize in these skills, and so we have a team composed of engineers, designers, 2D animators, 2D artists, marketers. Our interdisciplinary approach to our vision is appropriate (and a necessity) for our project as successful game/app development requires a myriad of skill sets to create a digital experience that appeals visually, auditorily, emotionally, kinesthetically, and mentally. Mediocrity doesn’t make an experience good, and so that’s why we’re putting specialized people together so every aspect can be developed to its full potential. The arts play a role in our project through a myriad of ways, including: 2D environment & character at; 2D skeletal animations; sounds effects and themed-music; user interface design; and story-narrative design for our characters in the game. The interweaving of these skills-in-the-arts are really the sole driver of creating that positive experience for our users, and so the arts really play a huge, central role in our project. This is a group project, and it takes positive people to make the dream work. We will address benefits of this interdisciplinary collaboration through rewarding individual creativity, and team-building. Of course, challenges will (and are) arise with differing opinions on design choices; however, we have set dedicated ways to work through differences through our two-pronged-strategy of brainstorming alternatives first, and making decisions second. We anticipate carrying out the project as we have been thus far–through Discord as our hub for communicating and our weekly progress and brainstorm meetings. Each team member is responsible for working on their own respective projects that align with their skillset (eg. Lili needs to animate the character model that Chellina drew last week), and we all come together to integrate those interdependent pieces so that we can reach our timeline of launching our official game by the end of April 2023. Our expected impact on campus and/or the local community is to create a community that can rally around a beacon of fun, wholesomeness, and positive mental health habits. Furthermore, we hope to continue to be a beacon that encourages multidisciplinary indie student game development across campus. Currently we’re doing this by encouraging indie student projects such as giving advice to Blockraft (a student game continued after EECS 494) and in being a regular featured guest at WolverineSoft and IGDA Ann Arbor. Our collaborators’ main strength is our diversity and specialty of strengths. Emily, Chellina, and Vivian have been strong artists since childhood and have always continued to hone their craft. Similarly Lili, Taylor, and Daniel have really taken to animation and sound design respectively and have each taken classes and have practiced these skills in other projects. The rest of the team brings strong programming and business skills from previous experiences and projects that will help us build the digital infrastructure that “glues” the various artistic content into that comprehensive, positive experience we endeavor to build.