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Ido Back, designer
Katia Podolsky, developer
Barbara Junge, instructor
Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin, school

© Ido Back

“Visually gorgeous but with serious themes. The artist gamifies life and thoughtfully weaves adversity into the narrative. This creates a big impact.” —juror Libby Bawcombe

“The level of effort behind Me, the Stranger is incredible. The animations, illustrations and gameplay blend together seamlessly to create an engrossing, compelling and unique kind of autobiography.” —juror Dan Mall

Overview: Users can go through the experiences that Ido Back faced while growing up in Israel by playing Me, the Stranger, an autobiographical game based on a character walking on a map. Eight locations represent eight different experiences, which deal with issues like divorced parents, army service, terror attacks and more. Upon reaching each location, users see a short background story about that experience and then play the game of that experience.

  • The project was created using Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, Visual Studio Code, C#, Unity and Xcode.

  • A demo was developed with Unity and C# for desktop and iPad.

  • The project took one year to produce.

Comments by Ido Back:
What was the purpose of the project? “The first is to find an interesting and innovative way to tell a story. The second is to use this method to make players think about their place in society and question basic beliefs like free will and identity. The target audience is adults and young adults.”

Did you use any applications that you hadn’t used before? “Unity and C#. I chose to use Unity for the game development because it has a relatively satisfying learning curve and great support by the community.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “To find a balance between the gaming aspect and the storytelling aspect. Though making
a good story was my first objective, the gaming experience was also important. I found it crucial to combine the two because when playing, people are open and creative, and it enables them to transform from being passive readers to being active participants.”

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