In 2016, more Americans died from drug overdoses than in the Vietnam War (source) but it seems like drugs are still a taboo topic in our society. This was the inspiration for my game Downward Spiral. In the northeast, heroin and opioid overdoses are a big problem so I see the effects of drugs everyday. I wanted to make a game that would put a player inside of an early drug user and be able to see the progression to harder drugs in VR.
The game starts off placing you in a suburb with a playground. Common drugs spawn around you and you can choose which ones to take. The goal is to last as long as possible. Police will patrol the neighborhood at night and look for you. In order to avoid the VR withdrawal effects you must take more drugs. Once your tolerance gets high enough, you have to move to a stronger drug. That will then take you to a new level that's darker.
For my game programming class we were given an assignment to design a game and so I started on the early layout of this game. I presented my design and it was one of the five to be developed. I was the project manager and lead designer. My team included Michael Lin, Chris Persinger, Anthony Schipani, and Nick O'Black. Together we developed this game and then presented it at PACISE and won second place in the poster competition.