“Do you believe videogames… can evoke emotions?”
.heartbeats is an award-winning experimental game focusing on interactive narrative and dynamic music in order to evoke feelings from players. The game won a special mention and a Toki-Tori prize at IDÉAME 2012 event in Madrid, Spain. It is an indie-game available in English.
The game tells the story of four people in four different moments in life (a teenager facing depression, a young man regretting his actions, an adult woman looking back on her life choices and a young girl enjoying life).
Making this game
Making this game has been an interesting (and crazy) experience, as I alone was able to develop a complete small demo, create the music, look for the sound effects and create an interesting gaming experience (available in English and in Spanish). I didn’t sleep for a week, but… who cares! It was fun as hell.
The game was developed with Ren’Py, a Visual Novel Framework for Python. Learning how to use the whole framework was hard, yet rewarding in the end.
This may get a bit philosofical, yet… there’s a kind of implicit message on all of this. By replaying the game a couple of times, you can help the characters face their fears and learn about life. In a way, this plays as a metaphor of fighting for what you want. If you really want to survive, you’ll have to try and fight. You may have to withdraw and rest your wings, yet never give up. And life will reward you in the very end.