Anamnesis is a first-person exploration game set in near-future L.A. The city is recovering from a deadly virus that had half of the city quarantined. You are a FEMA relocation agent visiting a temporary shelter complex in order to find out why some of the tenants have lost contact. In this game, the Oculus Rift serves as a secondary display port, alongside the computer monitor. The monitor displays the first-person view of the character, but players may bring up the Oculus Rift to their eyes at any time in the game to inspect game objects. In the game’s fiction, these are specially designed goggles that read “psychological imprints” left by people that were previously there, giving players the narrative perspective of the character who lived in the space. Anamnesis uses this technique to explore multiple narrative perspectives, environmental storytelling and the utilization of role-play and ritual in the gameplay process.
Created by a 2 person student team at the University of Southern California’s IMGD, the project was a three month experiment for Richard Lemarchand’s Worldbuilding & Design class.
Alexa Kim (Art, Environmental Design, Narrative Design): Alexa is currently an MFA candidate in Interactive Media and Games Division at University of Southern California. Her BFA was in visual communications design. With concrete experience in art and a quirky taste in creative writing, She is a game designer with a goal to simulate roleplay through unconventional game mechanics. She is currently most interested in overlaying multiple perspective in narrative to construct a recombinant game world.
Scott Stephan (Narrative Design, Lead Programmer, Producer) is a creative coder, game designer/producer and book nerd, wielding an unhireable BA in English & Philosophy . He previously worked at the GameDesk Institute, but now lives the many sleepless nights of an MFA student at USC’s Interactive Media & Games Division. He can be found at scottstephan.org and aegisthegame.com.
With Anamnesis, Alexa and I specifically wanted to explore the use of the Oculus Rift as a peripheral and not as a primary display device. We were especially interested in using it to give players a kind of "super power" and via the ritual of utilizing it, to perform a kind of magic trick. We also wanted to explore a story that could only be told using these techniques, a one of a kind, performative experience.