The talent and programming skills of André Fidalgo Silva (MSc in Computer Science and Engineering – Técnico), combined with the creativity and artistic ability of Ariana Parrilha and Andreia Batista (MSc in Communication Design and New Media – Faculty of Fine Arts, Universidade de Lisboa), resulted in a video game – “Sea of Roses” . The game won second place in the Video Games Exploring Culture’s Influence on Dating 2020, an international challenge sponsored by the Jennifer Ann’s Group.
“Sea of Roses” aims to demonstrate the influence of culture on interpersonal relationships. “It’s a serious game that aims to positively influence people and their perspective on the world, increasing awareness about dating violence and highlighting the role of culture as part of the equation”, says Andreia Batista.
“Video games have always fascinated me and I wondered if one day I would end up creating a game that people liked to play. It is funny to see how everything ended up happening naturally”, says André Fidalgo Silva, who shared with us that receiving this award is an honour and the fulfillment of a dream.
Ariana Parrilha is also very proud to receive this award “both at a personal level, as creators of independent games, and also for the games industry in Portugal, which deserves and needs international recognition”.
Andreia Batista stresses “the digital gaming market is highly competitive and, sometimes, it’s very difficult to believe in video game ideas and concepts, so this award is a huge motivation to continue working on projects in this area”.
The challenge launched by Jennifer Ann’s Group “involved the creation of a video game, initially conceptual and later a prototype, based on the idea of how culture is able to influence our beliefs and ideas, namely in terms of healthy loving relationships between teenagers. The Jennifer Ann’s Group goal is to increase awareness about teen dating violence”, explains Ariana Parrilha. The team created the story of a girl, Marion, who travels through time to the future. There, she will contact with a completely different society, and will start to question herself about the role of women in society, gender stereotypes and healthy relationships. Throughout the game Marion will become aware that, in her time, she dealt with an abusive relationship, and she will have to decide what to do. “The story is told essentially through dialogues and player decisions, and the game have three different endings”, highlights Ariana Silva.
The game will be produced and released by Jennifer Ann’s Group
During the development process, the team had to make some cuts and adjustments “due to the limited time of the challenge”, recalls the Técnico student. Now that the challenge is over, and after winning second place, the “Sea of Roses” will be produced and released by Jennifer Ann’s Group. “We will work with them to restore some of the content we had to cut and make other necessary adjustments. We are very proud of the game and, naturally, we want the best available version”, says André Fidalgo Silva.
The game was evaluated by an international jury composed of renowned personalities in the video game industry. Ariana Parrilha believes that “the concept, art and music have positively influenced the jury”. “We have worked hard so that nothing was left to chance”, she adds.
According to André Fidalgo Silva, the “Sea of Roses” stood out due to an effective teamwork. “The essential elements of a game are not only design, writing and programming. The graphics and charisma are also very important and my colleagues have done it in an incredible way”, says the Técnico student.