Video & Playable demo
Hybrid-fish is an interactive fiction project that I made with Chenyan Yu.
In this project, I worked on the scenario, unity development including scripting / humanoid(Fishmen) animations, background music and sound effects. Chenyan worked on the background and object scene creation, unity development including scene transition / monster AI, and lighting. You can see Chenyan’s blog post here.
Hybrid-fish is a story of a mermaid trying to search its identity as a mermaid.
Mermaids are innately hybrid beings between fish and humans. Although the original fairytale depicts the mermaid trying to be a human, I thought that the mermaid could choose its identity in multiple ways. What if the mermaid wanted to be a fish? What if the mermaid wanted to be just a mermaid in itself? Or what if the mermaid still wanted to become a human?
In the real world, people have multiple identities in theirselves, whether it is gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. One might be forced to hide their identities. Or one might experience oppression, not to express their identities. Like the real world, we made an environment hostile to its identity. The Fishmen try to eat your human legs. The humans are disgusted at your appearance. As a mermaid you are utterly alone.
The original scenario had three multiple endings: a human ending, fish ending and a mermaid ending. We do not think that one ending is the ‘right’ one, and each selection has its own meaning. However, since we didn’t have enough time to put all of the endings in a 3-week project(including all of the scenario writing, background music and so on) we decided to just show the mermaid ending.
We decided to put the scripts using subtitles that are triggered from a certain space inside the scene. Also, the scripts were written in third-person omniscient point of view.
The reason behind these decisions were to make the experience like being inside a fairytale, and describe the feelings of searching identity in the same time.
Music & Sound effects
I made two background music for this experience: the eden scene and the dungeon scene.
For the eden scene, I mainly used soft piano sample loops, chimes, bells and choirs.
For the dungeon scene, I focused on putting a lot of different unexpected eerie sound effects that could surprise the player – statics, waterphones, low sweeping synthesizer effects and underwater sounds. For the background music, also used some samples from Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra.
Chenyan already did an awesome job for making a whole dining hall combining different low-poly free 3d assets. I made serveral Fishmen sit, dine and talk on Chenyan’s dining table.
I also worked with the Fishmen animations in the dining hall scene. I downloaded some interesting .fbx files that included monsters with various sitting animations. Since not all of the monsters looked like fish, I had to edit some of the material files of the monsters to a green or bluish hue using Photoshop.
Being too obsessed with the background music, I forgot the most important sound – walking step sounds. Since I just had used a first-person controller asset from the class, the controller include walking sounds that didn’t match the scene’s background. I didn’t notice this at all since I was too focused on making the fish animations work and fixing last-minute bugs.
This was my first experience collaborating with another person while developing in unity. Before, I have only collaborated as a designer or a sound artist. I felt it was important to make it clear what tasks needs to be done and know what the other person is working on. Because of these reasons, I proposed to make a mini Kanban board in Miro starting from the last week, and it was successful.