|Summer 2010 Prototype | Platformer | Adobe Flash (Windows / Macintosh)
Life is a never-ending struggle, full of rising and falling moods. Elude mirrors this struggle against the rising tide of depression, and the search for a path to happiness. Yet happiness remains elusive. Again and again, losing passion for anything in life, you plunge into depression. Only by continually calling out to the world can you find experiences that resonate, allowing you to ascend into happiness.
For people who have never experienced it before, depression is difficult to understand. It is not simply sadness, as many may think; it is more akin to an all-encompassing hopelessness, a failure to connect to or derive meaning from the outside world. By tapping into the experiential aspects of the video game medium, Elude's metaphorical model for depression serves to bring awareness to the realities of depression by creating empathy with those who live with depression every day.
Interestingly enough, the word "Elude" originates from the Latin word "e-ludere" which means "away from" and is itself derived from the "ludo" with the meanings "to play" and "to trick."
Elude aims to raise awareness for depression and to inform about this dangerous illness. It is specifically intended to be used in a clinical context as part of a psycho-education package to enhance friends' and relatives' understanding of people suffering from depression about what their loved ones are going through.
Modeling what depression feels like by contrasting it with other mood states (normal and happy), Elude portrays depression metaphorically. The various parts of the game-world represent emotional landscapes that correspond to different moods with the gameplay changing according to mood changes. The core gameplay (i.e. "normal mood") happens in a forest filled with "passion" objects that resonate and act as power ups when one calls out to them. Only when infused with passion is it possible to overcome the obstacles on the way to the tree tops, where one reaches "happiness".