Project Lazuli


A prosocial initiative to address loneliness through a free, narrative-based game
and a supportive community hub website.



About


Loneliness is a profound human condition that most people will experience at some point in their lives. A 2019 survey found that nearly 8 in 10 young adults in the U.S. feels often or always lonely. When we allow loneliness to go unchecked for too long, it can lead to severe health outcomes. There is stigma surrounding a lot of mental health issues to varying degrees, however, loneliness can be uniquely uncomfortable to discuss. Many people choose to suffer in silence because they are either embarrassed, intimidated, or afraid to reach out for support.


Our Solution


Project Lazuli is a prosocial initiative to address loneliness in young adults. It is a transmedia solution consisting of:

● A free, narrative-based single player co-op PC game about various emotional obstacles involved in loneliness
● A community hub website with supportive health resources and links to mental health organizations

Our project vision is for young adults to have the supportive resources and connections they need to maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing, and be active members of a healthy, thriving community that is resilient to loneliness.

Lazuli Website: https://ijklstudio.wordpress.com


Challenges


Overall in Canada, the percentage of loneliness rose dramatically from 10% to 54% between June 2019 to April 2020. Our team's feelings of isolation and loneliness made us more desperate to develop this game to help young adults get the help they need to cope with loneliness.

Full Blog Post

Achievements



Games for Change Festival 2020
Exhibiting at Games for Change from July 14-16, 2020 created a lot of value for the team and project. Not only were we able to increase project awareness and exposure and receive validation of our project concept, but we were also able to attract participants for our User Tests.


My Role


Lead Interaction Designer
Level Concept Design, UX & UI Design, Web & Mobile Platforms, Social Media, Design Sprint Planner.


Software Used




Other websites: SurveyMonkey, MailChimp


Lazuli Gameplay Demo





User Journey


A user journey diagram was created to illustrate the process in which a young adult may go from a first encounter with Project Lazuli, through word of mouth or via social media or web search, to playing our game, and potentially becoming an active member of the community hub website.




Website Overview


The second part of this project is the website. We want the website to be a web community hub that bridges players to approachable health resources and support groups. Our website focuses on the project and the issue of loneliness first, then followed by the latest game content video.

Lazuli Website: https://ijklstudio.wordpress.com

Website Key Features


A Community with New Voices
A place for players of all kinds to discuss different interpretations of the game and to take part in conversations about loneliness that they may not have been interested in being a part of in the past.

A Positive Environment
A supportive, non-toxic environment where players feel comfortable sharing their personal stories without judgement.

Approachable Information & Resources
Unintimidating and easy-to-find information and resources, including self-assessment tools and guidelines to better cope with loneliness.

A Gateway to Prosocial Behaviour
Encourages players to engage in prosocial initiatives in the larger community.




Website Layout



Check out our Instagram!



We started with Instagram which fits the best for our target audience age group. We looked into expanding that to other social media platforms in the future.


Game Overview


Lazuli is a narrative-based single player co-op game where you play as two polar opposite characters who journey together through different environments and obstacles that represent various emotions associated with loneliness.

Journey through a beautiful and evolving world that depicts the complex emotions associated with loneliness. Play as two intriguing, polar opposite characters with drastically different personalities and abilities: one a bright light, the other a dark soul. Only by joining forces can they overcome all environmental obstacles to emerge as a cohesive and emotionally balanced self.

Game Key Features


A World of Metaphors
Travel through an intriguing world filled with rich visual and narrative metaphors depicting the different emotions associated with loneliness.

Journey Alone, Together.
Explore the charming personalities and abilities of Light Self and Dark Self, two playable characters who symbolize the extremes of positive and negative qualities of the self, as they learn to accept and support each other.

An Uplifting Experience.
Experience a story about discovering new and positive ways of dealing with the difficult experiences, thoughts, and challenges brought on by loneliness.

Level Design


I planned a few design sprints to design the level as a team together.




Game Art





Character Mechanics Design







Games for Change Festival


Games for change is a huge milestone for our team. We were super excited to be accpeted into the Festival. It is the first time they held it virtually. We had our own virtual booth where we can host live sessions. It allowed us to present Project Lazuli publicly and get feedback from related industry. We recieved a lot of positive feedback/suggestions and were also able to make a few connections with other organizations. It was a great experience!

IJKL Studio


Our team consist of Irene, Jaclynn, Kun, and me (Lam). It was a pleasure working with the team. As for IJKL Studio’s experiences with the pandemic, we too had to adopt all-remote work practices. It’s been vastly different from our pre-pandemic late-night pizza and Netflix parties, but our team was built on shared values about togetherness, which endure even while working remotely.