May 2019-June 2019: Initial concept designer
July 2019-November 2019: Creative director during the development phase
Adobe Photoshop Sketch
May 2019-June 2019: Concept design
July 2019: Project greenlit
July 2019-November 2019: Development
As the Grand Prize Winner in Google Play’s Change the Game Design Challenge, I worked with the Girls Make Games and Google Play teams to bring to life my mobile game idea Brightlove to the Google Play store. The app was released on Google Play in late 2019.
Among my peers, I’ve noticed the lack of active intervention in situations where someone is being bullied or hurt. Furthermore, violence often permeates mobile games, with players often rewarded for destruction and horrific actions.
Brightlove is a coming-of-age narrative that encourages players to be kind and to take action, rather than be mere bystanders. A refreshing contrast to the violence that often permeates mobile games, Brightlove encourages positive actions and rewards kindness.
You play as Cece, a kind blob who hopes to spread love and kindness to her world. In the first level, players start off in a trash-filled, dark world. In each level, there is a positive word that Cece must uncover. During the level, Cece’s mission is to collect the gold letters scattered throughout her world and later unscramble the letters to spell out the positive word. But navigating Cece’s world and collecting the gold letters come with challenges. Evil monsters lurk in the dark, exuding negativity, hurting other creatures, and destructing the environment. When players encounter an evil monster, they must channel positivity as a response to the monster’s negativity by spraying the evil monster with love potion. Meanwhile, hurt creatures lay helpless in the dark world, and Cece must take action to help these creatures. As Cece unlocks positive words and progresses through the game, Cece’s world becomes more and more beautiful.
I outlined the different characters and levels as well as the gameplay in the initial sketches. For the final game, I sought a more minimalist, flat design with simple shapes to recenter the focus on the interactions between the characters.
Final Game Screens
Available exclusively on the Google Play store
- Original Concept & Creative Direction: Anna Zhang
- Executive Producer: Laila Shabir
- Studio Director: John Meister
- Programming: Shea Rembold
- Level Design: Lacey Lansaw
- QA: Amanda Hudgins
- Intern: Dustin Vanderpool
- Producer: Kristani Alcantara
- Art: Yue Li, Alex Clauss, Katie Longua
- Writing: Katie Longua
- Audio & Sound Design: Team Audio
- Music: Chris Rickwood
- SFX: Zachary Woomer
The game received over 10,000 downloads and was featured on Forbes, Buzzfeed, and Google Play. It is also part of an ongoing exhibition at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC called “Girlhood: It’s Complicated.”