Olivia Haines’ work

For gamers, the video games we play can have a big influence on who we are. They can affect the way we view the world and the stories we seek to consume. For developers, the video games they create are an extension of who they are and what they love.

Olivia Haines is a Melbourne-based 3D Artist and Game Developer whose Creative Library is a gorgeous range of cute and colorful 3D games. His next title, Surf club, was announced last year as one of eight Australian games supported by Film Victoria and we can’t wait to play it.

A TikTok of hers presenting some of her work and accompanied by the text: “The female urge to make video games only as a form of self-expression and to make no effort to please gamers” has recently arisen. triggered.

Unsurprisingly, the comments are filled with love for Haines’ work, with many expressing how the game Is appeal to them. A comment from user minto0o0 states: “Calling in players is definitely after you’ve called in yourself.” While developers enjoy positive relationships and open communication with their audiences, the feeling of making a game you love first rings true for many, and audience appeal will follow depending on who decides to play it. .

I decided to contact Haines and ask her how she uses her games as a form of self-expression.

I grew up drawing all the time and used this as my primary form of expression for a long time, but once I started making games on my own, my eyes were opened to the possibilities that this is. medium could have to extend my artistic abilities. The games provide a completely immersive experience with dimensions, audio, and a chance for the player to truly connect with the creator. Even if the game is only a virtual environment (like my game escape, for example), the act of exploration can lead to surprise, contemplation, and longing. I’m really motivated by the idea of ​​translating a certain feeling or moment in my life into an interactive experience that I can remember in the future.

Image: Terracotta / Olivia Haines.

I also asked how she got inspired by herself and her experiences when creating her games.

“I will often go through phases of fixation on the memory of a certain point in my life, whether it is a specific memory or what I was feeling at that time, and I will use these memories as inspiration for the subject of a game before I even decided on any real gameplay. I’ll try to think of mechanisms that complement the subject, but I also won’t take time to create the aesthetic experience I’m trying to capture. Because games take a long time to create, it gives me the time and space to really dive into that memory and I feel like my mind was cleared after the game came out.

Looking at her past work, it’s easy to see how self-expression goes into her creative process. Dream street is influenced by the memory of her partner and her search for a place in 2018, while Terracotta arose from an expression of emotions at the time of development. Club 2k is an ode to childhood memories of the late 90s and early 2000s, while escape is dedicated to online spaces and games from the 2000s that no longer exist. These are human expressions of memory and emotion in the form of interactive experiences, allowing the player to step into the developer’s shoes while having fun.

You can find more of Olivia’s work through her itch.io page.

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