Young people are caught in a hypnotic cycle of over stimulation, apps, games, and social media are so deeply immersive and provide such immediate stimulation and feedback that we literally become addicted to them.

Our brains become deficient in dopamine, our attentions are broken apart. And it becomes impossible for us to focus on deep meaning work meaningful work. The rising epidemic and anxiety amongst young people is one of the most obvious symptoms of this. 

And the more that these predatory business models, affect their ability to capture hook and immerse people’s attentions, the more that we are beginning to understand a new form of digital immersion needs to evolve. 

One that values and prioritises stillness. That does not focus on gathering people’s attention at all costs, but rather, can sit with them in a format, ergonomic to the human mind. 

Hark! attempts to marry the power and potential that games and apps, hold, creating an immersive, beautiful artistic experience for the player that is also calming and restful. 


To experience. It uses the entry point, that so many young people are now fixated on that of their screens to take them through a psychological and spiritual journey where they come into contact with philosophies methods and techniques, drawn from psychological, spiritual and philosophical traditions from cultures throughout the ages recontextualizing them and making them relevant to the modern day. 


The player conducts a kind of pilgrims journey, playing a young angel. He travels through various different worlds. Encountering magical creatures in each of them, who will serve as spiritual allies for the player, introducing them to advanced concepts such as meditation and meeting the shadow. 


The idea here is similar to that of Sesame Street, whereby difficult to grasp concepts. For young people, such as the alphabet or numeracy are introduced via appealing characters, making the entire experience far more appealing and immersive than say, some of the most traditional meditation apps, such as headspace and calm. But this is not simply a delivery device for meditations. 


It is a full grand epic narrative, and stands as a legitimate adventure game in its own right. The narrative itself serves as an allegory for many of the challenges crises and issues that we face today. 


Drawing predominantly on Chinese Taoist philosophy, each realm of the game world represents a part of the human psyche. And as one journeys through each region one interacts with the characters they’re in, and thereby is given access to means and methods of embracing and coming into contact and appreciation with those parts of the human mind. 


For example, one realm is centred around logic. And by interacting with the creatures there via dialogue, meditation, and other puzzles, one can come to appreciate both the crucial importance of logic, and also its limitations, represented in where it can, where the characters in these worlds suffer, and are held back, due to their disconnection from the other worlds. 


The players primary role is that of a cross between a diplomat and a therapist, helping the various different creatures in the world to reconnect with each other, and come back into harmonious and productive relationships. 


Another example of a game world would be the ballers a highly emotional and powerful group of Dragon like creatures who represent untethered emotion and passion. But of course, can be highly destructive. 

When they are not held in check by their association with creatures from other worlds, such as logic and willpower restraint or self control. As one interacts with characters in each of these worlds opportunities to sit back and engage in guided meditation will be offered, whereby the dialogue with the creature will seamlessly turn into a guided meditation. The player can simply close their eyes and follow the voice of the creature. Some worlds will have highly focused warrior like and ascetic meditations, based on warrior traditions such as bushido, and others, whereas other meditations in other realms, will be far more magical creative and sensory. 


As the player journeys through each world, helping to bring dialogue and integration between the various groups of creatures, piece by piece, an ancient city, known as the Cosmopolis, where the creatures all used to live together, is reconstructed, giving the player a sense of progress. 


Once the narrative of the game is completed, the player will still at any time be able to use the app to conduct the meditations that they’ve unlocked. But now the primary interface will be from that within Cosmopolis, rather than simply for each of the separated worlds. New Section timeline game will be produced within the industry standard platform unity, which has been highly recommended by many programmers and will allow the game to be deployed on multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, PC, and Apple.


 I’ve sourced a highly competent programmer. With more than 10 years of experience in working in the top levels of the computer gaming industry, who is produced many games independently and is highly conversant with Unity, using it as his primary tool is also passionate about the game idea and keen for it to succeed in phase one we will be producing a proof of concept, which will have only the most basic parts of the narrative, it will simply show the eight game worlds. And by tapping on each of them. You will encounter a representative from each world, who you can have a brief discourse with that will then lead to an example guided meditation. 


Once this has been released for testing and feedback. We will begin to proceed to phase two. Here we will integrate the very first chapter of the game that whereby the player character or angel first becomes ejected from its own world, and forced to explore the other territories. We will then release the game as episodic content, allowing our following to increase iteratively, and create a sense of anticipation for each future chapter. However, the game will still be fully functional, providing meditations and introductions to the various psychological and philosophical concepts as it goes, payment will likely be via a subscription model, with the option for players to buy a lifetime licence, giving them full access to all future episodes and unlockable content, new section, social enterprise. 


The company producing this game will be a registered social enterprise, focusing on providing mindfulness tools and anti Digital Object addiction methods as well as education and outreach regarding mental health. This will assist in unlocking funding and support from various change making organisations. 


Andrew Campbell is currently a member of the RSA, who provide a great deal of support for such entities, and have their own mindfulness and meditation community, which will be used as a primary network to launch the game and source collaborators and marketing. Andrew will also be working from a shared workspace known as maker versity, which has direct links with the RSA and will provide a great deal of community support and logistics, especially regarding merchandising and physical objects that will be produced in association with the game.


Merchandising

The game has is highly interesting, unusual, and engaging characters. The design philosophy is to produce creatures that look ideally unlike anything that has been seen before. 

For example, the angels are semi robotic creatures have body encasements made of a bone like white ceramic, which holds a crucible within which a dark. 

Oil is burned procreating bright flame that can be seen through this translucent ceramic substance at the front they have mask like faces which are protected by shields, and through which project along golden trumpet. 

These characters will be encountered in the game, and the player is in fact an angel itself. Although its body will change and be shaped by its encounters, through the various different worlds. These creatures will be produced as sculpture objects that can be bought in association with the game. They can serve as multi use objects. For example, incense burners, candles and centrepieces for meditation perhaps on a shrine, or similar place. 

It could also be placed in certain areas of the home or garden, to help honour that space with the energy that each of these creatures represents. They also will have a toy like quality to them, making them appealing to younger people. 

It would be great for young people to be able to play with these toys and allow them to be part of the imaginary worlds that they create, which are then cross tied into the playing of the game, and introductions to meditations and other helpful tools and technologies. They also could be used in a more sedate fashion by older people simply as ornaments. 

Merchandise is often one of the greatest sources of income, so this will also be a primary part of the overall business model. Additionally, these sculptures will be useful as Kickstarter prizes for the initial online marketing campaign. New Section crowdfunding. 

Marketing

Andrew Campbell has already had a great deal of success, running a Kickstarter campaign for massive small, where in nearly 40,000 pounds was raised, for the publication of a new book. This book has now been released and is continuing to sell, extremely well. Much of the success of this campaign was due to partner organisations, such as the RSA. 

So building on this previous learning Andrew will replicate the success again. Crowdfunding will be useful to raise initial funding however one of its major benefits is actually, marketing, providing pre sales and spreading word of mouth around a concerted online campaign, physical objects as well as selling licences for the game at a much lower price than they will be. Once released, will be good incentives. 

Additionally, Andrew is considering releasing a small tarot deck as a piece of merchandise that will cross reference with the game principles used section overall philosophy. The game, and all of its associated products will be governed by a key constitution, religion and spirituality is all too often being used in a highly negative way. 

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