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Astro Game

A serious game designed to support parents of autistic children and also help the general public gain insights into the lives of these families. 


Sept - Nov 2023

Project Type

Collaborative Project

Serious Game

My Role

Game Designer


  • Figma

  • Procreate

  • Unity

Game Overview

Autism presents challenges not only for the autistic children but also places emotional and financial strain on their parents. Parents of autistic children are the ones who possess the deepest understanding and compassion for this unique group of individuals, aside from the children themselves.

Our project aims to design a serious game which could provide support to these parents while educating the broader community about autistic children from a parental viewpoint. 

Here is a sneak peek of this game!

(The demo video is about 4 min)



01 What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by challenges in communication, social interaction, and behavior. The types of behaviors and severity levels of deficits in the development differ across every individual with ASD.

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What appears as unusual behavior to others is often a manifestation of autistic children's symptoms

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02 Parent's Dilemma

Parent's roles and challenges

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Parents are under enormous psychological pressure

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01 Offline research

To better understand the parents of ASD children,we visited a charity(Clear Blue Studio) that helps ASD children learn and supports employment, and there we came into contact with parents of ASD children and ASD children.



When we were there, the autistic children were drawing and playing music. They showed strong talents in their artistic abilities.



During our interaction with the parents, we found that parents were generally very resistant to interacting with strangers and were reluctant to share with us much about their children's situation.

02 Social listening

Based on the offline research, we found that many parents have strong resistance to share private and sensitive information, so we conducted an online research to gain more insights from this group. 


We have seen many parents’ social media postings on the Internet, and we noticed a common pattern: they shared that there were a lot misunderstanding and discrimination against them from the public. As time goes by, they no longer trusted others and gradually kept themselves away from the outside world.

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Problem Definition

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We integrated all the previous user research, summarizing their pain points and needs, and came up with our preliminary ideation.

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In supporting parents of autistic children, it's essential to consider not only the care of the child but also how society perceives them. After conducting multiple brainstorming sessions, we ultimately chose to develop a 2D serious game.

Advantages of a 2D serious game

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Great storytelling

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High interactivity

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Wider user group

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Lower R&D cost

Design concepts for our game

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Game Components

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Characters & Props Design

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Scenes Design

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Background: The player entered into a new world accidentally. The appearance of little star disrupted the player's originally orderly life, and the two unparallel worlds intersected. The player explores how to get along with the little star in the most appropriate way. Finally, the two unparallel worlds reached a kind of acceptance, reconciliation, and self-consistency.

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Scenes & Display

We show the main elements of the second level of the game, especially the repeated changes in the state of the little star and the emotions of Astro, the player, who is moved by the little star, jumping repeatedly sideways between despair and hope.

Interaction & Gesture

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01 Screen Outputs

Basic Icon Interaction

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Clicking on this icon triggers dialogue boxes that primarily appear during interactions with in-game characters.

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This icon appears to indicate that the player is being guided to perform certain actions, such as knocking on a door or picking up a painting.

Screen personification

The pain of the little star affects the entire game screen, conveying perverse feelings more visually to the player

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Game screen: discoloration, strobe (visually)

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Game sounds: glitchy, jerky noises (audiologically)

The little star's anomalous behaviors correspond to those of autistic children

Little Star’s behavior:
Attracted by a blue flower and stuck

Autistic children's behavior:

Had highly-focused interest in specific things, such as objects, art, videos. 

Little Star’s behavior:
Running around without control

Autistic children's behavior:

Sometimes may engage in unexpectedly repetitive motor movement or speech

Little Star’s behavior:
Fix the broken painting for frostfang

Autistic children's behavior:

Usually had strong talents in certain areas, such as exceptional artistic and spatial abilities 

02 Human inputs

On-screen gesture interaction

In traditional 2D games, human interaction with the screen is typically quite simple, often limited to two types of actions: clicking and dragging and dropping. However, in our efforts to anthropomorphize the screen, we tried to explore a richer form of interaction between the player's hand and the screen.

This approach aims to
simulate real-world movements, making the game experience feel more realistic. By making contact with the screen, players can feel as if they are directly interacting with little star.

 interaction with screen (gesture) = scenes in real life

Gesture: Long press

These two gestures simulated the physical contact between parents and children because some autistic children find comfort in such interactions

Gesture: Paint

This gesture simulated the attention-diverting approach (using body language) used by parents

Gesture: Five finger click

This gesture simulated the high five gesture between parents and children as a way to compliment autistic children through action

Gesture interactions types

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