Snowy Springs is a cosy quest PC game with a twist. You play as Alex, one of Snowy Springs inhabitants, who prides themselves on going out of their way to help others. Stop wasting time on your phone, go talk to your neighbours and see if they need any help but don't forget to look out for yourself!
Cosy quest game with a twist
Welcome to the mountain-top village of Snowy Springs. Observe the beautiful scenery and marvel at the local fauna that thrives in this snowy biome. Visit the gallery to absorb our culturally rich artistic gemstones. Relax by the hot natural springs and immerse yourself in their wholesome healing energy.
Snowy Springs is a game about taking too much on without thinking about your own mental health.
You play as Alex, one of Snowy Springs inhabitants, who prides themselves on going out of their way to help others. Stop wasting time on your phone, go talk to your neighbours and see if they need any help but don't forget to look out for yourself!
Snowy Springs is a quest based narrative adventure that sees Alex initially completing tasks for people around the village. You can open your phone to check on the status of tasks, look at social media and check a map of the village.
The mood shifts as Alex starts to take on too much, rushing from each person to the next. Shockingly, Alex experiences a panic attack, resulting in a depressive episode where they are stuck at home.
It takes the intervention of their best friend, Bobbie, to introduce Alex to the concept of self-care. This starts Alex on a journey of reducing their feelings of anxiety by carrying out self care tasks for themselves.
Talking with people around the village, instead of assigning tasks, they each sympathise with Alex's mental health struggles and disclose why they were asking for help. The game concludes with Alex baking a cake for Bobbie's birthday party and a dance in the village hall.
It was developed over the last couple months by students at the National Film and Television School, Holly Hudson and Harvey Hayman.
We wanted to subvert player's expectations: they expect a cosy game experience similar to that of Animal Crossing but the rug is pulled from under them when the character's mental health starts to falter. When the player first enters the game world, they should find it to be familiar, warm and welcoming. However, this sense of security is slowly eroded by a barrage of tasks put on the player by the village's people, culminating in the main character suffering a panic attack and depressive episode.
We both have personal experience with struggling to manage our own and others mental health. Snowy Springs has been specifically designed to promote the role of self-care for people who struggle with prioritising their own mental health. All of the gameplay mechanics, the story and world have been tailored to serve this purpose.
We consulted with the UK charity, Gaming In Mind, an organisation of UK-based mental health professionals, when designing Snowy Springs. The charity aims to promote positive mental health within the gaming community and the games industry; and reduce the stigma surrounding these issues. Their input was valuable and critical.
You can download the full game for free on Itch.io https://hollyjhadehudson.itch.io/snowy-springs
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