CJ Catayas

Little Bubble in the Corner of the World

Bachelor of Design Interactive Unity Game Engine Interactive Fiction Narrative Culture Autobiographic

The Pandemic from the Eyes of a Young Woman from NZ

My project - a 2D interactive narrative titled “Little Bubble in the Corner of the World” -  is a result of my attempts to retell the experiences of the Covid 19 pandemic in New Zealand. Play the demo though the itch.io link above.


Little Bubble in the Corner of the World is an adapted recount of my experiences during the Covid 19 pandemic in New Zealand. More specifically, it covers the Level 4 lockdown period starting from March 25. This project ended up in the form of a top-down 2D interactive narrative. I choose to refer to it as an interactive narrative or media instead of a game. Unlike the common perception surrounding games where the aim is to beat a challenge and win, it aims to let the player walk through and experience the events in the interactive media.

What drew me into making this as my capstone project was its potential as an important historical event happening in real time. For as long as I could remember, I have been interested in history - especially in the eyes of the everyday citizen living through the middle of it. Most of the time, the significance of a time period is subtle and not truly recognised until years or decades later. Other times such as this current crisis, the significance is well known because it has made an impact in every aspect of daily life. In a way, this is my way of recording what it had felt like to live during the pandemic.

The initial inspiration to this piece was the historical fictional book series, My Story by the Scholastics publishing company. The series explores a given historical context in the form of a young person's diary account. In addition to that, I looked into other games that fit in the historical fiction genre as well as utilising the methodology of auto-ethnography in order to aid in the development of this project.

I am able to conclude that this interactive fiction has a good foundation in terms of how we can explore this unique time period both now and in the future. This project has the potential to be expanded and remastered in the future, especially once the event itself has passed and a few years of distance would allow us to draw conclusions about the pandemic.