Ghost House is my Thesis for the Academy of Art University.

My aim is to create a game for girls that does not revolve around beauty. It is meant to create a fun environment where the user can learn to problem-solve multiple situations within a grander scheme.

It is meant to create a fun environment where the user can learn to problem-solve...

The target audience is girls ages 8 and up, of diverse backgrounds and of various technical experiences, but with access to an iPad.

I chose a Human Centered Design Approach to solving the problem by first creating personas based on the children I talked to. I created three personas.

User 1
  • Name: Jess
  • Age: 8
  • Gender: female
  • Motivation: Jess loves playing games on her tablet. It is her perferred method of interacting with media. She spends more than 3 hours a day on the iPad. She is willing to play anything but she says nothing compares to Minecraft.
User 2
  • Name: Belle
  • Age: 10
  • Gender: female
  • Motivation: Belle is very fond of puzzles. She is very competitive when it comes to games. She likes the idea of strong girl characters solving puzzles but she also likes to dress up characters to make them look pretty.
User 3
  • Name: Sophia
  • Age: 11
  • Gender: female
  • Motivation: Sophia loves games. She is especially fond of first person shooter games. She is not doing well in school and thinks she will not be good at solving puzzles. She is willing to try it though.

After creating the user personas I went through the process of working out the mindmap, information architecture, and the user flows using OmniGraffle.

Mind map  Information architecture  Use Case 

At this point I started thinking about the mood of the game. A moodboard was created.


I also created a digital painting of what I thought the exterior of the house should look like.


I also created a digital painting of how a room in the house should look.


Below is a test render of a room in the house in Maya. I was aiming for a darker feel to keep the user off balance and blind.


So that brings us to the testing phase in Unity3D, which is where I am today. Still creating assets in Maya, as well, which has been the most time-consuming aspect of this all.

I will post Unity3D tests soon and a reworked GUI, as well.