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A Mile In My Shoes | A Game About Empathy

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"A gay boy whose childhood friend was taken by death, and who was made homeless by his family due to his sexuality conflicting with religion. 

A girl who desires freedom from the tyranny of a mother who abuses and threatens her. 

A social media star struggling with hoards of hate comments as a result of being transgender.

Journey through the stories of these people as you discover their joys and downfalls, and engage in conversation to better understand and potentially help them through their struggle."

Interested in playing A Mile In My Shoes? You can find it here on;

Enjoyed the experience? Consider leaving a donation. I am a young, independant and unemployed developer who received no profit from this project except what people may donate. Any support is more than welcome.

Have any feedback, comments, or footage of your gameplay of this experience? Feel free to leave a comment on this page, the Youtube promotional video, or the page! I would love to hear what you have to say!

A Mile In My Shoes (AMIMS for short) is a game that was created for one of my year 12 semester assessment pieces in 2019. The theme of the assessment was 'Empathy with Others.' Whereas I knew a lot of people in the class would be turning in static pieces that embodied their perception of empathy, I wasn't satisfied with something like that. To me it seemed like it would be underwhelming, and considering that this was for a year 12 assessment piece, I really wanted to push myself to do something that my school hadn't seen before.

In mid 2018 I had an idea for a game that vaguely mimicked what it was like to interact with people online. The objective of the game was for the player to interact with ten different people, helping them through their issues. However, each time a person was helped, it would lower the mental stability of the player themselves, symbolising how taking on the burden of others can sometimes hurt the helper. At the end of the game, the ten people you had helped would come back and act as support for you, helping the player to return to a sound mind.

While this was the initial idea, a game on this scale would never be feasible in the timeframe - three months - that I had to work on it. Due to this, I had to minimise the amount of people you would help in the game, and also change the ending where the player would be helped. As it stands now, when playing AMIMS you encounter three people with very different backstories, and by talking to and finding out the stories of each you can gather a picture of their life, and eventually talk to them. When talking to them, you can choose how you act and react, leading to whether you end up helping this person through their issues, or whether they fall deeper into their instability.

My focus of this piece was to force the player to have to see the world from the perspective of the characters they interact with and, if they wanted to win the game, show empathy towards them. I wanted to bring to light some of the things that some people have to deal with on a daily basis in perhaps a more confronting way than is typically seen. I also wanted to touch on some issues that aren't commonly seen through shared media, and I sincerely hope that it was done in a considerate and accurate way.

For a long time it was a goal of mine to do something big, achieve some large goal, while I was still 16. Until the start of 2019, I thought that this goal would go unfulfilled - however with the announcement of our topic of work for the first semester of the year, and my recalling of the old idea I had thought of the previous year, the date of completion would coincide perfectly with just before I turned 17. I'm not going to lie - this project, at times, was extremely stressful. In the brainstorming phase I questioned myself big time as to whether I should do it, because getting it done in the timeframe I had was extremely risky. But I am very, very glad that I did go forward and do it, because I don't regret having that chance to complete a project so large like what I had always wanted to do.

All graphics and songs within this game were uniquely composed by myself for the experience. AMIMS marked the first time that I had created a game myself outside of five minute test runs, and marked the first time that I developed a game within Gamemaker. It was a tough 3 months, but thanks to the help of the Gamemaker Marketplace and the various helpful tutorials online, I managed to get this done within my tight timeframe.

AMIMS itself was not just an assessment piece, but also a project that I hoped might, in some way, help others. For anyone curious on playing the game, I will warn you that it deals with some more heavy-hitting topics which, if you get triggered easily, I don't recommend watching or playing through. Leukemia, religion, homelessness, household abuse, transphobia, online harassment, death, depression and needles all make an occurrence throughout this game. If you are sensitive to any of these topics, don't play.

To those who have played it, thank you very much for taking the time to undergo my experience. I hope that it was relatable or enlightened you in some way to the issues that others deal with, and I hope you enjoyed your time playing.

- Gryphonic

Interested in how A Mile In My Shoes was created? Click here to check it out!…

A Mile In My Shoes (AMIMS) is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real persons, places, objects, or other things are purely coincidental and unintended.

AMIMS is an original virtual experience created by ThatFurryArtist (also known as Gryphonic and Animatonic). All stories, production, graphic work and music was created uniquely for this project. Programming was conducted by Gryphonic with the assistance of the Gamemaker community & Marketplace.

Thanks to the beta testers who gave me their feedback on this project; Iisho, bizhen-blood, Sketchiibeats, and Miki FS.

AMIMS was completed in the span of three (3) months in response to a year 12 assessment piece with the stimulus "Empathy with Others."

A Mile In My Shoes (c) ThatFurryArtist/Gryphonic/Animatonic. You may not use any of the components of this experience without explicit permission. All rights reserved.
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© 2019 - 2021 ThatFurryArtist
anonymous's avatar
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Amanmir's avatar
I just finished playing it and lemme tell you. Damn. This was so well done, in terms of graphics, writing, idea, everything! Not only was I happy by just seeing Kai's posts about getting his hormones or helping Daniel, the overall experience of the game made me very happy. I really appreciate you making it, it felt so real. It really captured what it is like on the internet and that you can help someone you don't know and will never meet, just because you can.
Thank you for this game. As a trans queer person who knows what it's like to be abused, thank you. I really appreciate this game <3
ThatFurryArtist's avatar
Ah damn man thank you so so much. I'm super, super happy that you felt like you could connect with it - that was absolutely my biggest hope when I put this game together. It means a lot that you played it, so thank you. I'm sorry for any hardships you've had to go through because of your orientation/gender </3
Amanmir's avatar
BloodRedKit's avatar
After watching all the development, I was so excited to play!
I went through a first attempt, I managed to get Kai's good ending! I think I'll try it again later to see if I can do better.

It was a very emotional experience, and the characters all felt very alive and real. I knew from watching how much care you put in it would be good, but it was MUCH better than I thought it would be.

I am also glad I remembered where you put the needle so I could be ready when I got to it XD
ThatFurryArtist's avatar
Ahhhhh thank you so much for playing it dude!!!

Ahhh wow that seriously means a lot. I was really, really hoping that the characters would feel real and have an emotion tug on the players, so it makes me super happy that you thought that was the case!!! It means so much, thank you dude <33333

Also thank you so so much for that donation as well, I think it was you who left it? I really appreciate it omg <3

omg I'm super glad it didn't like jumpscare you then ;A;
BloodRedKit's avatar
how could I not play after watching all the streams I could catch? I was so excited to play it and got more and more every time I saw the streams or you update your journal

YOU DID GREAT ON IT YOU REALLY DID. It really gave me the feels and I FEEL SO BAD that I didn't get the good endings for the other two that I just HAVE to go back and try again. I feel like i only narrowly missed Lauren's good ending, since her responses sounded more positive, but I know I def didn't get the best end since I didn't get the end screen for her.

I did leave one yeah ^w^ you put in a lot of time into it, honestly I feel like I should have dropped more tbh >>

You had a warning on the page AND i remembered it so its all good. plus it proooobably wouldn't have been TOO bad even if i didn't know about it's specific location?
ThatFurryArtist's avatar
<3333 Ahhh this seriously means so much ;w; Honestly, with missing Lauren's good ending, there's the strong chance that you got both Daniel and Lauren's semi-good end, but you didn't do the last step which sets their good ending in motion - hint, pay close attention to the words that pop up. "If you believe you are finished." This doesn't necessarily mean that you are ;D If you get the good ending for both Lauren and Daniel, you'll get four SSS screens of closure! (+ the game'll tell you at the end hehe)

Pff dude I wasn't expecting anyone to donate so that is more than welcome <33 Thanks for actually wanting to!!! ;U;

aha that's good then, I did try to include a few warnings just to make sure that you/other people with a fear of needles wouldn't get too frightened by its sudden appearance ^^"
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