Strand is a sci-fi horror solo journaling game about a scientist trapped in a submarine under an alien sea. It deals with themes of loneliness, identity, transformation, and discovery.
The player creates a character and tells their story using randomly rolled prompts separated into three acts. Each act ends with a development — a type of prompt chosen by the player. The player responds to the prompts as journal entries written from the perspective of their character.
This game was completed as my combined game design and illustration thesis in Fall 2023.
One of my main challenges in creating Strand was fostering the gameplay experience I hope to achieve while respecting the near-infinite player agency granted to players by TTRPGs. 
When crafting the prompts, I did my best to leave the more specific, tone-defining prompts towards the beginning of the game, when the player needs the most guidance. The prompts grow more open-ended towards the end of the game to avoid clashing with the world and story the player has developed.
While the randomly chosen prompts make up most of the gameplay, my main tool as a designer in driving the direction of each player's narrative are the developments at the end of each act. They give the player the agency to give their story a direction, but each choice pushes the narrative into an increasingly horrific and bleak place.

Strand's gameplay loop.

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