I’m taking a course in advanced game design right now in which we’re doing a lot of rapid prototyping. Our first assignment was to create a prototype around the theme “Every finger in the room is pointing at me”. Together with two of my classmates, we tried to make a system that would convey a feeling of ostracism through movement. This is what we ended up with:
We then spruced it up and changed the visuals to show a bunch of balloons being bullied by a flock of birds.
When we presented the prototype to the rest of the class, many felt that the first version was more powerful in conveying the feeling that we sought. They did not mind that it was faceless circles and triangles moving around the screen, and felt that the background image of a playground was enough to send a few chills down your spine. In retrospect, I fully agree, the comical approach that we went for in our balloon-themed final iteration dulled a lot of the feeling we were initially aiming for.
If you’d like to play around with the prototypes, you can get them here.