Development Info:

Role: Designer and Artist
Company: New York University
Tools Used: Visual Studio Code, Photoshop, Miro, GitHub, HTML, CSS, JavaScript
Duration: January 2021 - December 2021
Team Size: 6
- Independent Games Festival 2022 Honorable Mention
- A MAZE Berlin 2022 Honorable Mention
- GameFest 2022 Best in Experimental


Game Info:

Genre: Point and Click Adventure
Platform: Web
Project Status: Launched



Play free here: dumpling.love/


Game Description:

dumpling.love is a coy, web-based adventure game inspired by early internet interfaces about trying to find the Game Mechanic. But it’s also about getting a map from a wizard, getting some cows to kiss, taking a tender walk through a flood, dirt that bullies you, a frog using a computer, a swan who is a gamer, and finally, finding the Cosmodrome.


- Management of production pivot into structured development
- Character illustration and photo editing
- Narrative design and writing
- Designing with JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and other programmers to create web pages and world segments
- Working with tools developers to design systems that made the project easier to expand
- Weekly retrospectives into design and production practices


What I Learned:

dumpling.love was a challenge in creating a game with a totally flat team structure, where anyone could add anything they wanted to the world. For the first half of the development period, we worked totally freeform, and halfway through we reigned in the game spaghetti to make it into a beautiful game dumpling. I learned a lot about the importance of team unity and retrospectives, was affirmed in my knowledge of asking questions and researching to understand a new coding language, and gained confidence in my ability to comfortably and safely pivot production practice mid-way through a project.

Key Learnings:
- On a team with a unique structure, developing and retaining unity is more important than ever!! Every week we held a 15 minute retrospective, and every month a one hour retrospective. In the first couple months of development, before we used this retro system, team members were much more likely to get frustrated or feel left behind. During these meetings we would air grievances, solve design problems, express that we care for one another, and tell jokes.

- Understanding the tools and languages teammates are using makes it much easier to design with them!! Before this project, I had no knowledge of any web development programming languages. I hacked around in love.js to gain basic knowledge of designing using web scripts, then worked closely with colleagues within the team and externally to create dumpling.love pages, therefore enriching my understanding and pushing development forward. Using this understanding, I was able to communicate achievable goals when we began pre-planning segments of the website.

- It’s immensely valuable to understand the needs of a team and project at every stage of production!! Halfway through development, our project was becoming bloated and uncoordinated, despite a shared aesthetic vision. Without abandoning our flat structure, we decided to add a calendar leading up to the Independent Games Festival judging date, a kanban for the tools developers to prioritize issues, and scheduled, bi-weekly work time to keep the game moving on schedule.

More artwork
Jen bourke hero image lilJen bourke 1Jennifer bourke seagullsbanner2