Shooting for the moon
The first step was developing the concept. A one-page design document and "elevator pitch" had to be created and were subsequently voted on by the whole class. Through this process, the top ranked game concepts were then grouped into teams. As the concepts creator, it was also my task to lead the team consisting of three developers and a second designer.
As the Chief Engineer of the Strakholian space program your job is to reach for the moon! Quite literally. On your 2-bit screen, you control the rockets on their way to the planets. Since the program is severely lacking in money and technology, at first your rocket has only one button and a limited amount of fuel, so you must rely heavily on planetary trajectories and the gravitational pull of surrounding planets to reach your goal. The planets you have to reach are getting further and further away, so the routes you’ll have to take are getting longer and more complicated each mission. One late button press, one false ignition, one wrong turn might strand your cosmonauts in space.
On Display
The first cornerstone was laid by deciding on the eventual art style for the game: 2D pixel art, with a 2-bit color scheme. This would allow for four colors in total to make up the whole game. All the pixel graphics where then created from scratch.

Ingame HUD

  Since the mechanics themselves are rather simple, a big focus was on the user interface. It had to be simple and easy to grasp while it's design had to fit the narrative setting. Inspiration was drawn from control panels from the 60s, with big buttons and small light bulbs for toggling between statuses.
Story and Narrative
The story is told through short dialogues with other employees of the space program, like the head of research and development, or the "Superior". The narrative is satirical in nature, with humorous takes on the situation. Being set in the fictitious authoritarian nation of Strakholia, the humor often centers on the problem of achieving the incredibly high set goals of the leadership – represented by the "Dear Leader" – without having access to the necessary technology, manpower and resources. 

Constantly Forward Trailer

Trailer and TBDs
The project was finished with the release of a playable alpha version of the game and the creation of a trailer. For a full release the game would need several more days of development to further flesh out the game. Additional features like customizable rockets, a nonlinear level progression and more interactive story elements would have to be implemented. Quality assurance testing and balancing the game would be on the to-do list as well.
However, for now the development is on hold.
For Strakholia!
We can and we must move constantly forward!
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