Mythren is a game that expands the monster raising genre for the audience who grew up with it. By raising a virtual pet, players are encouraged to learn about personal development and social growth through the journey of a character named Kaiya. Virtual pet games have an association with being made for children. Mythren breaks past those labels and asks the audience to engage with the genre from a new perspective.
In Mythren the player explores three core themes: Social Growth, Personal Development, and Cultural Identity. Each of these are explored in different ways throughout the gameplay. The player explores social interactions with others, and how repeating interactions can help build up different social strengths for Kaiya and the bond with her Mythren. Personal Development is achieved through their competitions, learning to work as a team, and managing your limited time in-game. Cultural Identity is explored through the game’s narrative, and Kaiya’s feelings of isolation.
The game focuses on how the player chooses to spend their time, and finding the most effective way to prepare for the next major deadline.
Jonathan Ampiaw is a 3D animator and game developer who uses social hybrid games to explore personal development. Following his love for social simulation and monster raising games, his current project Mythren was born. Mythren is being developed by a team of six with Jonathan at the helm of the project directing the game’s design and aesthetic. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BFA in Digital Art where he co-developed work that featured in SXSW Student Showcase. This led Jonathan to the Master of Fine Arts program in Digital Media & Design at the University of Connecticut to hone his animation skills, and to pursue a broader game development network. Since his arrival he has made animated shorts in game development engines, and explored the connections that virtual creatures can create.