FutureBound is a story-driven action-adventure game about building career ambitions, demonstrating self-advocacy, and exhibiting passion. The player takes on the role of a middle school student who is confronted by monsters representing doubts and fears. By talking to other students about their passions, the player gains career ambitions and powers to fight against these monsters. FutureBound was created by the USC Game Innovation Lab as part of the FutureBound Games suite, and is available at gameinnovationlab.com.
FutureBound follows the story of a student as they progress through three years of middle school, confronting social and systemic challenges as they prepare for high school, college, and a future career. In seventh grade, the story focuses on the player’s character working to switch into a higher-level math class, so that they will become college-ready. Eighth grade is about encouraging the passions of those around you, and revolves around competing with a friend for the school’s annual spirit award. Ninth grade marks the transition from middle school to high school. The narrative in ninth grade explores the stresses and difficulties of changing relationships with friends and peers, and the importance of showcasing the expertise and ability you have gained through the pursuit of your passions. Throughout the game, players gain powers by learning about new career paths and use them to battle monsters that are manifestations of self-doubt.
FutureBound allows the player to experiment with a range of possible life goals, plans to accomplish their goals, and approaches for overcoming the obstacles in their way. Because the game format provides an opportunity for players to experience taking on different roles and testing a variety of strategies without being encumbered by real-world constraints, it carves out a safe space where the player learns from their mistakes.
Creative Director: Tracy Fullerton
Design & Technical Lead: Sean Bouchard
Design & Production Lead: Elizabeth Swensen
Andrea Benavides - UI Programming
David Bolen - Sound Design
Torin Borrowdale - Music
Richard Emms - Programming
Jonghwa Kim - Programming
Anna Lotko - Design, Programming
Kelly Matten - 2D Art
Lucas Peterson - 3D Art, Animation
David Turpin - Programming
Simon Wiscombe - Design