The Game

bodyGUARD game scene

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bodyGUARD is an award-winning“medical action” game with novelties in both game mechanics and presentation. Using the idea of immunization process, players can switch the mode of the nanoSHIFTER to fight against its enemies by working with them. Players also get to experience the inner world of inside a human body through original art and sound. Little boy Tobe's life is at stake! Get your nanoSHIFTER ready and start the mission to save Tobe!

Visit the game's website to play the game, view bodyGUARD media (screenshots, game design document, pitch video, poster), and read the recognitions (awards and conference appearances).


After reading Raph Koster's "A Theory of Fun", analyzing game mechanics had become one of my hobbies. One day it just occurred to me that, "Hey, part of human immunization process is about some cells working with viruses (antigens) to make antibodies that can be used to eliminate the viruses. This can make a cool game mechanics!-- fighting against the enemies by working with them."

So I did a lot of medical research (to make sure the game will end up a good balance of medical facts and fictional elements), developed the story, and programmed a working prototype. Then I thought: this game has the potential of becoming something bigger, so I invited my talented friends Elizabeth, Austin, Chris, and Jake to come aboard to push this project farther. I also proposed to submit the game to conferences/competitions because I thought we will strive to make the project fully functional and original within a certain timeframe by knowing that deadlines and judges are ahead of us. In other words, I set up a common and higher goal for all of us.

Eventually the game won some awards and conference appearances (and lost some of them). Those are good experiences. But the best two experiences I got from this project were: 1) I got to work within a team which I had assembled and managed, which I had learned a lot from, which I had participated from conception, production, to marketing. I think that was because they were my good friends so communication was not an issue, and I also made sure they could get something out of the project (a portfolio piece, a research opportunity....etc). 2) We made a 100% original game. Every pixel of the art, every note of the music, every character in the code, we made it. This may not be a super fancy game, but we are proud of having made everything on our own.

Special thanks to Thom Gillespie, Andrew Bucksbarg, and Will Emigh who had given us morale boost and professional advice during the development (full thank-you list available on the game's credits page). And I am immensely thankful for having worked with the teammates who had been great teachers, colleagues, and friends.
(in chorological order according to when one joined the team)

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