SOMN is an experimental game where the player embarks on a car ride through the night. Set on tangled, alpine highways, the journey gets increasingly surreal and a ferocious soundtrack morphs the audio-reactive landscape. The player cannot progress by staying on their current road. Whenever another car passes by, the player can switch to the other car, taking over the other driver’s perspective. In each car they will catch snippets of conversations among the passengers. My goal was to create an incorporeal, empathetic experience, devoted to the ambiguous, dreamy feeling of nightly car rides.
On a technical side, SOMN was a very interesting project, allowing me to develop a lot of shaders such as the volumetric headlights or the rainy car windows. In order to create levels efficiently, I created my own tool, that allows the level designer to generate road meshes from bezier curves as well as place cars along those roads. The tool is based on Sebastian Lague’s bezier tool. Using it as a starting point, I heavily customized it and developed a lot of my own features, including automatically cutting holes into the terrain where the tunnels intersect with it.
SOMN is my bachelor thesis, concluding my game design studies at the Zurich University of the Arts. It was nominated for at the school’s advancement prize and was granted an honorable mention by the jury. It has been exhibited at A MAZE. Berlin 2021 and Refresh Festival.