Based in Los Angeles, CA
August 2018 - May 2019
Aims Zhang, Game Director
Plasticity is a 2.5D cinematic platformer about a young girl named Noa who explores and decides the future of her post-oil, plastic-ridden world. Set in the year 2140, in a world where plastic consumption never ended, leaving lifeless cities, flooded towns, and widespread disease in its wake, players will make choices that either help or harm the environment and it's living creatures. After a certain point of the game is reached, 10 years will pass and players will see and play through the impact of their own choices.
Initial release for Windows PC
This free game was created by 30 students from the renowned USC Games Program. In 2018, USC students Aims Zhang (Game Director) and Michelle Olson (Lead Designer) created the initial prototype to bring awareness to the single-use plastic problem, and inspire others to care about animals and the environment. Zhang pitched the project to the USC Games Advanced Games Project program and to the USC Environmental Studies faculty to bridge a cross-departmental collaboration, and recruited a team of 30 students from both programs. The team developed the game over the course of 9 months. In May 2019, the game shipped on Steam for free. Since launch, the game has been nominated for awards, showcased at game festivals, and been featured in museum exhibitions.
Awards & Exhibitions
Museum of Design Atlanta, "Full Circle: Design Without End" Exhibition Selection (2022)
Games For Change, "Best Student Game" Finalist (2020)
Indie Megabooth Game Developers Conference, "Official Selection" (2020)
A+D Museum "Designing Worlds" Exhibition Selection (2020)
IndieCade, "Official Nominee" (2019)
IndieCade at E3, "Official Selection" (2019)
Jam City, "Bazillion Dollar Idea" Winner (2019)
Green Engagement Fund Recipient (2019)
Stevens Innovator Showcase, "Official Selection" (2018)
Intentional Play Summit, "Best Student Game" Finalist (2018)
"A 2.5D platformer that explores a plausible future Earth ravaged by oil and plastic. Plasticity is about showing the results of our actions and the positive impacts of change when it comes to pollution and climate."
- Matt Paprocki, Forbes
"The game shows the immediate effects of making an environmentally conscious decision... with the hope of inspiring players to think about actions big and small, be it reusing products or thinking more deeply about which companies to support."
- Todd Martens, The LA Times
"A nice way to spend half an hour. Plasticity is a lovely game about small acts of environmental kindness."
- Jay Castello, Rock Paper Shotgun
"A relaxing and thoughtful experience that I would happily recommend."
- Rachael Brearton, Indie Hive
"Despite its heavy message, Plasticity is a feel-good game, in that you feel ready to save the world when you finish the story."
- Sam Begley-May, Game Luster
"If you’ve ever wondered what the future may look like, you should try Plasticity. Without change, it could very well be accurate."
- Julia Couture, Indie Games Plus
"The perfect vehicle to teach environmental sustainability to young kids... The aesthetic feels reminiscent of a Studio Ghibli film, and the soundtrack matches. In essence, Plasticity exudes this inviting atmosphere, despite the drab, dreary future it paints."
- Robert Scarpinito, TechRaptor
Logo & Icon
Game Director / Project Lead
Kyle van Wiltenburg
Additional Art Production