Alchemist Garden is an interactive and educational application that will teach players about the medical benefits of botanicals. This material is presented through a game where the player moves through a fantastical universe as Merlene, a character based off the druidesses who held valuable medical knowledge in ancient Celtic culture. It was important to the team that the central character be strong and hold educational value. There will be six different biomes in the game, each with unique plants for Merlene to collect. These plants are then used to make potions which treat various ailments. The plants and potions are a result of biological, cultural, and historical research by the team. One of the goals of this application is to reach students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and improve their abilities to learn from home using technology, while being both fun and accessible.
The Alchemist Garden team currently consists of team lead Mihir Mehta, artist Emily Ryan, programmer Justin Sadler, and researchers Alison Puri and Vinaya Akavoor. During summer and fall of 2020, the team worked on brainstorming, developing their ideas, generating a storyboard, collecting data, and incorporating additional research. The team is looking for funding to bring in experienced programmers and app developers to turn their ideas into reality.
Emily Ryan is the talented illustrator working on the Alchemist Garden application. Using her previous experience in game design, Emily has helped us envision what our game will look like. She draws inspiration from nature in her home country of Sweden, where she grew up playing in the woods with her dog. During her childhood, Emily first developed her passion for both Greek mythology and Japanese manga. Their influences can be seen in her artwork, especially the exaggerated details and big eyes common in manga.
Emily is a cofounder of BøthOfUs, a company that uses technology and web design for social impact. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in media and communication from Stockholm University, she holds a two-year certificate in comics and sequential art from Högskolan i Gävle. She has also studied at Hyper Island, a school for digital creatives. We are so lucky to have Emily on our team and we can’t wait to keep building this app with her.
A Work in Progress
Click on the navigation arrows to preview illustrations of the game. This early art by Emily Ryan helps us envision what the game will look like and how it will be played. The final images will be in color.
Sophomore in Biology,