Gatcha! is my 2022 senior thesis project for the Digital Media and Design department at the University of Connecticut.
It is an introduction animation of a fantasy adventure-oriented video game. The concept was uniquely created through the inspiration of my home country, as well as a reflection of my artistic journey.
The animation consists of an introductory game trailer of a lost adventurer in a fantasy-adventure world. The main character, Palm, sits in a tavern and explains to a curious bard how she got transported into another world by playing a game and accidentally selling her soul in an effort to get a character. She tells this bystander her whole trip so far, the places she has visited, and the people she has met. While she looks tired and defeated, the bard decides to tell her that there is a place where she has seen the character the hero mentioned and if they wanted to check it out. Our hero excitedly says yes, and thus begins the video game.
“Gatcha!” is a short animation that reflects my identity and passion through world-building and concept design through the story of a girl who was sent to another world. It is an introductory animation of a video game in which she meets a local bard, tells him about her travels, and finds new hints that could take her back home.
The Project touches on an aspect that has been and will affect me throughout my life; it is the question of identity, belonging, and perception as an immigrant in the United States. While touching on such themes for my previous work, I decided to use this as a reflection of what I have learned throughout this introspection during my years in university. The story’s goals soon became a form to reflect the experience of being a person from Latin America who wishes to share their culture, one which constantly must challenge the exoticism of their work just for the sole fact of being different. It is not an “Ecuadorian animation” but an “animation inspired by Ecuador”. As such, while the concept itself is unique, it is heavily but subtly influenced by my country. I want people to fall in love with Ecuador while not realizing they are witnessing it. What usually creates a barrier between them and a foreign country now disappears within the fun fantasy-adventure genre. Through such, I am also paying homage to my roots, the symbols, and the memories I grew up with, as well as the aesthetics, artwork, and animation that I have honed down and learned over my time in university. I hope that in the future I can further develop this idea, touch on deeper subjects within the “American” perspective of Latin America, and as well possibly help others that have faced similar circumstances.
The Main Characters
April 1,2022 Gatcha! Screening!
Gatcha! screening at the DMD BFA Exhibition in UCONN Storrs, Connecticut
About the Artist
Paula Guerrero is a recently graduated alumni at the University of Connecticut, Storrs with a degree on Digital Media and Design with a concentration in Motion Design. Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, Guerrero moved to Stamford CT when she was ten years old; as such all her experiences as an immigrant and Spanish speaker have become a significant part of her inspiration. Having a passion for art, Guerrero includes her Ecuadorian heritage into most of her projects. She incorporates her experience, culture, and love for storytelling into her character and world creations, while also adding her own twist of bright colors and aesthetics.
Guerrero has had experiences working as a freelance illustrator and animator from as early as in high school. She has won Best Partner and singular Artist in the international children’s exhibition for Creative Connections, as well as has had her work selected into festivals such as Frame by Frame Film Fest and Filmmaker Sessions By Lift-Off Global Network.