Character Design Feed

New Release: 'Mood Bloom' by Hedonia Will Boost Your Mood!

Mood bloom title

By Lisa Brunette

I'm excited to announce our client Hedonia's new release: Mood Bloom. This is a very different title for our studio in a lot of ways, as the intent with this game is not merely to entertain, but to heal. 

This therapeutic game has been shown through scientific testing to relieve the player's symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Mood bloom improve your mood

I enjoyed the challenge of a heightened mission with this game through my narrative consulting, scriptwriting, and editing to support the Hedonia team. Marqui Maresca, a Brunette Games voice actor, recorded the intro cutscene voice for Rose, your guide through the game.

Mood Bloom works, and not just as evidenced in clinical trials. From a recent comment in the Google Play store:

Surprisingly, the game does help a little with my anxiety, by refocusing my thoughts. I'm hopeful things continue to improve for me. - Mike Biese

Here's more about the game from Hedonia:

Play your way to well

Millions of people live with depression and anxiety. Are you one of them? Now there’s a new treatment approach proven to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by up to 45% - Mood Bloom’s Mobile Game!

Mood Bloom is filled with therapeutic games designed by Neuroscientists using the FTP - Facilitating Thought Progression™ method.

Embrace this groundbreaking therapeutic experience and join us on our journey to bring relief to as many people as possible.

Mood bloom boost mood

I can tell you that I always felt better playing the game, which I fortunately got to do as part of my work on its content. What I love about it is that it combines many of the aspects of casual gaming that attracts us to games like Lily's Garden and Fiona's Farm–interaction with a beautiful environment we can customize, along with a compelling story peopled with interesting characters–with game interactions that elevate as much as they delightfully challenge us.

Mood Bloom is in soft launch in Israel and the US, where it's available via Google Play.

Here's the official app store description:

Whether you’re feeling anxious, depressed or just feeling down in general, the Mood Bloom™ - therapeutic game, can help bring long-lasting relief in a fun, easy way. In this game, your mood is the winner! Designed by neuroscience experts to help you feel better.

Mood Bloom’s scientifically-proven mobile games help you think in a broader, more creative and quicker manner, which cognitive neuroscience research has shown to improve mood and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is a powerful tool that works alongside existing treatments.

Best of all, you can boost your mood with just 15 minutes a day of play, which you can do from anywhere, at any time. A few game breaks a day, breaks down the anxiety & builds up your mood.

Why Mood Bloom™ - Therapeutic Game?
⭐ Mood Bloom is fun and effective. Games that take place in a lush world with fun characters where you work to build your very own village.
⭐ Mood Bloom works. Designed by neuroscience experts from Harvard Medical school, Mood Bloom is science-based and clinically-proven to improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
⭐ Mood Bloom works alongside existing treatments. It can be used alongside any other mental health treatments as it’s complementary to them.
⭐ Mood Bloom is free to get started. Our tool costs significantly less than traditional options for ongoing care.

More About Our Science-Based Therapeutic Games:
💭 Word Chains: Follow the path of associations and expand your imagination.
💭 Zoom Out: Think "Globally" and identify the bigger picture.
💭 Clouds: Use your imagination to find shapes in the clouds.
💭 2Belong: Expand your world through associations.
💭 Speed Read: Gradually increase the speed in which you read, in order to reach exhilaration.

Build your village, improve your mood

Follow us and Join our community:
• Facebook:
• LinkedIn:
• Company website:

Disclaimer: Mood Bloom is made available pursuant to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Current Enforcement Discretion Policy for Digital Health Devices for Psychiatric Disorders. These devices are intended for patients aged 18 years and older who suffer from mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Mood Bloom have not been cleared by the FDA for these indications. Hedonia’s app is in the process of a clinical trial that has not been completed yet and may therefore have unknown benefits and risks. Patients should contact their medical provider prior to using Hedonia’s products. These apps may be used without a prescription as an adjunct to your medical care. Hedonia’s products should not be used solely, or be primarily relied upon, to treat your mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Hedonia’s app does not replace the treatment of your medical provider and is not a substitute for any medication.

Mood bloom personalize


New Release! 'Kingdoms: Merge & Build' by Cherrypick Games for Apple Arcade

Welcome to the kingdom

We've been deep in development on a few subscription-based game projects, and one of those just released via Apple Arcade: Kingdoms: Merge & Build.

Having worked with awesome client Cherrypick Games since 2017, we were thrilled to support this terrific game as well, bringing our years of narrative prowess to the table on the character concepts, narrative design, and all in-game dialogue and messaging. Our voice actors also chimed in with recordings for the intro cutscene and marketing video. Shout-out to Andy Mack and Nicole Perez for their talented help!

What we love most about this game is the quirky humor: Prince Edward is a... complicated hero. He blames others for his misdeeds, seems to care more about his golden bathtub than the welfare of his people, and keeps forgetting the name of his kingdom. But will he rise to the occasion and save his father's empire from ruin? Play the game to find out!

Kingdoms Merge and Build

You can play the game for free if you're a member of Apple Arcade. Here's the official app-store description:

Enjoy a soothing merge-2 experience blended with kingdom-building gameplay in this story-rich adventure exclusive to Apple Arcade!

The kingdom needs your help! During the king's absence, a mysterious magical power destroyed the kingdom. Now it's up to Prince Edward, Desmond, Megan, and other friends to rebuild the land and restore it to its former glory. Embark on this magical adventure and unfold its mystery.

* Merge hundreds of unique items, discover new resources, use boosters, and complete tasks!

* Complete quests to progress through chapters and unlock new buildings, kingdom improvements, characters, and landmarks!

* Renovate the fallen kingdom from the old harbor and pier to the glorious castle!

* Follow the story, make new friends, and uncover the mystery!

* Participate in events, work with other players towards global goals, and get special rewards!





X (Twitter):

And here's the promo video, voiced by our very own Nicole Perez:

'Story Matters' - Lisa Brunette on the ironSource Podcast


We're excited to share ironSource LevelUp's latest podcast interview, with Brunette Games Founder Lisa Brunette. Highlights:

Different platform and audiences require different narratives

The first game I worked on was for the DS, and I worked on some other platform games. Those were for families and younger players.

So in the case of that first game for the DS, it was for teen girls. So that's a different audience than when I migrated over to mobile games. That became a new focus for me.

But that's a way different context than when you're in your living room with your Wii. So just taking that context into consideration every step of the way. You know, if you're dedicated to your PC, and this is your me-time, that's different. For mobile games, when I'm on the bus and I might get called for my stop, or I get my notifications coming in, it needs a different kind of storytelling.

Lessons for indie studios

Don’t let the story get in the way. I think especially those indies sometimes come to games with a novel in a drawer that they want to turn into a game. And that's usually a bad way to start. We instead start with the game and then craft a story that's integrated with it.

We don't want to turn anyone's novel into a game. That means that the story was written for passive entertainment, not for the interaction of games. So right off the bat, the first thing you want to do is make sure that your story is in service to the game.

How to write narratives for mobile games

We actually have distinct milestones that we follow on all of our projects with clients. We start with them at the concept stage, and we pitch three high-level story ideas. This is after a conversation with the client in which we understand what the main gameplay is, whether that's jigsaw puzzle or merge gameplay or match three. In our games, often that meta element is decorating or perhaps makeover, or sometimes both. And then we create a story that really attempts to bridge and merge those. 

The number one reason the player is there is to play the game. They're not passive. So we're really working on what is that story that is going to merge all those three things together in this beautiful way. And we carry that through that process with every milestone.

We want things to be very short and very punchy. And, in most cases, while there's drama and interesting conflict that has to occur otherwise it's not interesting, most of what we're writing is jokes and we're really pushing the humor and being kind of meta and fun and just giving players that opportunity to enjoy.

Listen to the full podcast at the ironSource LevelUp website.

We've had a long relationship with ironSource, now owned by Unity, with many of our writers authoring industry articles:

Who Goes There? The Importance of Writing Distinct Character Voices, by Sara Hardin

The top 5 mistakes mystery writers make - and how to avoid them, by Lisa Brunette - Lisa was top writer for LevelUp in 2022 for this piece

Punchline: How to use humor to bridge player connection, by Dexter Woltman

The power of storytelling in blockbuster casual games, by Lisa Brunette