A game by Dave Yan & Gabriela Gomes




OFFICIAL SELECT | 2017 Arcade at the Smithsonian American Art Museum


Gabriela | Designer, Lead Artist, Narrative Designer, Sound Designer


Dave | Designer, Lead Programmer, Animator, Sound Designer



The Curious Tale of an Unexpected Visit is a side scrolling adventure game about the balance between self-affirmation and social expectations. With its unique combination of Victorian steampunk collage art and a comedic absurdism inspired by theatrical farces, the game explores the dramatic potential and emotional resonance of a mundane situation.

As clumsy robot Charlie, the player faces the chaotic task of cleaning up its owner’s living room minutes before an unexpected visit by an old friend. The game typically takes 5-10 minutes to play through.



/ Players control clumsy robot Charlie, moving around a rich collage world.

/ Players can grab and drop objects, and rearrange the environment.  

/ The world and NPCs procedurally respond to player’s choices.


Background Information

This game was made during Richard Lemarchand’s CTIN532 class at the University of Southern California. Click here to see a ‘postpartum’ analysis of the development process.


About 99% of the visuals of this game are public domain images from the Internet Archive Book Images, which has over 14 million images from 2 million public domain eBooks that span over 500 years of content. Every single prop and furniture has been carefully selected among thousands of images, and put together with Photoshop to create the game’s environment. 


Fun fact: Both Amelia and Ferdinand characters come from a 1911 Macy’s Spring/Summer Catalog.


For this game, the visuals have inspired much of the narrative and feel. As an artist, I am fascinated by the idea of remixing public domain art from old books and catalogues. I tried to play with the meaning ascribed to these assets by producing a fresh perspective on the original context in which these artworks first existed.


Made in Unity







2017.09.30 | We’re back from the 2017 Tokyo Game Show! Arigato Japan, you’ve been so kind ❤️!



2017.09.02 | It’s official! The Curious Tale of an Unexpected Visit will be at this year’s Tokyo Game Show! Off to Japan we go!




2017.06.10 | Oh my, The Curious Tale of an Unexpected Visit was selected for inclusion in the 2017 Arcade at the Smithsonian American Art Museum!




2016.12.21 | We are currently working to release our game within the coming months, so keep an eye on this space!


2016.12.07 | The Curious Tale of an Unexpected Visit has been selected to show at the 2016 Winteractive Festival,  a curated showcase highlighting the best of USC Games’ student creations from the year!


The Curious Tale of an Unexpected Visit at the 2016 Winteractive Festival at USC! Go team!