Alexander Jerry Pawloski (he did the cover art)
– Mechanics Design
– Narrative Design
– Writing the Introductory Sequence (Start until English class)
– Writing the Interactive Media Class Sequence (until you go home)
This is a game I worked on in a group of three as the final for my Introduction to Interactive Media class. We used Twine to design our game. Each of us wrote and designed different sections. Don’t listen to the cover art; it would probably be rated M for language.
I was the one who came up with the social stats system. While it appears that the game tracks them, it actually doesn’t. All they do is make the player think they’re doing worse than they actually are and fret over things that don’t matter. In my own personal experience, I tend to overthink situations and stress out over minute details. I wanted to represent this in the game while making it clear that the protagonist was reading into it more deeply than the people around him.
The sequence where you swap between the two characters after Interactive Media class was supposed to show how the stats don’t actually reflect how other characters think, as the stat decreases conflict with what the character who is not experiencing the stat drops actually thinks. I didn’t want to just come out and say that the stats didn’t affect anything, as I thought that could be represented better in the fiction of the game. Overall, I think I could’ve done it better. It’s not all that clear that the stats don’t change anything, and if the player doesn’t know that’s the point of the body-swapping section, it can feel way more out-of-place.
The missing passages were intentional. This was inspired by a game mechanic from Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest, where certain options were visible but unselectable to show the character’s incapability of doing them at the moment. I also think this could’ve been done better. It comes out of nowhere right at the end of the game, and it’s only used twice. Plus, if I didn’t put this paragraph here, it would look like the game was just unfinished.
Overall, I’m fairly happy with how this turned out. I think I learned from the things I wasn’t happy with, and took those lessons forward into future projects. I added mechanics less haphazardly after this project, but I still tried to design around the experience I wanted players to have.