We should talk is a narrative game in which the player character is dealing with tension in their romantic relationship. The player starts the game at their common haunt, a local bar where their best friend works, in order to relax and think things through. The player discusses ongoing problems with their partner over text throughout the game, while also chatting with other bar patrons—some friends and some strangers—about life and relationships. These interactions (and the various themes they address) affect later text conversations with the partner, and ultimately impact the way the player’s romantic relationship resolves at the end of the game.


Collaborators: Carol Mertz, Jack Schlesinger, Kat Aguiar, Nobo Bhowmik, Jordan Jones-Brewster

Role:
3D artist, animator, and designer

Engine: Unity

Accolades:
IGF Nominee 2019 -

                        Student Game Category

NYU Game Center Incubator Cohort 2019
Different Games Selection 2018

How can we capture through game mechanics the challenge of building, maintaining, and interacting within relationships?

We should talk employs a core gameplay mechanic of selecting from a series of modular sentence segments to generate a coherent response to the occurring dialogue. Our goal as designers was to implement a dialogue input mechanic which allows players many options of what to say and how to say it. By interacting with the modular input, players can greatly alter the tone and meaning of their response. Completing conversations in-person initiates mobile conversations with the player character’s partner, core parts of which change based on previous conversations as the player continues to explore core themes.
 

Characters:

It was our goal to allow players to navigate relationships of varying intimacy levels and explore how the way they communicate might change. Our cast includes the player character, their romantic partner, a familiar bartender, an ex-lover, and a lonely stranger.

Possible Outcomes:
Nine options that work on a grid, with X/Y axes

that adjust based on happiness with your partner

and happiness with your relationship.

Core Themes:

  • Disparate hobbies

  • Impostor syndrome

  • Cheating & Trust, Gender Identity

  • Age Difference, Commitment

  • Family Commitments and Relationships

  • Ex moving back in town

Future Plans

In the summer of 2019, We should talk was selected to be a part of the NYU Game Center Incubator program which allowed our team to work full time on the game for 3 months. During that time, we overhauled our visual aesthetic and rewrote a majority of the game, building off of our previous knowledge and playtest data. Development is continuing and we've recently signed with a publisher with the intention to release a full version in 2020.

The alpha version of We should talk was distributed on itch.io and received 4000+ downloads and many positive reviews. The game also received recognition from the Independent Games Festival, Different Games, and the NYU Game Center.

Alpha Version

The alpha version of We should talk was distributed on itch.io and received 4000+ downloads and many positive reviews. The game also received recognition from the Independent Games Festival, Different Games, and the NYU Game Center.

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© 2019 by Francesca Carletto-Leon

 

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