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Digital Narrative Game Phase 4: First Draft

Initiative of  “When Someone You Love is Depressed” Game: 

This game is designed to help people who have friends struggling with depression. This field is worth addressing since attention by researchers and the medical field is always focused on the patients themselves neglecting the fact that their surrounding context plays an essential role in their healing process. Based on research, the game suggests several ways to help someone you love who suffers from depression. It aims to put the player in several situations they are likely to encounter on a day to day basis with their friend. The game is focused on two initiatives. First, it is designed to help the player feel at ease with the illness and caters for their feelings in several ways. By doing so, the player feels acknowledged and ready to help their friends while maintaining their own being as well. In that regard, the player here is the hero of the game and the game is designed to acknowledge their own experience with their friends struggling from depression. Meanwhile, the game also focuses on raising awareness of real symptoms that people suffering from depression encounter regularly. This helps the player to understand more about the illness and how to cater for their friend’s needs by referencing researched information rather than googling shallow views on the internet.


As a player, it is important to know that this game is played using Google Slides. It will only work in presentation mode or slideshow format for the hyperlinks to be activated. Also, It is advised to use a computer to play this game easily in slideshow format.This game is played individually. Every choice you make has different consequences according to the chosen answer. It is important to understand that the game is not designed to affect the player’s mood negatively in any way. Although the topic itself is not comforting for certain players, it raises awareness to the player and helps bring them comfort by making them believe that their feelings are shared on a larger scale with other people. One of the key factors to the design of this game is visuals since they are designed to make the player understand the content easily and match the scenarios designed respectively. As a player, make sure you read the getaways in every scenario you play. This is designed to help you understand ways to benefit from all the situations you encounter in the game. Most importantly, the final message is a shoutout to all the people supporting their friends struggling from the illness. 

Link of “When Someone You Love is Depressed” Game:

I am very glad to share this link with everyone. I would be grateful to receive your feedback after playing the game in the comment section below. I hope you find this issue as useful and as interesting as I did while creating the game 🙂


3 responses to “Digital Narrative Game Phase 4: First Draft”

  1. I love the way you have introduced your game and invited feedback. I tried to click on the link but got “access denied” so please give anyone with the link access to comment on your slide file. Thanks!


  2. Alia, what a beautiful game with a beautiful purpose and so well-thought-out.
    My first question to you is: why are you using John and Alex as names? Why are they not Egyptian names?

    Second, as I said earlier, the links to take people to different slides based on their answers need to be bigger so people can easily locate and click them. Or you can make the entire “circle” around the answer clickable and linked, you know? I’ll put more feedback as I go along, but I wanted to put these two right now before I head into a meeting


  3. hi Alia, I’m back!

    I wanted to reiterate the value of your game and also the beautiful graphics you used (where did you get them from, did you make them yourself or did you get them from somewhere?)

    Slide #40 is maybe my favorite thing in the world right now! You’re doing such a good job of tying the theories from I assume some source in psychology (please cite sources each time you use them) with Egyptian phrases and behaviors that are familiar. There is a “click to understand” sentence that does not click anywhere (is that supposed to translate the Arabic?)

    I also love your final slide.

    I think this has the potential to be a phenomenal game with some modifications:

    1. I noticed your game has some switching between “you and she”, like in slide #4 and it makes it really difficult to follow what you’re saying. She is you, right? You switch also between he/they when referring to John and she/you when referring to Alex. Again, call them Arabic names. If you want to be gender neutral, clarify that, but it makes storytelling more confusing because we don’t know what you’re referring to each time you use a pronoun without a name. Remember also what I said earlier about use of Anglo names. Is there a good reason why you are not using Egyptian names? You can use gender neutral names like Nour for example if that’s important for you?

    2. You need clearer “next” buttons/links and larger links for all choices. In slide 8, the “next” link is really difficult to see at the bottom left. It needs to appear closer to where we just finished reading. In general, your links are tiny and need to be clearer and cover more text, or be in a clear button-like shape, you know? So players don’t hit enter and move to the next slide by mistake. You keep changing the placement of the “next” link and it’s almost never in the place where your eyes go when you’re playing (a bit like those ads that hide the x button to close them when you’re in an app? Except you WANT players to see the next link/button clearly)

    3. Slide 17 is confusing – “come back to isolation”? Are you saying a friend of a depressed person will learn the pattern of their depressed friend and when they come back from isolation?

    4. I don’t understand Slide 18 – we don’t know what the explanation is? At this point, honestly, I’m not getting vibes that the friend is depressed, but that they are avoiding me. Is this how you want the player to experience it? There is no clear reason to believe my friend is depressed yet. Maybe it’s because of my choices, but I’m just seeing a friend who doesn’t want to talk and who cancels on me, and that’s it.

    5. I don’t understand slide 2 – 9 times harder than what? Also, in earlier feedback, I had suggested that “pick a number” in this case is not really a scenario, why would you want to just give random information to the player without a reason like that? All of this information is useful, and maybe when I make a particular choice I should learn it, but I don’t understand why I should pick a number. I could only see 9 btw, which led me here.

    6. Slide 26 is confusing because I chose to “do a small gathering” and it seems to be what John would have liked, but then John gets angry and Alex doesn’t want to cancel her plans… I am confused! I guess the earlier slide that led me here should have had an option to do a big vs small outing, as well as reschedule or cancel? Also, “why did Alex do that” should not be a new slide – you can explain it in the same slide, since it’s not a choice… just let it show with custom animation or something.

    7. I’m starting to see now that you’re focusing on the toxic habits of the person supporting the person with depression… and I’m starting to find it valuable… But the more specific each situation is, with more details on the conversation and the context would help – you also need situations that are different from each other and to have build-up – for example, the therapist comes up REALLY early on and never shows up again! When we “persist” we don’t hear what happens in terms of therapy – I think therapy can come later and then its effectiveness can depend upon which therapist your friend visits, etc. Like you have a choice of 3 therapists (one you found online, who is a parent of a friend, and one who comes on TV) and then if one of them does not work out, the friend can either stop going to therapy altogether or choose another therapist to try, things like that.

    Slide #28: what university problem are you referring to? Last time you mentioned probation was ages ago. We don’t know what happened since then. We have also not seen your friend EVER be not depressed, and I think we need to see them a little when they are well and good with you to understand why you care about them so much and why you keep trying. or at least to know how you were BEFORE all this depression happened?

    Slide #35 and everything that led to it is confusing. It doesn’t flow logically from what is before, and I don’t know what is the thing that you detected, when you started journaling, and again you are switching between you/she and it confuses the player.

    Alia, this will be an amazing game. I can’t wait to see the next draft. In the meantime, let me know if you want to have a quick Zoom office hour meeting with me after Spring break on Tues or Wed. OK? Thanks!


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