Having the chance to modify my first draft of the game is definitely a step I was looking forward to trying. It helped me understand how I can link it to our culture and make personal connections that makes the user feel familiar with the context and expect the scenarios yet to come.
To begin with, I started to modify the technical issues that might have made the player a bit confused and looking for more clarity in the game. For instance, based on feedback, I changed the location of all my next buttons and placed them in a white circle in the bottom left corner of every slide that includes the button. Moreover, I had the chance to work on unifying the pronouns I used in the game and avoided using (you – she) which confused the player and who is being addressed in the game. While replaying the game, I found it helpful to understand the characters I am addressing in every scenario and make sure I give them the importance they need in every scenario. I realized that by using “you” instead of the actual name of the character, I was making the game look more factual than it intended to be. In that regard, my intention is to create a game that gives a feel of day to day struggles in the first place.
Finally, I used the time I had at the end to work on the links of the game and the typos I had while creating my first draft which misled the player and sometimes made the facts unclear. In that sense, I chose a different way to also allocate my statistics (in a way that makes them both important and not competing with each other in the same scenario). It is also important to mention that I used Canva, a website that allows its users to use pictures for commercial and non commercial use for free. This helped me use individual elements and collage them freely which created the aesthetic I wanted throughout the game. Afterwards, I exported my posters in the form of “PNGs” and added only the text I wanted to convert into a link using Google Slides.
In terms of improving the essence of the game, I decided to add a cultural twist in the game that made it more relatable to the player. For instance, I changed my character’s names to (Khaled – Noha) instead of (John – Alex). Honestly, taking this step inspired me to even go further with the Egyptian twist and think clearly of how the scenarios take place in our context. In that regard, I added more Egyptian phrases that are commonly said in some of the scenarios that game meant to them and personally made me feel more connected to the game. It is important to mention that this game is based on true events that I have personally experienced and inspired me to create the game to raise awareness about the issues. In addition to that, I used the book “When Someone You Love is Depressed” in order to find real symptoms of the illness and statistics that shed light on the severity of some scenarios in the game.
In contrast to that, I chose my final scenario to be a “surprise” made by the main character. I wanted to include it at the end of the game to prove to the player that good days often happen too. I left it as an open ended question for the player to think “Is it placed at the end of the game to shed light on the importance of good days and that they will always overpower the heavy ones no matter how many they are?” OR “ Is it placed at the end of the game for the reader to see that scenario and find it meaningless after feeling exhausted from 9 other unfortunate scenarios”. Personally, I would choose the former situation because, although unrealistic to someone who doesn’t go through it, the good days will always remain the best driver to staying with the person.
Personally, I can never see an actual ending for this game. Everytime I look at it, I feel very intrigued to do more and add more scenarios if I possibly can. This game is the first of its kind to help me connect to real events I struggle with and work on finding possible solutions for myself, the player and “Noha” even if it was sometimes painful to read or go through the experience. In that regard, if I had more time, I would make sure I include scenarios that tie previous events again. This game was initially designed to cater for different events. Since they are only ten, my intention was to give the player a glimpse of different unconnected events that Noha and Khaled encounter regularly. However, an extension would help the game feel more of a story that keeps progressing as the player continues to play. Topic that could’ve been extended in further scenarios could be the “academic – probation issue” along with the “therapy sessions”. I believe these are two important aspects that could create two different games as well.
This game is designed to help people who have friends struggling with depression. By researching in this field, the game helped me find several ways to help someone you love who suffers from depression. It helped me place myself in several situations I am likely to encounter on a day to day basis with my friend. Also, it helped me feel at ease with the illness and catered for my feelings in several ways. By doing so, I felt acknowledged and ready to help my friends while maintaining my own being as well. In that regard, I felt as if I was the hero of the game and the game is designed to acknowledge my own experience with my friend struggling from depression. Meanwhile, the game also focuses on raising awareness of real symptoms that people suffering from depression encounter regularly. This helped me understand more about the illness and how to cater for my friend’s needs by referencing researched information rather than googling shallow views on the internet.
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 🙂
Link to Canva File (Editable) : https://www.canva.com/design/DAE9IYmkxTE/QVtKTEP5zcofH5pw-Gg49Q/edit#
References: Amador, X. (2017). When someone you love is depressed. Free Press.