Our game Selfies, was in the end, a proof of concept that could be iterated further upon. The game itself was a large risk in terms of the Affection genre itself, mainly due to the fact that we took a path “least explored” to most games regarding such emotion.
One of the things that we did that I thought was successful was the Selfie mechanic. I think if we break down the mechanic itself, it is a cool way to really think about how we think about affection today, and the way people communicate with each other. As one of the main goals of this game is to feel affection for someone (noticeably the AI) we have to make sure that any connection isn’t lost within the selfie mechanic and that players may not be able to troll or ultimately break our feel of the game. Using unique dialog options and making sure we have an interface that is not intrusive and doesn’t confuse the players is all key to making sure the game retains our intent and will play well.
If anything the one thing that held us back in terms of delivering an extremely strong experience would be the writing of the story. While we started out having a story that gave you 2 sides, good and bad that would give you two responses based upon what you say. We further iterated on this to feature a more grey response for the player the utilize, in order for us to not have this good vs. bad feature; rather, a involved vs. distant nice person. Even with this change, the dialogue for an experience such as this has to be absolutely spot on and killer in order for us to succeed in delivering our game at 100%. If we had given more time, or even if we took a harder dive into the dialogue tree rather than other aspects of the game first, I feel confident that we could accomplish more with the 3 weeks we had.
Another thing that worked towards our disadvantage was actually the 3 week timeline essentially. While we could have completed something more with 2 more weeks, the 3 weeks had to make us scope down in size and really figure out what kind of game we could make in that period. While a game with just selfies could look easy on paper, the fact that the narrative needed to be a home-run was an important sell to this game. At the end of it, Selfies was an interesting experience that given more time, would have been something that could have been an amazing experience about affection.