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Please Knock on My Door

Please Knock on My Door
« on: November 10, 2014, 10:07:26 am »

Hello everyone! I was recommended this forum by a friend, as I am working on a title that walks the line between games and interactive entertainment.



The game is called Please Knock on My Door and expresses the subject matter of depression, loneliness and phobia. My hope is that the game will be able to help those who are friends or family to someone suffering from depression to understand what the sufferer's world can be like. I want to raise awareness of this issue, and my hope is that by doing this in the form of an interactive product, the user will be able to explore the subject matter and possibly learn something in the process.

The game is scheduled for an early 2015 release, and I recently released a teaser: http://youtu.be/HhiAtok9dwI

I have looked at both Depression Quest and Actual Sunlight for inspiration, but I'm thinking of doing a more gameplay oriented experience (without breaking immersion of course) than those examples. The difficult part is to portray an illness were one of the most common symptoms is apathy, through an interactive medium. If you have any feedback or other games / interactive experiences you think I should look at based on the above, please let me know!

Also, if you'd like to hear more about my thoughts on PKoMD, just drop a line. I made this initial post more like a short introduction to gauge interest than "throw everything I've got in a wall of text".  Smiley

Take care
// Michael
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Re: Please Knock on My Door
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 12:51:14 am »

There seems to be something really interesting here in the repetition.

I'm wondering, how would you make the player feel like they technically have the choice to do things (like leave the house, reach out to people), but don't because they feel too bad, it's overwhelming, etc?  I suppose apathy could also be provoked by screwing with the rewards system, making rewards either not worth the effort or making them seem out of reach.

The art style and environment are pretty great.
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Re: Please Knock on My Door
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 08:08:53 am »

There seems to be something really interesting here in the repetition.

I'm wondering, how would you make the player feel like they technically have the choice to do things (like leave the house, reach out to people), but don't because they feel too bad, it's overwhelming, etc?  I suppose apathy could also be provoked by screwing with the rewards system, making rewards either not worth the effort or making them seem out of reach.

The art style and environment are pretty great.

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read and comment! Smiley

This is actually a quite complicated issue which I'm still struggling with, I'll try to summarize my reasoning.

The way I'm tackling it right now, is that I'm not aiming to give the player any real choice as of whether or not he wants to stay home / not reach out to people. My take on this is that I have a specific scenario which I want the player to go through, with the hopes of raising awareness for what it can be like to be stuck in such a situation. The alternative might be to give the player the illusion of being able to call friends, family or a similar act of reaching out. The player will most likely try this act at least once, and if he/she realizes that the option is legit that will break the experience as a person with depression wouldn't have such an easy time to reach out to others by him/herself. At the same time, if the player has taken the "reach out" action and the game stops him/her (perhaps by making the main character hesitant or defiant of the action), that might break the illusion of choice completely (if the player sees through it, which will of course depend on the player's experience with games and mechanics) and again the experience is at risk of breaking. In this sense, giving the player the option to "reach out" might have more negative consequences than positive.

I also have a slight (perhaps unfounded) fear that if I make the player actually feel depressed, as opposed to understanding depression and its effects, it might actually affect some players negatively even after they've stopped playing. I feel like I'm walking a thin tightrope, on one side I do want the player to experience what it can be like to live with depression, on the other side I don't want to make the player feel too depressed as it can have negative consequences depending on who is playing. I am sincerely trying to take my responsibility as a creator and focus on what positives I can bring to the player's life, while minimizing the risk of bringing any negatives.

Thank you for commenting on the art style, it means a lot as this is the first game I've ever produced the art assets for myself! Smiley
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