Play the Game: The Helpline
“A short game (approx 8-12 minutes to play entire game), made in Unity for PC, whose primary focus is telling a story, or exploring a narrative space.”
About the game:
Engine used: Unity + Fungus
Team Size: 1
Time to complete: 2 months
We live in a world where kids fear what their parents and friends will think of them if they find out they are gay. We are humans are created to love. And to love, is what we do. It shouldn’t matter who you love, as long as it’s genuine. So why should others try to stop you or “fix” you or feel ashamed because of that?
This game was created in order to help those going through a rough period of coming out or have already come out and it didn’t go as well as we all hope it would. In the game, you can either play as a male or a female, that have to come out to their parents. There is a 60% chance the parents will react negatively (based on UK statistics) and 40% they will accept you for who you are. Each play through initiates a probability chance, meaning each time you start the game, you can get one of the two endings.
At the end of the game, there are numbers for help and other statistics that will shine a light on the horror teens have to go through and where they can get help from. This was done to help anyone struggling with depression, anxiety and coming out. I wanted to let people know they are not alone and that they can seek further help and that it was okay to feel this way and seek help.
My contribution towards the game:
I came up with the idea during a discussion on how hard it is to come out to the people you love the most and the possible consequences. Two of my friends – both part of the LGBT community shared their experiences with me, and although their experiences were positive, I knew others are not so lucky.
I worked on the dialogue options, checked as many statistics as possible, researched possible help numbers and options for others, as well as worked on the logo. I also picked the music and the images for the game.
LGBT is a very important topic to me, and knowing that this game could help someone is what drove me to complete this game. I don’t believe that people should be judged based on who they love. We live in a free world, we are allowed to love whomever we want to, and whomever our hearts want to. Your family and friends are there to support you, not put you down.
I had so much fun making this game, but at the same time, reading all of the statistics and putting the numbers at the end, made me quite sad and angry at how people are punished for things beyond them. Love is love.
I was hoping I could have actual stories within the game, however the communities and people I reached out to, either did not respond back to me or couldn’t help me. This is something I can work on in the future, if I manage to find someone who can share their story with me and the world through the game.