Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

11 August, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: An Indie Game

This week, let’s look at another brief, indie game, Chatroom.

This is a brief adventure-type game set in the future. A few issues to consider after the break.

The game is very simple. It’s an interesting setup, and a familiar interface for people who have done online chat before. The simplicity of the interface makes the system easier to use. The game is pretty short, if you’re perceptive (and/or lucky), you could be done in 10 minutes.

So, write up your answers. If you haven’t played the game yet, avoid reading the comments because there may be spoilers. If you get stuck, though, here are some hints to help you out. The one hint that I will give is that, yes, there is an ending to the game.

Some questions to consider:

  • What details do you notice that tell you about the setting?
  • Consider the juxtaposition that the person you’re talking to is technically a “bot”, but you are trying to determine if he is human.
  • What design decisions affect gameplay?
  • How does the game give you feedback on your progress?
  • How could that feedback be improved?
  • Did you anticipate the ending?
  • If so, what clues did you pick up?

I’ll post some of my thoughts later this week.


  1. Thanks to Kelly Heckman for sending me this original link:

    Comment by Psychochild — 11 August, 2008 @ 3:05 AM

  2. ** Spoilers **

    When I finally got him to meet me, that’s when I figured out I was on the “bad” side. The funny thing is that I actually tried to convince him to not go to that meeting but that obviously didn’t worked.

    This kind of chat games can be frustrating when you’re looping over and over the same answers but the “ding” you get from a new answer is a great reward enough to keep you hooked on it. You know that you have opened a new door and that new branches are available.

    I guess that I should have been more aware of the plot just by the presence of Roger. Roger is really what makes you want to do something in this game since you know nothing about “you”. Roger is the driving factor here and made me forget that I knew nothing about me.

    Comment by Over00 — 11 August, 2008 @ 9:57 AM

  3. Seemed like a fascinating premise that I just could not properly operate. Luke didn’t respond to anything I said except with cryptic non-conversation. It’s a positive testament to the environmental design, perhaps, that after a few minutes I felt really self-conscious and creeped out, and logged off.

    Comment by Bret — 11 August, 2008 @ 11:01 PM

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