Social Oddity

Released on itch.io

Game project @ FutureGames // Unity 3D // 2018

 
 
 

In Social Oddity, the player takes the role of Jamie, a socially awkward wallflower who gets dragged to a fabulous nightclub by their best friend Buddy. Convinced that Jamie will be able to get over their social awkwardness, Buddy darts off to the VIP area. To get past the bouncer and to reunite with their friend, Jamie must figure out the password by confronting their fear of talking to strangers. Warning: It might get awkward.

 
 

Mechanics

My project group and I decided to use the game mechanics to convey our protagonist’s social awkwardness. At the start of the game, the player can only stay silent during conversations until Buddy teaches them to just say “Hello” to someone. The phrase “Hello!” then gets written down in the player’s notebook and can be used in all following conversations. The player learns several new phrases throughout the game. Some phrases are necessary to progress within the story, but all phrases can be used on all characters.

 
 

My Work

For this game project I focused on narrative design. I worked closely with two other students on the overall storyline of the game. Together, we decided on the rough outline of the puzzles, all phrases which the player would be learning and how many characters we would need. We then split up the characters between us so that each of us could work on the individual character’s design and dialogue. To help the character artist, we created moodboards with reference pictures and character traits. The dialogue for each character is closely tied to the learned phrases. The three characters that I worked on are The Bouncerette, Richie and an anonymous person who locked themself into a bathroom stall.

 
 

Narrative Design: The Bouncerette

 


The Bouncerette is the first character the player meets inside the nightclub. She’s a serious person and focused on doing her job.

Dialogue examples:

JAMIE *stays silent*
BOUNCERETTE Stop wastin’ my time.

JAMIE What’s the password?
BOUNCERETTE Don’t get cute with me.

JAMIE I’m a millionaire!
BOUNCERETTE Wouldn’t have guessed.

JAMIE *offers credit card*
BOUNCERETTE You tryin’ to bribe me?

JAMIE *correctly states the password*
BOUNCERETTE Huh. You actually figured it out. Welcome to the VIP.

 
 
 
 

Narrative Design: Richie

 


The player encounters Richie early in the game and can do him a favor to get more information about the password to the VIP area. Richie is very shy and has a crush on another character, Scott.

Dialogue examples:

JAMIE *stays silent*
RICHIE Did… did you say something?

JAMIE What would you like?
RICHIE Do you see Scott over there?
RICHIE [cont.] You must have noticed him already, he has the most magnificent mustache!
RICHIE [cont.] I would really like to ask him to dance, but I can’t bring myself to talk to him…
RICHIE [cont.] Perhaps you could tell him that... uhm... I’m a millionaire!

JAMIE I’m a millionaire!
RICHIE You too? Don’t tell Scott, please! What if he likes you more than me…

 
 
 
 

Narrative Design: Anonymous Person in bathroom stall

 

The final hurdle before receiving the password to the VIP area is this anonymous person. They locked themself into the specific stall which has the password written on the inside wall, but whatever the player says to them, the anonymous person tells them off. The only way to get through to them is by staying silent and listening to what they have to say.

Dialogue examples:

JAMIE Hello!
??? Please go away…

JAMIE Let’s dance later!
??? I don’t really feel like dancing…

JAMIE What would you like?
??? I wish someone would listen to what I have to say... just once...

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