It was pretty good. The ending s was sublime. I originally didn't really want to play it twice, but while reviewing I decided I should give it another shake. I wrote as I played. This is from me playing the game as not coming out at first and then being forthwith: I liked the idea of this game, but I feel like the execution was really too limiting.
I like the idea of limiting choice but every choice feels like it's cutting down or being judgemental of things from the narrator or the person representing 'the viewer'. You told me anyway and implied I was a jerk for not feeling like looking at them. I feel like it's sort of hostile at a viewer who wants to hear the story but can't be sympathetic-you can only really get choices that are 'less jerk' ones.
I feel like he's sort of blaming the person playing the game for their choices 'I wonder what that says about you' because I chose to look at one portion before the other. It means I wanted to see what choices you made in this situation. The slightly positive things are buried within the negative choices. I think that's interesting, but rigid and made me feel as if I didn't want to play more than once. I quite liked the story itself and I like the jab at simulation games.
I like that someone is being open about their story and coming up with a game about it is sort of rare. I'm going to talk a bit about the gameplay here. I like the feeling of being trapped into coming out and being led on by the mother, but I felt like it was sort of weird to be told afterwards that the father wasn't there and that the had a brother.
It messes with your view of the story and makes you wonder what really happened. It just makes the story confusing-that shouldn't have been included for the sake of coherency. I also felt like some of the questions he asks you are leading and poking fun at things but I don't know how to take what he says.
He includes 'It gets better' in a sarcastic way as if to mock it from the viewer point of view which I have no problems with and then does says he like the project. I don't know if the viewer is supposed to be someone he really wants to know about him, or representing a slightly jerkish person you might meet say in a cafe. Here are my impressions from a replay I viewed the credits and about first and got a little confused as to why he needed to say 'real name vs legal name' The narrator is nicer when these are viewed.
The first time he goes a sort of passive agressive route 'Well if you'd viewed the credits you'd know. The mother finds out no matter what you do. The dialog trees are awfully similar. There are no right answers in two ways yes, but I feel like there is also nothing nice or happy you can say.
There are sincere moments of hope if you try and force it. Playing it more than once gives you sort of a guide to get a neutral ending so it doesn't feel as rending. He calls it a conversation simulator but it's pretty much very little variance. I agreed with my mother until she outted me herself and then I just kept agreeing with her.
I felt very strongly that feeling when you want a conversation to just be over. The mother being inevitable makes this story really interesting and I like the claustrophobic feeling it gives me. I avoided telling the father and lied about why we were agreeing with each other.
It felt like a threat on her safety too, but once again I felt like it was muddling the story since I knew he wasn't even there. That would've felt more powerful if he hadn't told us the father wasn't there. It sort of feels manipulative to have that threat and keep thinking 'This is supposed to be a true story: Did the mother even react that way? It's a half truth after all.
He keeps focusing on when you hear The Lie. I used it first the first time and last this time. That I chose it last this time. The themes were very strong, but the story didn't completely back them up and the unreliability of the narrator works against it in my opinion. A bisexual who grew up in the church and is now living with conservative Christians, keeping my sexuality a secret for fear of being thrown out on my ass.
I've come out to my SO and a few close friends, but so far I haven't had the courage to tell the people I know I'd be letting down.
Thank you so much for making this game. I don't necessarily feel more prepared, but I do feel a little less alone. Tom I agree with a lot of what cloudy said. In addition to the handling of the pre-game menu choices, I also thought that the 'life has no replays' sentiment was a bit heavy-handed. The gameplay overall is not bad. I think in reality coming out cannot be simplified the way it is done here so kudos on that.
The relation between the game and what-really-happened in real life bothers me. I'm a very truth-focused person - I tend to dismiss things unless they are based in fact so I wasn't particularly interested in what didn't actually happen. One of the issues then is that it's hard to care or relate to the narrator when you realise that a lot of what happened has been changed.
I read an interview with the developer in which he said that he needed to do this because it was painful to write about it, which I can understand. Perhaps it just needed to be handled a little more candidly at the outset.
Another issue is that the game sort of leads you into judging the moral character of the narrator's parents, which is a very odd feeling because it's directed at specific real people. In theory they could get flak from players of the game since one could figure out their identities. The mother speaks almost exactly like my mom 'a gay' instead of just 'gay' and the dialogue in the scenes where the player speaks with the dev seemed exactly the way I'd type my responses.
My coming out story's pretty bad. I like this one better.