BECOME A GAME WRITER (1.2)
GAME #1 – THE WRITER WILL DO SOMETHING
One of my favorite moments in this entire game comes directly after getting used to reading text so calmly. First and foremost, a player’s agency is maximized within The Writer Will Do Something — players can completely control the pace at which they play. As a player taps text, the narrative either teleports onto the screen or slowly fades in. There’s this gorgeously heartbreaking part though, where the character’s boss tells them to make a large choice that will affect later parts of the narrative. So, the main character begins this chaotic inner monologue about having a painstakingly, overwhelming amount of thoughts. Thus, the very next screen floods you with PARAGRAPHS of ideas and choices to choose from — actions too fast to read and too many to consider. Right when you are halfway through reading the first choice, the game suddenly SNAPS to the next part without you even clicking the screen due to an invisible timer. This gameplay moment indicates the urgency of the character’s situation — they’re being forced to make a choice — and by not doing so fast enough (similar to real life), the other characters simply interrupt and hijack the conversation. This sparks a sense of anxiety that binds the player to their character — you suddenly feel the pressure of the narrative through interacting with it.
GAME #2 – DEPRESSION QUEST
There’s this really icky feeling you can get just looking at this game. Sure, the authors tell you upfront that this isn’t going to be a happy or inspiring experience — but just by looking at Depression Quest’s user interface — there’s a discomfort here that I absolutely, tonally love. The gritty gray background, the fuzzy textures of certain photos as they pop up above the narrative — it all just screams atmosphere and genius. One of the most deep-cutting aspects of this game, in my opinion, is that depending on the emotional state of your character, certain choices slowly become locked off to the player. On a first playthrough, you might think this is the case no matter what you do. But, on a second (where a player will likely try different methods to improve their character’s mood), a player might discover a previously locked-off story path is actually, now available. This idea of preventing the player from making choices they KNOW will make things better, directly ties to the theme of the game, as well as strengthens the consistency of the character the player has crafted. Have you been sleeping until the next day every chance you get? Well, don’t expect your character to ever like going out and being social — that’s nonsensical based on your previous actions. Oh, and above all else, my favorite part of the gameplay experience here are those three, ever-looming text boxes directly under the narrative. As things get worse, the boxes shake and darken, and the text in them emboldens, with their film grain becoming more erratic. Just like the character’s self-loathing — the player can’t escape their dark thoughts.
is a multi-talented actor, recording artist, filmmaker, and entertainment entrepreneur with M. StageScene Communications, Corp. Royale is a graduate and adjunct professor of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music (where he also earned a minor in Cinema Studies). Royale also is a graduate of the acclaimed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where he studied Drama. Royale hails from St. Albans, Queens — a neighborhood that was once home to many legendary musicians, such as James Brown, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, A Tribe Called Quest, and Count Basie.