Head back home for Christmas. cue: immediate disaster
Slice of life, Romance, Family/Home, Non Euro-centric
Current wordcount: 152k words (4 chapters)
Will you survive the week at home with all your brain cells intact and get closer to your family? Or will you lose your cool when your aunt asks you, for the fifth time that evening, if you’re still single, and whether you’re ever going to get a ‘real’ job?
Will the week at home truly be a good ‘change of scenery’ for you, after your recent break-up? Will you find new love, or perhaps rekindle an old flame?
At the dawn of a new year, which relationships will you be able to salvage (or deepen)?
- Play as female, male, or non-binary - straight, or queer.
- Patch things up with a (very recent) ex - who also happens to be your flatmate (not sketchy at all).
- Attend a high school reunion, and run into your first-love, who’s doing ridiculously, absurdly, well - at least on the outside.
- Have a whirlwind romance with the sexy neighbour (that your mom despises, mostly because they have tattoos and leave muddy mountain bike tracks on the common corridor).
- Spend the holidays back home in Singapore with your family, survive the drama at the Christmas family dinner, and perhaps even find solace in their company.
- Bail out early and head back to New York for New Year’s Eve, or watch the fireworks with family or… a new flame.
Author’s note: I’m back home for the holidays, and felt like writing a light-hearted slice-of-life game about where I’m from.
The game touches on being in one’s late 20s, feeling torn between a place you’re born in vs. a place you’ve chosen to build your life in, the tension between familiarity and adventure, duty and freedom, and what it truly means to be ‘home’. If desired, it can also be very, very queer.
Your ex. Your parents never approved of them, but you suppose it doesn’t matter anymore. Despite the breakup, you’re still friends, and worse still - you still live with them in a tiny shoebox apartment. New York rent, man. What can you say?
Your first-love (or platonic soulmate), from junior college. You’d not kept in touch, and now, they’re ridiculously successful. But, according to your intel, still…tantalisingly, frustratingly single.
Your neighbour’s new tenant. Your parents also, do not approve, and this time, it’s almost understandable- they’re in a band, ride a motorbike, and have too much dang bicep to be trusted.
Chapter One (24/12/21): The Departure
- Rush home to grab your things and head to JFK airport (why exactly are you so late for your flight?)
- Bump into Nat, who offers to give you a ride to the airport, because they’re… just that kind of ride-or-die (literally) friend…?
- Charm, beg, or name-drop your way into getting on that plane despite your horrifying tardiness. Or: miss your flight despite your best efforts (or maybe you weren’t trying that hard?) - and spend one more night in New York.
Chapter Two (10/06/22): The Arrival
- Have your lift hijacked by Shay, your neighbour’s new tenant
- Eat your favorite Singaporean food
- Participate in your family’s unique Christmas tradition [Paint some ugly santa figurines, or bake and karaoke to your heart’s content or play mahjong]
- Call your old friend Joony, and get lost in memories of your junior-college* days… Qiu (no surprise here) features heavily in those memories.
- Have a ‘midnight heart-to-heart’ with your brother. (or not!)
Chapter Three (28/01/23): It’s Christmas
- Attend Christmas dinner with the extended fam. Chat with your icy/frigid cousin or your brother, engage in some hijinks with your 6-year old twin cousins, and get embroiled in some true soap opera-style drama.
- Ride off from the family dinner with Shay on their motorbike (to your mother’s horror), to a live music venue. Meet their bandmates, dance with Shay—a kiss is also in the cards—or perform on stage with the band if you dip out of dinner early!
- Head to Labrador Park (a nearby coastal park with a strip of beach/forest) after dinner, and call Nat. You recall some of the good times spent on the beach with Nat on their first trip to Singapore to visit you, and just might just get a chance to fight for the relationship (or let it go for good).
- Choose to spend some alone time at the park, and (possibly) reminisce about your 18th birthday, when you spent the afternoon there with Qiu after class.
- End Christmas with a bang… (If you play your cards right, you might even be invited back to Shay’s apartment.)
Chapter Four (24/06/23): Boxing Day
- “Morning after” scene with Shay if you chose to stay over
- Mountain bike ride with Shay if you chose to go on it
- Flashback of The Incident with Qiu
- Reunion dinner with your classmates, and meeting Qiu again for the first time
- Alternate scene with Qiu if you chose not to go for the reunion dinner
Future updates—Chapter Five: Free and Easy
- After the hectic Christmas schedule, spend time unwinding and exploring the city
- Hang out with Shay, Qiu, or your family
- Surprise visitor makes an appearance
[7-8 total chapters planned, roughly corresponding to each of the days MC will spend at home.]