The Issues With Life (Idea)

Hi, I’m thinking about doing my first choice script game which may turn out very dark.

Possible themes for my game are going to be mental health issues which I think are underrepresented in most aspects of life, poverty, depression, which is a mental health issue but this would be a major theme throughout, discrimination and suicide. (Possibly trans too).

Not exactly cheering but I wanted to make an emotional story which immerses the reader within the storytelling and really just emphasis how some people see the world differently and I wish to represent this through their perspective, while raising lots of issues and challenging political perspectives. I also know that you shouldn’t have too much control over the story but perhaps this could be put to effect through the use of going on a downward spiral and you can’t do much to escape; making the reader feel desperate and connect to the character and understand what their going through.

What do you think about it? Would it be too dark? Would you want to read it? Like to see anything in it?


Would love to see this in action

I have no issue with it but there are some people around here who may have depending on how you approach and deliver said topics. Keep in mind that our community here is very inclusive - we have individuals from all walks of life including some who have suffered (and still do) under the stigma that is having a mental condition as well as belonging to a social minority. These are very sensitive topics that require a certain finesse and education to handle without hurting anyone’s feelings. If you think you can deliver that then go ahead… but just to be safe I’d at least put a warning up so people know what they’re getting themselves into.

Topics that may yield useful information:
Mental Health Care
Trans Discussion in and out of games
Are there choices that a game shouldn’t give a player?


… As @IvoryOwl said, you are most likely going to get roasted over those issues being in a game. Though I personally have no problem with it, though from what you’ve said, I also see no reason for me to be interested…

There’s not a lot of detail about a plot or how these details will be integrated, so it’s hard to form an opinion just yet. Hardships can make a story more compelling, of course. I think it is also tricky to avoid perpetuating stereotypes or other misinformation, so research will be important.

That being said, your loose proposal does remind me of Depression Quest. Not sure if that is the same type of game you want to make or not, but you might be interested in checking it out if you haven’t played it before.


If you try to include every miserable thing that could happen, you might not be able to write about all of them in-depth. I would pick just one, maybe poverty, and focus just on it.

I think not being able to control the character at all is frustrating. If you want the game to be very dark, instead give choices but make every outcome slightly bad in some way.

I have some ideas for interactivity for the game about poverty:

  • Choosing between two things that you necessarily have to buy, such as paying the electricity bill or the doctor’s bill. Skipping either should have serious consequences.

  • Dealing with bad friends who become jealous if you start to get out of poverty. Crabs in a bucket will encourage the MC to make bad decisions, but losing the friends will make the MC more lonely.

  • Here’s a thing that can happen in countries with social security. For example I’m making a small amount of money from my part-time job, and social security (student welfare) pays the rest that I need. If I switched to a full-time job that can be done without a degree, such as cleaning or being a cashier, I wouldn’t make more money than I do now, because I’d lose the welfare. So basically the choice is do you take a job that will cut your welfare just so that you can put something on your CV?

  • Maintaining the MC’s hope and enjoyment of life by participating in fun but cheap activities. Nobody can only think about basic survival all the time without becoming immensely stressed.

  • Finding free food. The MC could have a lot of random knowledge because they’ve gone to a lot of events/seminars that offer free food.

  • Asking for help from friends and family, but not too much, or else the MC’s self-esteem will suffer and the friends and family might start disliking the MC.

  • The MC could have a job in which either the customers are horrible or the boss is doing something illegal. Will the MC keep the job?

  • Trying to learn to manage your savings better, even though you’ve never had enough money to practice with. A higher economics skill would unlock more options.

  • A friend is even worse off than the MC is. Will the MC help the friend even though they really can’t afford it?


Thanks for the feedback.

@IvoryOwl yeah I lived in a household where both of my parents worked in mental health. So I know quite a lot and of course I would always do a lot of research before hand and look at first hand experiences. Its also quite personal as I have friends who have experienced depression.

@MizArtist33 In itself I wanted my story to explore the issues I presented beforehand through the eyes of the PoV. I wanted the PoV to possibly be a teenager as approximately 20% of teenagers experience depressions and explore possible reasons to why this is, such as masculinity which affects both females and males, science (pills) or pressure. Also exploring emotions, symptoms, families, relationships with friends, the increasing sense of hopelessness and feelings of suicide. And also thanks for the link to the game it was pretty interesting and I think I would go a similar route.

@Lavender’s you’re right as I should make it more deeper for the depth and emotional impact, but I can explore the PoVs experiences of people with mental conditions at school and if they receive stigma. Also seeing if their lives improve as a result of the government lead schemes on mental health or from the national health charity Mind. There may also be a plot line of running away and experiences on the streets with nothing.

This is such a big topic and a bit of a minefield. But my idea now consists of showing the dark experiences at school hopefully highlighting some issues and raise awareness for mental health, which is always important.

Tell me what you think.