A nuanced take on dialogue choice

We Should Talk is a narrative game that makes players decide how to handle a failing relationship. A unique combinatorial choice mechanic gives players the freedom to express themselves and engage in nuanced conversations about life, love, and relationships.

Carol Mertz + Jack Schlesinger + Jordan Jones-Brewster + Kat + Francesca + Nobonita Bhowmik
Class: Game Studio 2 - 2018
Instructor:  Matt Boch    

Honorable Mention – Best Student Game, Independent Games Festival

Official Selection – Different Games 2018

Things are tense. Your partner’s been trying to get you to talk about the problems affecting your relationship, but you’re not sure if you’re ready. You head to your common haunt, a local bar where your best friend works, to relax and think things through. You discuss ongoing problems about life and romance with your partner over text, while also chatting with friends and strangers at the bar about what’s on your mind. The interactions you have and the perspectives you take affect how genuinely you can connect with your partner, and whether your relationship can survive the night.

Inspired to make a narrative relationship-centric game that avoids transactional interactions and prescriptive responses, we set out to create a totally new way to engage with a game narrative. Player dialogue responses in “We Should Talk” are broken into 2-3 parts, all completely interchangeable. This allows players to build the response that best suits their feelings about the situation and conversation.

Our team’s goal with “We Should Talk” is to exhibit the nuance of communication by allowing the player to choose between small but meaningful differences in realistic conversations. Player responses elicit varied reactions from conversational partners, providing examples that show the player that even subtle choices in their language can make an impact on immediate conversations and established relationships.

“We Should Talk” was developed in the spring semester of 2018 for the NYU Game Center’s “Studio 2” course.


Narrative: Carol Mertz and Jordan Jones-Brewster

Art: Francesca Carletto-LeonKat Aguiar, and Nobo Bhowmik

Code: Jack Schlesinger

Audio: Jack Schlesinger