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“The Signs”

A Game Design Project
By Leilani
a High School Student from Global Kids
The Signs

About this Project:

My project addresses the issue of abusive relationships. My idea was born in one of the Girl Hack sessions where learned the different signs of both healthy and abusive relationships.

When we did this lesson, I knew that I could take an interesting approach to it. So, I used the program Twine to create a story in which the objective is to try and prevent your best friend from staying in an abusive relationship.

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Community Feedback:

Great Design
Makes Me Think

Feedback from the Judges:

Hannah Peikes 👏 Senior Analyst, Digital Consumer Insights at Nickelodeon — Emoti-Con Judge
Good job tackling such a hard topic. You recognized a problem in society and are taking action! This could be a great resource for health teachers to do with their students. Keep developing, you have something special here!

Vincent DiBartolo 👏 Technology Director at Self-Employed — Emoti-Con Judge
This is easily the most courageous entry I've seen. The developer did an excellent job taking a very serious and difficult subject and making it relevant through storytelling and character development. I also really liked the title of the project as a way to reinforce the theme with the player both before and after they interact with the game.

I was caught between thinking some additional graphic elements (as mentioned by the developer) would be helpful to the narrative or distract from the seriousness of the topic. Having the story play out without any imagery was definitely impactful and I think introducing any additional visual elements would have to be done very carefully to not detract from the message.

My only advice here is to give the player more options to choose from and to reduce the amount of narrative significantly. The script is excellent and the overall story compelling, but the game goes for several pages at a time without any choices for the player and at times the choices themselves don't seem relevant to the story (e.g. what treats to bring). I think both these issues can be solved simultaneously and significantly improve the experience in a way that gives the game an even louder voice.

These are solvable issues though and overall I think this is a really important piece of work that deserves to be seen and experienced by a very wide audience. This is a great use of technology to make a change in the community and I applaud the developer's insight on this topic.

Stephen Marshall 👏 Front Developer/Software Engineer at Oakman Aerospace (A Redwire company) — Emoti-Con Judge
I'm really wowed by this project! There's some excellent writing here, but there is other multimedia potential with the characters and storyline to be used in a podcast, audiobook, or more in depth game with complex user interactions. I really like some of the specific details provided, like the "Blue Toyota Sedan" was a detail that we might need to remember in case forced to recall a later incident. Adding some checks and quizzes for these details might help reinforce the user's ability to learn. Great Work!

Emily Gregor 👏 Content Lead at Fullstack Academy — Emoti-Con Judge
Hi, Leilani!

Thank you so much for sharing such an important project with us. You've taken a critical topic and created a valuable tool to educate users and help them understand the issue more deeply—it also has the potential to keep people safe and save lives. I think there's a ton of opportunity to build this out and create additional assets and resources—even an entire curriculum! It would also integrate well with other resources and organizations that work to end intimate partner violence. What would you think of incorporating more interactivity and breaking up the scenes more? It'd be cool to add more checkpoints along the way for the user.