Family Dinner (Construct 3) - Tom Hosford (17), Camberley
A game about being a closeted transgender teenager at a family dinner, and all the awkwardness and upset that entails.
The game is a choose-your-own-answer conversation simulator, telling the fictional story of a teenage transgender boy at a family dinner, surrounded by his homophobic and transphobic family members. You play as Toby, who navigates the minefield that is talking to these family members. This minefield is often overlooked by non-LGBT people, and I wanted to highlight how something that appears so trivial (or even boring) for them can be seriously upsetting and stressful for LGBT (especially closeted) people.
The game switches between a conversation and text-message format, to give it the "flow" of a normal teenage life - which is something I really wanted to convey in this game! Each answer you give in the game leads to different dialogue responses, with everything having an impact - meaning you really have to be careful what you say (or to continue the minefield metaphor, where you step). Throughout the game, Toby interjects with his thoughts and feelings, which can influence the answers available to pick.
I also want to expand the story further! There are still stories and ideas I want to convey with the game's characters, and whether that's through further development or another game entirely, I'm not sure. Some features which expanded on the game's world were cut, such as a faux-social-network, in order to keep the game focused (to keep its message more direct).