These are some screen drafts I’ve designed for a visual novel game prototype. The characters presented here are placeholders I drew as a style guide for the artist who did the actual characters for the game. Developed in Ren’py engine, the game was part of a research project that had as a goal understand better how to engage players with moral dilemmas and ethical decisions throughout the game’s choices and the narrative pieces connected to them.
In this narrative, players receive an offer to be a partner in a paparazzi agency, in which the job is to hire and manage the paparazzi tasks. The moral and ethical issues are exposed while the paparazzi are performing the assignment. The idea is to make players handle the tenue line of relevant information and gossip involved in a paparazzi job. Would you choose to expose or do not expose people? How harmful may a photo be to someone? Is it worth trying to make money by destroying people’s reputations or lives? Those questions are a tiny sample of the issues the game intended to make players face and go through.
As a product of this research, a paper was presented in the International Communication Association (ICA) 2018, in Prague. In addition, the game was exhibited in the Meaningful Play Conference, Michigan 2018.