dude, i'ts so good the music!
dude, i'ts so good the music!
As crazy as it sounds, its a pretty accurate portrayal of what its like getting through the day with anxiety/depression. Really nice game!
I saw this on a website talking about depression, citing this game as potentially offensive, and I have to say I absolutely disagree. This game is a brilliant reconstruction of depression, and it really hits the nail on the head.
First of all, the player is immediately given a feel for how small the world is. Confined only two a four-room apartment, the variety of things for Billy to do are somewhat varied, but all done while inside, and it creates a very constricting, claustrophobic atmosphere. The fact that your financial and mental health are constantly decreasing also shows that just moving from room to room is difficult, expressing the lack of motivation someone has when they suffer from depression.
Most of all I love all of the bars and urges. The player is 'supposed' to finish every task, but at the same time is always under threat of some kind of timer running out. Whether it's the "Did I leave the ____ on?", an urge, or just the depletion of one of the gauges, Suicide Billy pressures you constantly and gives the player a feeling of being under stress. The fact that your financial and mental health is always a trade off, and especially that later in the game the bars seem to both be going down no matter what you do, instills a very strong sense of helplessness and futility in the player.
Adding onto the activities that Billy does, the fact that you see only a small animation for what he's doing makes the player feel very distant from the actual activities they're having Billy do, which is yet another accurate portrayal of what a depressed person feels.
Though the actual gameplay is quite simple, the variables (what Billy can do when he's drunk, on anti-depressants, etc.) are fairly complex, and literally every mechanic in the game is specifically designed to make the player feel what the character feels. This is further exemplified by beating the game, at which you realize you've gotten Billy through a grand total of ONE day after all of that running around. I also like that Tarah's 'reward' is his main motivation for getting through the day; it adds on to the whole thing about your world feeling very small when you play the game.
Onto the more aesthetic parts of the game, I really love the graphics here. The video animation works surprisingly well, and the environment is also very crisp despite looking like a bunch of photographs. There's a very distinct style here, and it works perfectly for what you're doing. It also reminds me a little bit of older Newgrounds fads, and makes me feel kind of nostalgic. The lines that appear over the screen are also a cool little subtlety that makes everything seem just a little bit less real.
The sound is absolutely excellent. The sound effects provide great ambiance, and despite not really being music, they're incredibly effective at making the player feel stressed, fatigued, and generally overwhelmed not only by the urges that pop up, but also by the activities that you do willingly. The little bits of music you hear while listening to music and playing guitar and bass are also really good, I'm surprised you haven't put the full tunes up on the Audio Portal (as I hear that you composed all of those clips yourself).
a very interesting concept here. In order to attain happiness you need to find a perfect balance. Work too much, and you'll have lots of money but be depressed, play too much and you'll be happy but broke. It was fun to play, and is rather thought provoking.