Nothing to Say
Nothing to Say isn’t just the result of an awkward conversation, it’s also the name of an HTML indie game on itch.io. The game is essentially a cross between a dating sim and Scrabble. You are a nameless protagonist with crippling social anxiety. Right away, I feel connected to this game. You have 7 letters to start with: N, O, T, H, I, N, G. You literally have nothing to say to your date. Different dialogue options appear in the game, but you can’t pick a single one. You can only select choices that feature letters you have. Seems impossible? Correct! However, Zoe still likes our silent hero. The player gains hearts from Zoe’s happiness, which can then be spent on adding letters to their repertoire. The scenario repeats until the conclusion.
Nothing to Say isn’t a very long game, but it doesn’t have to be for it to have an impact on the player. As with life, the protagonist can’t think of much to say on a first date. Players can easily identify with the awkwardness of dating and first impressions. The player gaining new letters for conversation is a metaphor for how it gets easier to communicate as you get to know someone. Nothing to Say managed to achieve this subtle parallel in a measly 72 hours by a team of two. I can’t produce a text-only game given 6 months, let alone 72 hours. The project was designed by Rose and Celia14 for the Ludum Dare game site.
Nothing to Say in the End
With blockbuster games being the focus in the news, it’s easy to overlook the little guys out there. I sound like a politician running for office, but it is the small indie games that are the backbone of the gaming industry. Indie games are built with heart instead of greed. They’re a labor of love with little return. That takes dedication and passion. These hidden gems are not only respectable, but the charm helps remind me why I game. The project is only in its infancy, having been born 9 days ago, but check it out on itch.io to support the release!