We Should Talk

Designing Intimacy in We Should Talk, Available Now on Xbox One

We Should Talk is a short-form narrative game where players think carefully about the words they choose, available now on Xbox One.

Our development team’s original goal was to design a game that explores romance in a more natural way than we see in most games. Often in other games that feature romantic relationships, we are expected to give gifts or say or do the “right thing” in order to attract a partner, but we designed We Should Talk to avoid this by encouraging players to put extra thought into their words when talking to characters in the game. As the writer/narrative designer for We Should Talk, I had the unique opportunity to explore what it means to experience and express intimacy in a game.

We Should Talk

Communication is nuanced, and when you have an emotionally charged conversation, it can be difficult to express yourself clearly. Even the title of the game is a statement that brings out a specific emotion when people read it. When someone texts you that “we should talk,” you know that a serious, sometimes vulnerable conversation is about to happen, and you know that the words you choose could affect the future of that relationship.

It’s that real-life interaction that inspired the design of the sentence spinner mechanic in We Should Talk. The sentence spinner lets players “spin” through parts of a sentence to allow them to craft full thoughts from those separate pieces. When faced with a tough conversation, we often run through all possibilities of what to say in our minds before we speak — the sentence spinner is designed to encourage taking that extra time to think, while also giving players a world of options. The way that sentence spinner breaks down a complete response encourages you to slow down and consider the impact of something as simple as deciding whether to say “I,” “you,” or “we,” regardless of the context.

We Should Talk

We Should Talk lets players engage with 4 different characters: Steph, your friendly neighborhood bartender, Dante, your ex who just moved back to town, Jimmy, a complete stranger, and Sam, your partner at home. Exploring the way that we interact with these kinds of conversations, especially when engaging with people of varying intimacy levels, allows players to really experiment with how they communicate, as if they’re in a relationship playground of sorts.

If you like narrative games about romance, check out We Should Talk is available today on Xbox One. Thank you for reading!

Xbox Live

We should talk.

Whitethorn Games

Xbox One X Enhanced
Using a unique narrative choice mechanic, players craft sentences in response to the in-game characters in We should talk. Through this careful choice of words, players express themselves as they discuss ongoing problems about life and romance with their in-game partner over text messages, while also chatting with friends and strangers at their favorite local bar about what’s on their mind. The combination of words they choose impacts the conversations they have, how genuinely they can connect with their partner, and whether their relationship can survive the night.