Tough Talk – a Postmortem


Tough Talk’s gameplay is a metaphor for my own experiences delivering difficult conversations with others. I tend to rely on songs stuck in my head and frequently tap them to myself while talking. I also will hear the sound of my heart beating in my ear drums, both of which tie together into my idea for a rhythm experience. With a conversation between two characters occurring in the background, the experience will put the player to achieve successive correct hits to help the protagonist continue with conversation. The conversations play out while the player plays. While I feel this gameplay is a metaphor for my experiences, it may not translate to others. Perhaps in future, looking to others games and mediums for their interpretations of the same thing will help to isolate my intended meaning in more people.


Tough Talk used simplified audio and music to create its mood. Each “beat” in the world is matched with a drum sound, reminiscent of a heartbeat. The backing music comprised of a few distinct sounds: the tones of a synth pad, delicate notes from a grand piano, and a tense violin. In conjunction to the game’s dark and simplified visuals, the effect creates a foreboding and dramatic mood. While the game’s ‘score’ sound effect is questionably appropriate, I feel the intended mood is still present.


Tough Talk’s visuals are very barren and simplistic. Its User Interface uses stark colours and objects on a pitch-black background. Originally, art was going to be created to establish the backing scenery and communicating the atmosphere, mood and setup of the scene visually, but the art was never created. As it is, the game is incomplete and its resulting emotional output is therefore lesser. Establishing a visual style that will play towards my strengths and allow for a backup if things don’t go well will ensure that the visual component of any project remains in one shape or another, and no visual is lost.


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