February 2013 Party — “Depression Quest Postmortem: Making games about difficult subjects”

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This month’s party will feature the presentation, “Depression Quest Postmortem: Making games about difficult subjects,” by Zoe Quinn.

Depression Quest is an interactive (non)fiction about living with depression, made by developers who are currently suffering from it. Making a game that is so personal presents additional challenges to the development process. This talk aims to explore why one might make a game that exposes so much of yourself, how to deal with other people seeing it, and how to try to stay sane in the process. Additionally, when making a game about a sensitive subject such as mental illness, there is an important additional process of ensuring that what you’re creating doesn’t cause more harm to those dealing with it. All this and basic postmortem material will be discussed!

Zoe Quinn is an independent game developer who solely focuses on making offbeat games. From games involving real life flamethrowers to online dating, she focuses on using games as a medium first and a product second. Depression Quest is her first commercial-ish release, and has been the hardest game for her to make yet.