Make or Break the Box: Event as Narrative

Splash Screen for Make or Break the Box

The story of my game is radical because it’s a playful commentary on the campus culture of Sarah Lawrence College. The game revolves around the idea of fitting yourself into someone else’s box of who you should be, or you can break their box and be who you are. To express this, the main level of the game features NPCs who pressure the player to join their club, sign their petition, or commit to their project. However, I have been struggling with the code aspect to allow for multiple conversation threads to occur. (Right now I’ve only managed to have one conversation play for all the NPCs. For example, the Red NPC says “Join my club Flower Power!” and so does the Pink NPC who is supposed to say “Stairs don’t care! Sign my petition and build a ramp instead!”
Pink NPC: "Stairs don't care!"

Pink NPC: “Stairs don’t care!”

Although I understand the theory and concept behind coding, I don’t fully understand the practice and debugging aspect. Hence, I do not have any hit boxes or triggered elements to further express the narrative or goal the game. If I could successfully code, then I would want to implement hit boxes that allow for the posters on the wall to be read and taken. (Note: Sabrina missed class on 2/20/2018, 4/3/2018, 4/10/2018, 4/12/2018 and a support conference on 4/9/2018. These were the classes that covered hit boxes and reviewed some of the concepts of debugging. AF, ed). An animation could play where the player removed the poster from the wall and a sound effect plays to indicate the player has conformed to the ideas of that poster.
Admittedly, I haven’t tried to surprise the player. Instead, I let the whimsical artwork and abstract representations of the students entertain the player for now rather than rely on game mechanics or flavorful dialogue. As of now, the color palette and the style of objects are vibrant and child-like. They suggest a familiar world (school) while at the same time being distinctly separate from reality. This bright and cheery nature allows the player to understand that the message of the game is intended to be playful critique of the radical campus culture and not a heavy judgement.
As of now, there isn’t much conflict or choice actually implemented in the game. However, if I were to successfully put them into the game then I would like for the player’s choices to alter NPC dialogue. For example, if the player chose not to build the pink NPC’s ramp and joined the red NPC’s Flower Power club instead, then the pink NPC would scold the player for not doing enough to help save the world. Since the player character doesn’t have a speaking role, then the red NPC could act as a mouthpiece and defend the player to “follow their dreams.” Otherwise, the game is an experimental and explorative commentary. The goal isn’t black and white, but more of an open-ended gray.