Anonymous asked: I did not find your game to be a realistic portrayal of living with depression. It mentioned having a job, a girlfriend, caring friends and family, and being invited to parties. You probably don't care, but there's my thoughts on the subject, however much that's worth
So I’ve seen this come up a few times on internet threads and it’s a notion I really want to address because it’s actually very upsetting to me on a personal level.
It was a very specific design decision to have the main character have these things in their life, and it was made for a number of reasons. First, as stated in the intro, the game is not meant to be a 100% accurate portrayal of everyone with depression. Everyone has different circumstances, and the game does not presume to speak for everyone with the illness.
Secondly, depression will impact every one of those aspects of life for those who deal with it. One of the reasons we made that choice was to be able to show how it would creep its way in to a wide variety of “normal” activities. That was especially important to show people who have never dealt with depression at all how other people who do might act differently in those situations.
Thirdly, and most importantly, none of these things will magically cure mental illness. None of them. And perhaps the shittiest part of hearing people say it’s not a real portrayal is that a lot of it is taken from *our lives*. I’ve had to deal with depression with wonderful friends, a supportive girlfriend or boyfriend, and still try to force myself to work. Just like in the game, sometimes these things helped, and sometimes they were just another thing for me to fuck up when I wasn’t managing myself well. I still struggle with these things, and it’s a constant effort to keep my head above water.
There’s been times when I didn’t have any of those things either - I’ve never had a supportive family, and my forays in to dealing with therapists and medication have been nothing short of nightmarish. BUT, the game isn’t meant to be 100% anyone’s experiences. It’s not meant to say those things don’t exist, either.
When people say that the portrayal isn’t real enough because I didn’t make the protagonist start out with *nothing*, you’re saying that my experiences and those of my team are invalid. And that sucks beyond belief, since a large part of this was us taking a big risk and putting some really private things out there for everyone to see. It was a terrifying thing to reach out like that, and to be told that we didn’t suffer enough for it to count really really hurts.
Depression doesn’t only target people who are struggling with any of those things listed. That’s part of the point. And that attitude is somewhat detrimental, and turns into a “no *I* have it worse” competition. That really misses the point of what we were trying to do, and how we were trying to express our own experiences, and it’s a decision that was not made lightly but one I do not regret.
I’m sorry that you feel slighted by this as you’re obviously dealing with a lot, but everyone has different circumstances and if we just tear each other down instead of trying to help each other through this, nothing will improve.