Advice is a conversation game built as the senior thesis project for my Game Design major.

The game’s structure is a simple yet expansive dialogue tree. I wanted to see if I could produce a tree sufficiently large so as to produce a conversation that felt both natural and not overly constricting. The game mimics the look-and-feel of an instant messaging client, and the dialogue options are usually a sentence or less in order to provide a quick back-and-forth.

I cast the player as a fictional sort of advice columnist, doling out wisdom to random strangers on a real-time internet hotline. The hope was to provide an implicit flexible goal (give good advice) and to allow easy expansion of the game.

In playtests, my players tended to indicate that the game succeeded at feeling natural and free, but they didn’t often think it was especially entertaining. Despite this, I still think about this game from time to time. I like dialogue trees, and I like the idea of a game that’s built entirely around them.