We’ll be working on a review for We should talk., so I got in touch with Carol Mertz to talk a bit about the game and its development. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us this morning. Can you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
Hi there! I’m Carol Mertz—I’m an indie game designer, and the producer, co-designer, and co-developer of We should talk. I’m honored to have been able to create this game alongside five other talented folks—Jordan Jones-Brewster, Nobonita Bhowmik, Francesca Carletto-Leon, Kat Aguiar, and Jack Schlesinger. The six of us came together as a student team with the goal of designing a game that challenges traditional transactional romance in games. We feel that the “sentence spinner” that we designed does what we set out to accomplish—it pushes relationship-building games forward by expanding the realm of player choice.
All of our team members are recent MFA graduates from the NYU Game Center. While We should talk started with the team together on-campus in Brooklyn, NY, our team members now span as far globally as Bangladesh, Japan, St. Louis, MO, and Madison, WI.
PS4B: We should talk. is on its way to the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4. What can you tell us about this release?
We’re really excited about it—it comes out on July 16, 2020! That’s SO SOON!
This is a hugely important game for our team—it’s personal in a lot of ways. For several on our team, We should talk. is our first-ever major game release, so it’s been really exciting to go through this process together. It’s honestly amazing that it started as a humble student project that has since grown into something that could be picked up by a publisher and released on consoles. The whole process has been unreal!
PS4B: How long did it take to develop the game? Are there any hurdles or challenges you had to overcome?
We started developing We should talk. in February 2018, so it’s been in development on-and-off for a little over two years. The original alpha was a three-month project for a semester-long Game Studio course. It’s still hard to believe that we were able to create the alpha so quickly, as just one course in a full Master’s Degree course-load.
Once we realized what potential the design of the alpha had to resonate with players (notably after an honorable mention from the 2019 Independent Games Festival), we submitted it to the NYU Game Center Incubator. We were fortunate to be part of the 2019 Incubator program, where we were able to spend another three months during the summer of 2019, working full-time to develop the beta. We’ve since signed with publisher Whitethorn Digital, and have been working on We should talk part-time as a team since last summer.
PS4B: How long would it take someone to do a full run for We should talk. from start to finish? Are there different endings for players to find based on their choices?
It takes about 20-30 minutes to complete one run of We should talk. There are nine different endings and several different conversational paths for players to discover, so our hope is that players choose to replay often to explore how different approaches to conversation affect the outcome.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Once again, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Is there something else you’d like to add before we go?
Thank you so much! As a small team, we could use all the help and support we can get. Please make sure to wishlist the game on Steam and the console stores!