A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

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About

Oblige is a narrative-heavy sidescroller/typing game where the player acts as a working-class mother in 1979 Hong Kong. The player must take care of everyday chores while balancing work, life, and a growing responsibility to appease to her spouse and children. Directly inspired by the stories of mothers and grandmothers living and working as housewives. Developed in the fall semester of 2016 for the USC Intermediate Game Development class.

Recognitions: USC Winteractive Festival 2017, GDC 2017 Intel Showcase, IndieCade 2017 Nominee

Coverage: PC Gamer, South China Morning Post, itch.io, Crossfader


Controls

  • use arrow keys to move
  • use E or Space to interact/progress
  • use keyboard letter keys/backspace on keyboard in typing minigames

Credits

Code/design: Jocelyn Kim (twitter - e-mail)
Art/narrative/design: Ivan Tsang (twitter - e-mail)
Audio: Quetzel Herzig (website - e-mail)
Performers: Kailey Zercher (violin), Sarah Mercedes (cello)

(special thanks to the Berklee College of Music for lending us our sound designer/composer and performers!)

Please e-mail jocelynkimchi★gmail.com (★→@) for questions, concerns, and bug reports. Thanks!!

Current version: 1.01 (as of Feb 28 2017)

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Oblige_1.01_lnx.zip 109 MB
Oblige_1.01_mac.zip 109 MB
Oblige_1.01_win.zip 106 MB

Comments

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I loved this game so simple so perfect here is my playthrough 

Hey, I recorded a quick video of your game if you'd like to check it out! Really enjoyed it although I found it difficult to get used to at first

Hey Nada!

I'm glad you got the hang of the typing :) Thanks so much for linking your video! 

I enjoyed this game and it's original idea. But I think that the typing can get repetative and seem like a chore. I know that's sort of what you were going for but it's just annoying. I think it would be a good idea to make it so the game has two modes. 'Normal Mode' will just be the game exactly the same as it is now. 'Story Mode' would bw the game as it is, but the letters on the keyboard arn't mixed up so players can experience just the story while keeping the typing experience in the game still. I think this would be a healthy addition to the game but it's just my idea, do whatever you want to do, it's your game after all. But I still enjoyed the game and can't wait to see what other games you make in the future! 

Sorry but my footage corrupted so there won't be a part 2 to this game.

Hey Mutant Gamer! Thank you for your feedback--we hear you and we really appreciate any and all comments/criticism. Lots of great feedback to think about for the future :) 

Thanks for linking the video and for playing our game!

No problem, I appreciate the reply!

(Edited 1 time)

Hi devs, streamed your game there. I'm sorry but it is half-baked in narration and gameplay. I "divorced" husband (closed the game) that makes me ride to another town lots while his "friends" live two inches from each other (or he could've just send them letters with money). I am not feeling tired and exhausted from laundry and cooking, also I could've rearrange my cooking plans so it wouldn't be so in a hurry. I would've not even give birth to those whiny children that need a lot of attention and resources. This is a game about stupid people being stupid. It's not what it is trying to be.

Hey Miriak!

Sorry that you didn't have a good time playing our game. I'm unsure of what kind of criticism you're trying to give in regards to the narrative and gameplay, but we are always open to listen to any and all comments that people may have.

 Thank you for linking your video and playing :) 

(Edited 1 time)

Cool game, team! The typing idea is interesting - I think it could be taken further, and into a more connected context.  Especially since typing, and keyboard layouts, are so tightly tied to the dominance of the English language, and making it hard to type has interesting analogues with language.

At first as I played, I thought I was a housewife in an USA home, and thought the typing was supposed to be about language barriers between some USA  (usually white) men, and women from Asia who have been paid/offered green card to get fly to USA and marry the man. That could be an interesting angle to explore!

I think the pacing of the game could have been a little quicker overall - the typing I think was generally fine (maybe make less letters switch places? Maybe the tedious cooking tasks could have been represented in a non-typing mini game that is still tedious?), the big one was walking in the city, which could have been quicker without losing the sort of contemplation and sense of tedious labor it conveys.

Other than that, I wonder if the "father's side" could have been handled more carefully - though I think the game adds nuance with the father talking about respectability/reputation as these social behaviors that partially drive his poor behavior towards his wife, more nuance could have been nice (longer conversations - maybe the wife questions their roles and routines, and that explains a bit of the father's (flawed) ideology, etc.) 

Anyways nice game! Would love to test any future work from any of the team.

Hey Sean! Thank you so much for your valuable feedback! 

Actually, the typing mechanic was originally borne out of conversations my partner Ivan and I had about Asian immigrants in America, so you're right on the money. Over time, the story changed to be about a mother living in Hong Kong because Ivan had been researching his HK grandmother/ancestors, but we kept the mechanic as it is. We're glad that the tangential themes of USA-Asian language barriers still resonate, but yes--I would love to explore different angles and takes on Asian immigration in the future. :) 

Again, thank you for taking the time to write your comments out, this is all great to have! 

(-1)

For the typing minigames, I think it's better not to randomize the letters on the keyboard at all, they become tedious to play. I bet most people just want to enjoy the story rather than the minigames.

i concur with your comment, the game itself is very beautiful and well done.

Thanks so much, MightyMrB! I appreciate it :)

Hey, thanks for your feedback! I totally understand--it was really difficult for us to balance that fine line between healthy and unhealthy frustration. For us, it was important to keep a degree of tediousness in order to support the game's story/themes, but maybe we could have included different modes of difficulty or something? That's something for me to think about in the future... Thank you!