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Gameplay Mechanic a Month: Emotions as Actions

Month 8 - August 2013

A heart-broken robot.

Mechanic Description:

In most games, players make or choose actions to take. For this mechanic, the player decides which emotion the non-player character should feel. This means that it becomes less clear how to successfully navigate your way through the story to reach the end.

Playable in the following game:

The AI with a Broken Heart




Interactive story

Game Description:

An artificial intelligence, called AI matchmaker (A.I.M.), that was built for an online dating website has fallen in love. However, A.I.M. has just been dumped and doesn't know how to feel any other emotions other than love. You must help A.I.M. get over their ex and return to standard operating functionality.

The game was created using Twine and is a text-based adventure game. The characters were intentionally made to be gender-inspecific.


Start Screen

Start Screen

The game begins with a letter from Jamie who talks about an AI called A.I.M. that has fallen in love.


Missed a Clue

You help A.I.M. get over Jamie by selecting which emotion A.I.M. should show next.

Gameplay Instructions:


The game is implemented in Twine and can be played here: web version.


This month I received support and suggestions from:


An analysis of the gameplay mechanic written by me in March 2015.

I wanted to have the "actions" be emotions instead of actually actions, because I feel like most games are so action focused and don't concentrate on thinking enough. I had just been through a breakup. I believed I was over my breakup and making a game about it would be a cathartic and healing experience, similar to how I imagine it must be for people writing songs or poems about breakups. But for me it wasn’t…

What Went Right:        

What Went Wrong:        

Hug Rating:
-5 hugs

There might be some good out of this game, but I just can’t see it. I don’t ever want to touch this game again because it reminds me of one of the worst periods of my life. Maybe for someone who wasn’t so attached to the game it might be funny.

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