10.5 Bullying

Idea for

October 20, 2010


You play as a philanthropic bully, who harasses and verbally abuses students for the betterment of their future selves.


The theme we began with was 'Insults.'
includes topics that expand on the theme

We're hoping to explore various aspects of middle school life. Specifically, how people's judgements of each other affect their social interactions. Each character will have variables relating to their intelligence (measured by grades), physique, self-confidence, and popularity. In order to "save" a character, you need to make specific variables reach a "target" by a certain date. By pressing a button, you can see a vision of what characters will become. Their problems include things like wimpiness, shyness, Egoism(which is easily solved with a good verbal smackdown), apathy, making bad relationship choices(so you play matchmaker), being a goody-goody, and rulebreaking.

Your own reputation is also important, since you have a 'bully meter'. If you max it by getting caught bullying people, you'll be expelled. But if your bully meter depletes by doing too many good things, people will think you're a goody-two-shoes. Most of the 'good things' you can do consists of bullying people's enemies, though. If you can finish 3 years, you beat the game.

Friendship is another core subject. You can bring people together by uniting them in suffering (bullying them together), solving their issues, and matching their interests (like making them both take karate by beating them up). You can also make them enemies.


game genre with possible significant changes or important points

Social Simulator?


individual gameplay mechanics and mechanics categorized by system

Time in this game moves in chunks: first there's linear classroom gameplay, then freeform hallway gameplay. People have schedules, and will do different things on different days.

There are 2 modes of gameplay: classroom and hallway/free time.
Classroom gameplay has a situational vocabulary: you'll choose between various context-specific options, like dialogue trees. For example, in gym class, you might choose to bully the fat kid, bully his bullies, slap a girl's butt, or skip class, all of which will have effects on the students in question, and your own reputation.

Deciding to bully publicly or privately is important. Doing it in the open could reduce their popularity and will increase your bully level more, but make sure not to get caught bullying them or skipping class!

Free gameplay lets you move freely through hallways, choosing who to interact with. Your main vocabulary is 2 forms of bullying: verbal and physical abuse.
-Insults have a persistent vocabulary, meaning you'll choose from your arsenal of insults the most effective one, like choosing evidence to present in Phoenix Wright. Target your victim's intelligence, physique, or popularity (call them stupid to get them to study more, etc). But if you choose your opponent poorly, you'll engage in a verbal battle, which will lower your bully rep if you lose.

-Physical bullying lets you push people around. You can do it for the sake of beating them up (so they'll take karate lessons to avoid something bad later), or to move them somewhere. So you could shove two people in a broom closet together to get them to make friends. Physical abuse can also get you things. For example, bully nerds to get them to do your homework so you don't get expelled.

Each act of bullying reduces your target's self-confidence. If it gets too low, they might drop out or off themselves! If they improve their grades, physique, or popularity, it will go up. It will also go up if you bully their enemies, get caught and punished, or if they beat you in an argument or fight.


narrative elements concerning plot, characters, world

The main character is a bully who one day begins to see people's futures (like a Christmas Carol). He realizes that to avoid his own unpleasant future, he needs to save those around him from their futures. However, the bully has had a difficult childhood: since he finds being nice to people too difficult, he helps via strategic bullying, which he manages to eloquently justify to himself. He is actually quite calculating, though he gives off an aura of stupidity. The game takes place in Middle school, over the course of 3 years, where each student has problems to be solved.


includes GDC members who contributed to this idea and were present during the discussion

Cody, Grayson, Lanz, Perry, Colin, Karl, Varoon, Dalvir, other dudes.

Additional Comments

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