Our Personal Space is a marriage survival sim set on a space colony in the near future. Playing as a newly married woman, players choose how she spends her time, how she responds to her husband and other members of the community, and how she contributes to the colony. These choices affect her stress, her marriage, and the success of the colony.
Few video games touch on the things that are most important to many of us: family relationships, personal growth, and community. We created a game where players could explore, experiment, and gain a deeper appreciation for the choices we make in these areas.
While many novels and other media portray these facets of life, a game is the only format that allows people to explore the consequences of small decisions. In real life, it's not always obvious that our tone of voice or inability to forgive is damaging a relationship. But in the context of a game, players have both the emotional distance and mental engagement required to see how one person's behavior affects a relationship. Players can experiment and see the consequences of positive or negative behavior in the safe environment of a game.
Our Personal Space takes place over many months in order to include long-term relationship issues such as pregnancy, dissatisfaction, differing priorities, and differing philosophies. Players who choose to have a baby experience the long wait, being treated differently as a pregnant woman, and, in the end, a realistic childbirth portrayal.
Our Personal Space includes many different kinds of skill and job options to show that there's not just one right way to be a "good spouse". You can be a doctor who likes to tinker with electronics and hates to cook, or a carpenter who excels at canning, crocheting, and organizing. Or maybe you're a teacher with deep spiritual longings and a strong sense of sociability. These don't directly affect your relationship success; your actions and words and time do.
Metasepia Games started with two sisters interested in making a game combining marriage simulation and space colonization. We added a sister-in-law artist, and a husband who is full of good ideas to round out our team. Then we made our friends and relatives test it for us. Despite some team members being located in Utah and some in New Mexico, we used git, Skype, and Google Docs to collaborate in our efforts, with one in-person game-creating party.
We are grateful to other artists and musicians whose Creative Commons works greatly contributed to the success of this game.