The main character of Coming Out Simulator.

Coming Out Simulator is an interactive story by Nicky Case. Semi-autobiographically set in the high-school years of Nicky, you must wrestle with decisions on how best to come out to your homophobic parents in the most careful way possible. As Nicky says, this is a game with no right answers.

This is the game that inspired this website. I have recommended this game to so many people over so many years. This is the game that’s inspired me to daydream, write up a bunch of design documents, and spend weekends building malformed game prototypes. Coming out is a challenging experience, and nobody has it easy. This game, while different from my own story, hits back at these same sensitive feelings, but likewise reminds me of my feelings of success after coming out. Because of how much I relate to this game, it fits to post it here to start this website, even though it’s by no means a small or undercover game these days.

Similar to the mechanics from the seminal games The Walking Dead: Season One and Life is Strange, your choices matter in this game. Your choices manifest as a selection of responses to say to people in your world, such as by text to Nicky’s boyfriend or conversing at the dinner table with Nicky’s mom.

In the end, Nicky’s parents find out, and things change. Despite all this, Nicky still considers that he’s won. 5 years later, I almost think that’s truer than ever. Nicky is an accomplished indie developer, with several games out that tell stories about systems.

Coming Out Simulator 2014 is a web game which takes about twenty minutes to play, and can be played online on itch.io. You will enjoy this game if you enjoy narrative games where choices matter, such as Life is Strange.

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