Catching Up

Visual Novel with Minigames

Lead Programmer, Game Designer

Unity, Yarn Spinner

October - December 2021

Critical Videogame Studies (course final project)

  Catching Up is a game that explores the differing perspectives between a group of friends reconnecting over a coffee date. It takes on the appearance and gameplay of a visual novel, with several minigames interspersed that offer in-depth feelings for the player to experience based on the struggles of each character. The game is structured to first show the coffee date through the eyes of one character before switching and repeating to show the perspectives of the other two. Through this experience, the player is shown the struggles of each character by being subjected to their interiority and internalized reactions to their friends’ words.


We were tasked to create a game on the prompt of “standstill”. After iterating through several different concepts, we landed on a story about three friends meeting over coffee. Each feels stuck in their lives in some way while feeling envious of a friend’s apparently effortless success. The player sees the same dialogue three times, each interspersed with a different character’s interior monologue. Each “loop” ends with a minigame that mechanically demonstrates the character’s struggles.

After we reached this concept, I was responsible for designing these three minigames. Each of the minigames was designed to evoke the specific emotions that the characters exhibit in the story

I took specific care in playtesting the minigames to watch how players reacted to the games, making them frustrating or “un-fun” in exactly the ways the characters were meant to feel


I was responsible for 100% of the programming for Catching Up