Thank you for creating this. These are experiences I think a lot of people can relate to, and its so important to have cultural touch points like this one to relate to one another through. I did think the game would include more patients, and would like to encourage you to consider gathering more stories and adding them.
Saving You From Yourself - Unity Remake
A game about gatekeeping for transgender women.
Originally made in twine. This is the unity remake to get it closer to how I originally intended it to be.
Twine Version remains playable here for archival purposes and lower end pcs/mobile:
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.
Thank You. I think your art style has a lot of character. Your writing is creative and engaging. This looks like it took a lot of work. I hope you enjoy your time making more games as much as I enjoyed playing :)
The message of this game is great, and I personally like the artwork, just wish it escalated more slowly.
Trying to get to know Arle, yet being judged so harshly for it, felt terrible (though not a fraction as terrible as someone in Arle's situation would feel).
Criticism is nice, but please do not dog on this game. Everyone needs to have a starting ground and simple saying its a shitty game doesn't help. Here is some genuine criticism, I do think some of the images are a little blurry and hard to convey. Other than that its a wonderful starting point and an amazing game. :)
Thank you for writing this game. It makes me feel a little less alone, and I appreciate you writing it in a way that might speak to well-meaning gatekeepers.
this was terrible. and i dont mean it in that "denying trans women hrt is terrible oh nooo dont make me cry owo uwu :(" way, this is genuinely not a good game. the art style is all over the place, the gui is hard to read, the fonts are garish and the story is very binary and linear. if anyone calls me transphobic for not liking this ill go feral
Please don't turn this page into a internet brawl for fun.
Go protest if you want to fight injustice or do anything productive, otherwise please just chill.
I don't want my game page to turn into the equivalent of a youtube comments section.
I know I suck at making games. I'm still learning and starting out and struggling with a lot of shit.
Everyone has to start somewhere but I read all of the criticism I get and though I don't usually respond but I am trying to improve. It just takes time.
That being said please don't bait people into internet fights. You can like or dislike whatever you want please chill.
Hi, I'm a person within the LGBT community interested in majoring in computer science, though I'm still learning. I don't know if I'm exactly the best with constructive criticism, but I'll tell you this about making games...
You've done a good job for someone starting out. I understand that you may think your games aren't that good, and that's okay when you put it into perspective of all the other games that initially come to mind when you think of games. (You may or may not have heard this before, but keep in mind those games usually involve big development teams to create them. Don't let that deter you from game development if that's what interests you since you can still make some pretty cool things regardless.) From what I've seen from other starting creators, they usually wind up create small games considering outside events like the time they have to create them, debugging things, etc., so you're not alone here.
GUI is hard to manage when you want to put it into an interesting and unique style for your game, (although I personally don't think the game's GUI is that hard to read,) and a game's art doesn't necessarily have to be good nor consistent to declare a game a good one. When it comes to games like these, I think it's about getting the point across, especially in terms of story, and while I have to agree that it is, indeed, pretty linear, you still accomplished that and that's what matters. You hit the nail right on the head for what's needed in these types of games.
Regardless, this a nice short game for a starting game creator. It takes a more direct approach at the concept (of gatekeeping), but gets the job done nonetheless. I really enjoyed how you gave glimpses into the patient's personal life in the story to give more of an impact to the player's choices. If I could make a suggestion, music could really help in this game, although I know most twine games don't include music. Music does wonders to story-related games, adding to the atmosphere of the user when playing. Regardless, I hope this was useful, and great job! (By the way, if it helps, I made an account just to comment on this. You did well!)
5/5 would bail at the warning screen again
I live in a state where you talk to a person at planned parenthood, "I want hormones" and get it. :/ Safely. My condolences, and solidarity with those not so lucky, or those who cannot afford healthcare at all. My heart goes out to you.
I don't live in a place like that but I hope one day everyone does live in a place where that is possible.
I was so lucky to get the therapist I did. I lived in a conservative state at the time and I couldn’t find any specific therapists for writing letters, so I just picked one nearby for “anxiety disorders” and they happened to assign me to an extremely supportive therapist. I’m pretty sure he was LGBTQ himself and he never once doubted my desire to transition. When I finally had the appointment approaching for the clinic and needed my letter, I got one from him the same day I asked. I can’t believe how lucky I was sometimes.
obviously saying that because this game just reminded me more of how much I could have had to work for it. Just by the luck of the draw, I ended up fine, but still. My first run I gave the letter immediately because I believed her.
Playing evil made me uncomfortable but I knew that I had to see the full story to enjoy this piece of art fully. The "today you did your job" monologue is incredibly chilling and what's worse is that I've been face to face with such "professionals" several times in my life. Be it psychologists, psychiatrists, gender therapists (I believe that's what they are called in English?) or just average doctors. These people have not but a shred of empathy, sympathy nor compassion in them. They may understand their work but they fundamentally do not understand people or feelings. They are cold, sometimes outright hostile, and unfit to do their job. The ones who firmly believe that they are some kind of saviours are infinitely more creepy than the ones who will at least admit that they don't care about people in my opinion. The latter at least appear to be self-aware.
I really appreciate that you get it. I share that experience and I wanted to make a game that explained it in a quick way without having endless debates and explaining.
I'm really glad you shared your comment here.
This is a very short but nicely playable piece. It reflects well some of the thoughts and feelings that can occur when going through the gatekeeping process of gender care. I would assume that the game is thought-provoking and somewhat eye-opening especially for someone who has never been in the position of the patient themselves. Bonus points for the mind-warping point of view that is presented both in the very beginning and the bad ending, about being a therapist "saviour". There's a reason patients may not return, and it's never a "victory".
I'm glad you got the point in the ending. Some people were confused by how I phrased it and took it literally.
Thank you for playing the game.
it´s a little hard to give an opinion of this game only with the sources of this game, because i´m not a person who know much about transgender people and i´m looking for some awareness to empathize better with them. So, by this terms, if this is a game about bringing some awareness about gatekeeping, it does his job, i didn't even knew that term before,and even when the player is at the "evil" side, you can be empathic with both sides
i know i'm not the target of this game
i'm not a creator (yet)
i know i'm not polite with the following opinion, but i didn't like that such a complex problem (such as transphobia, not only gatekeeping) had solutions in only binary options. such a redux works well in specific problems because gives the most probable end to things, but being so optimist about that and being so simple makes me feel that it's far from reality
even with all this, i enjoyed learning about something new. thanks
It's a five - thirty minute game and I get where you are coming from but it's difficult to make a game that short and cover everything.
That being said I hope to one day develop an expanded version that expands on it. Until then I would recommend reading some short essays and books on the topic if you would like more nuance and information.
For a longer text on the topic I'd recommend:
Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law by Dean Spade.
For a shorter essay I'd recommend:
Passing and the Managed Achievement of Sex Status in an Intersexed Person (1967)
by Harold Garfinkel
It can still be... so disheartening, and sickening even, to remember that there are people who go through so much trouble, and still get denied. As if anyone can tell you who you are, and what is right for your body. If you're struggling, please don't give up. Keep searching, keep reaching out to friends. As a trans woman I can tell you... There's an answer, and you deserve the life you want. <3
this taught me how lucky i was that my state had places that offered informed consent services
in another life this could have been me, fighting the system wanting to transition, i already have very little money, ive had to crowd fund my appointments,
the art and presentation is beautiful and it really really hurts and im glad you made it
Thank you for playing, I hope one day all states are like this. The states that aren't liberal still have a lot of queer people in them and healthcare should not be a matter of states rights but something for everyone.
I hate this. It is a wonderfully crafted game and a very compelling story and i hate saying mean things and i want arle to be happy i will now go cry in the bathroom thank you for making this game.
please play this game, if the topic makes you uncomfortable, i urge you to step out of your comfort zone,its so insightful and eye opening.
I just played the happy ending. more crying. much love. pls play
Having been on the other side of this, this is very hard to play. I know what I'm supposed to do because I remember what I was asked but it's hard to do that. I also know what the right thing to do is but that isn't what I'm supposed to do. At every opportunity it's clear that I have to select the least compassionate and least ethical choice. I don't think I can play this through but thank you for making something about this, I feel like the practice of gatekeeping and the damage it did has almost been forgotten in the trans community. This should at least serve as a good illustration of what it is.
Edit: (spoiler warning) Decided to give in and do the right thing that was never done for me. That was so nice, I'm almost in tears I didn't think it would just end like that.
My wish was that it could have ended like that for me.
I have also been on that side too and it's had lasting damage for the rest of my life.
Your story is super important and I hope more stories like this can be shared so that things can continue to change.
Even if it's painful if other people don't know about a problem nothing can change so your story matters so much.
(Sory for the rambling, I'm trying to mass reply to comments but ugh, your comment really touched me.)
This was really good! And painful, as I know it was intended to be. Gatekeeping is a serious issue and you did well portraying just how horrific it is. I'll make sure to link this to my friends, and maybe it'll help give them a better understanding of the problem.
Thank you for playing my game and maybe even linking it. Sharing my game really helps and keeps what I do from just being screaming into the void.
I can't go beyond the first and second day. Which is a compliment about the game, because this hits home.
Glad to see the updated version!
Oh my gosh thank you, for a second I read this and thought that I needed to fix an error in the game.
The fact you played this and did not hate it means so much to me.
Oh yeah, I phrased it poorly. I can't bring myself to continue gatekeeping is all. Which I interpret positively cause like it gets the emotional response I think you were going for.
Nooo it's fine, thank you for even playing the game and commenting. My goal was to explain ethically why gatekeeping trans people is wrong and I think on some level it worked.
One day I hope to make a more complex game that explores the role of psychologists and the trans community and how science was built up around gender but my skill level isn't there yet.
But idk that's a bit much to say just idk thank you for commenting on my game and saying something positive about it. I know I'm repeating myself but it means a lot to me.
Free, thought-provoking short interactive narrative where you play as a therapist with control over whether your patient will be able to transition. Best when played through to both extremes. 4/5 stars - excellent.