Can you get through a week in the life of a modern black woman? SweetXheart (pronounced “sweetheart”) is a slice-of-life visual novel about microagressions, race, and gender. The game shares creative technologist Catt Small's perspective on being a Black woman seeking success in life, school, and her career. Players act as Kara, a 19-year-old girl from the Bronx who attends an art college and interns at a tech company.

Over five fictional days, players experience the highs and lows of life, including small interactions such as swiping a phone in the morning to wake up, getting dressed in the morning, and commuting to work. Minute choices such as the chosen type of outfit affect Kara’s life. Her stress level changes based on interactions with other characters.

This game can be played in the browser. It requires a mouse, touchpad, or touchscreen to play. Downloadable versions coming soon!

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Credits

  • Catt Small Game Design, Programming, Game Art, Writing
  • Phu Nguyen Sound Effects, Music
  • Eden Music (Morning commute)
  • Arielle Martinez Music (Evening commute)

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Why I made this game

I started this game in 2014 as an Independent Study project with game developer Kaho Abe during my time in NYU Tandon's IDM MS program from. After graduating in 2016, I decided to finish the game. What was initially a small project turned into a much bigger effort. Thanks to everyone who playtested the game and all of my Patreon supporters for making this fidelity of the final result  possible!

Built in Phaser 2.4.

View the SweetXheart press kit

Development log

Comments

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Wow, I found this really compelling.  It really felt like a great tool for teaching empathy.  It'd be cool if this could be turned into a platform where users could create their own versions of this game based on their own lives.  Seems like it could be therapeutic.  

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I had an okay week... and a great time playing this game!

Awesome work!

I too need a kitty.... Thanks for making this.Was a relief after office.

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Soooooooooooo Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood
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omg this game is so good umm just saying is there romantic thing in this game

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Unfortunately, Kara doesn't have positive romantic experiences in this game :(

But IRL she gets there... later! :)

I love so much about this game, but right now I feel like making special mention of how happy it made me that Kitty is a little tuxedo cat.

But truly, this game made a profound impression on me. Thank you for this.

i'd love to have a download for this if it was possible so i don't have to play it in my browser, other than that its a great fun little game, wish there was more to it though since it is such a great game

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I am working to get a downloadable version up! Thank you!

Wow this game is amazing i love it! <3 

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This is cool. The initial choices of each day create a kind of ritual mode, yet every day is different, which creates another kind of game mode. I like that. Every day includes the very familiar and the very unfamiliar. :) Good job!

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This was really sweet and touching. The dread of the walk home from the station to the house, not knowing if there will be a catcaller there to ruin your night or not, was a really effective way of how the mechanics work. It was indeed memorable!

<3 Thank you!

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awe, this is cute, but I feel so bad for her sometimes :(  

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<3 :'3

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Me to

I liked this. It would be nice to have keyboard controls, though, so I can click Continue without accidentally choosing an option before I've read it.

This is good feedback, thank you!

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I think Kara worries too much. When I spoke to the boy with colorful hair he told me that he was fine and Kara took that as an affront. She also got stressed out because she didn't do well in the dancing game even though it was just for fun.

She indeed does, it turns out she's quite an anxious person :3

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I love this cute game! I actually expected it to be more negative and based on racism, so I'm glad it was possible to have a good week. I think I spent way too long on that coding part and still ended up making a crappy program (according to gamer guy), so I feel like that part needs something more. But good game otherwise. 

Thank you!

Very cute. Would love to see multiple peoples perspective though. Good graphics and good storyline. It would also help if i had help on the coding part. Some of it didn't make sense. Maybe help the reader next time. But overall a very well made game and very cute. Keep up the good work!

Thank you so much!