Thanks @majugi for the feedback, it gets to an issue I was wondering about in creating the game and examining the situation of integration in Finland. The lack of an introduction and tutorial ultimately doesn’t exist because in real life there isn’t one. Just one day you receive a letter from the government telling you to show up for a meeting at a certain place and time.
Many people aren’t aware of the whole integration process when they arrive and what it entails. And so I wanted to have that only happen if you follow a certain path through the conversation. In part because the customer service aspect of the Finnish government, like many governments, is pretty poor and so people don’t know the implications of what’s happening when they agree or disagree to a service or program. That results in events occurring without the immigrant’s understanding of why or how they came about.
And you’re right that I did not go into the social consequences of integrating or not integrating, but I felt that was best left for a subsequent game. Simply getting into an integration course is enough of a slog as is. The integration process is an entirely different story and would need different game mechanics, to such a degree that it would have felt like two different games.
All that said, your points bring up an interesting issue with reviews, critiques and replies from game devs. While we can have these discussions, ultimately because they’re not in the game at this moment or likely to affect it in the immediate future, is there a point to me explaining why I did something or didn’t do something. This is of course an issue with the creation of any art, if the creator’s intentions don’t come across immediately then have they succeeded? In my case, yes and no. Because I wanted you to get a sense of the bureaucracy at work and you did.
I did consider telling my specific story @Futurato but my story is so specific that it doesn’t apply to many other immigrants. And I wanted this to be a tool for those working on the issue of integration here in Finland to be one they could use to better understand the experiences of all the situations that affect integration here. Because I’ve worked with some of those individuals I know it’s in their hands and has the potential to do more than tell my story. Hopefully it’ll get people to understand the complex system they’ve established and how disheartening it can be. That of course is a long stretch for any piece of art, but it was one of my intentions when creating it.
Plus I got to tell my story in a podcast series I did called The Duck Pond.