On the Surface

Meet a group of five friends who, like all of us, each have a public and a private side. But when the pressure is on, can they keep up the divide between the person they show the world and the person they really are? What happens when you find out things that make you question if you really know them?

The game was made for The Challenge, a young people's charity, developed by Digital Liberties in collaboration with Cohere. The game aims to inspire a genuine empathy towards people of different backgrounds to the player.

The development team involved:
Art - Leyre Granero
Narrative design - Xalavier Nelson Jr.
Production - Rosa Carbo-Mascarell
Programming - Johnnemann Nordhaagen
Sound - Ali Cedroni
Additional writing - Flo Minuzzi



Over the last fifty years, the UK has become much more diverse by age, ethnicity and income. But despite our growing diversity, many of us spend relatively little time with people from different walks of life. In On the Surface you spend a week with a group of teenage friends. They message you in real time on a WhatsApp style interface. Each character has a persona they put on for necessity's sake but as tensions rise, they begin to reveal who they really are underneath.

I pitched the original concept and funding to The Challenge which successfully got funding from Google.org and ISD. My role during development was as a producer and also helped source and build the development team.