Daniel Ponce is working on iPad title Type Set, a game that is literally about moving a conversation along. The goal of each "level" is to collect either all of the angry tone-changers or all of the nice tone-changers, by overlapping the words with the icons on the screen. The angry tone-changers are represented by red exclamation mark icons, and nice tone-changers are represented by blue period icons.

From a narrative stand point, by collecting all of the angry tone-changers the player is responding in a angry way while collecting all of the nice tone-changers means that the player will respond in a nice way. Just like a normal conversation, depending on which words are emphasized, it can change the tone and direction of the conversation. Emphasis is placed on certain words by changing their size or rotating them.

Click on to read about the narrative structure of Type Set and about creator Daniel Ponce.

In a given level there are two ways of solving the level that affect the gameplay and the type of response the player gives, by filling up the angry or nice bars (in the upper part of the screen). Ponce says that to prevent the player from experiencing a very schizophrenic conversation, going from a nice response to an angry response in one turn, he added a third category which is the neutral response.

"For example, if I am in a nice level and collect all of the angry tone changers the response will be neutral. If I'm in a neutral level and collect all of the angry tone changers then I will get an angry response. This allows for some build up in the conversation and makes it feel more organic."

Ponce says that the game has 10 exchanges of dialog for the first conversation, meaning that the player can play 10 levels. "Because of the narrative structure, there are 27 levels that I had to build (with each exchange of dialog I had to build a nice level, angry level and neutral level), each of which are different puzzles to solve and different words to manipulate." He plans on making about 3 more conversations using the same structure that would bring resolution to the player's problem.

Type Set was for Ponce's M.F.A. thesis at the University of Southern California. "The goal was always to combine my love of games with my background in graphic design. It was a game that was originally designed for the PC, but after doing a test run on the iPad I discovered that the experience was more interesting and involving when players could physically touch the words. Because I'm not a trained programmer I decided that Unity was the best choice for development."

He has always been fascinated with typography, particularly with kinetic typography, which is an animated type. "Kinetic typography can captivate people's attention like few things can; it's a powerful way of delivering a message via a combination of animation, colors and audio. I wanted to make a game where players create kinetic typography through their interaction. My main source of inspiration came from the movie title sequences of Saul Bass, and the use of typography in the movie version of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World."

IGF 2012 entry Type Set is iPad only and has a tentative 2012 release date.