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Soft Focuses: 2nd Edition

How will the circumstances that surround you affect your life?

What is Soft Focuses

Soft Focuses is a solo journaling game that encourages people to experience their life as though they had ADHD. Players make an alternate version of themselves that has ADHD, create a list of stats, and then recreate moments from their day as this ‘other them’ would have experienced. It's not so much walking a mile in someone else's shoes as it is putting new insoles in your own shoes.

  • See the events of your life through the lens of someone who is neurodivergent.
  • Write a journal of how your day would be if you were this other version of you.
  • Use a bookmark as your character sheet so that it is always in your journal.

Game Basics

Making a character:

Your character consists of 10 different stats split into 2 categories: social functions and executive functions. The higher these stats, the more you are affected by them.

You will also choose other aspects of the character, such as what kind of medication (if any) they take or any comorbidities that are present.

Playing the game:

You start by writing a list of the major events you experience throughout the day. You will go down this list, rolling on the appropriate table and writing down the way these events occur for this alternate version of yourself.

You can modify your rolls based on medication, available energy (based on a roll made at the start of the day), and other factors. Additionally, if you roll a 6, you will hyperfocus, which could be a blessing or a curse.

New and Expanded

For the new edition, there will be a number of new modifiers and modes of play to help more closely mimic the struggles of those with ADHD. These include modifiers for comorbidities such as Autism, PTSD, and Anxiety, bringing the total page count to around 48. There are also new ways to experience the system, such as how to approach the game if you have or suspect you have ADHD. Here are some highlights:

  • Experience how Anxiety, Depression, and even a menstrual cycle can affect someone with ADHD.
  • Add additional mechanics to TTRPG characters to make them better represent someone with ADHD.
  • New rules to make it less mentally taxing to play if you have ADHD.

Why Does This Game Exist?

I initially wrote Soft Focuses as a way to help others understand what it is like to deal with ADHD on a daily basis. I had seen too many people minimize it and reduce it to something one should just "deal with" and I wanted to try and inspire some empathy in others. The final straw came when a former employer asked a coworker (who also had ADHD) and myself: "ADHD? Isn't that just a thing kids deal with? Why are you talking about it?" That night, I wrote the first draft of the game and worked to make sure it was representative of not just my struggles but others with ADHD. There were a number of things that I felt I needed to do more research on in order to properly incorporate, which brings us to the Second Edition.

Quotes and Praise for Soft Focuses

"A uniquely sensitive and eye-opening experience, Soft Focuses demonstrates the power of roleplaying to generate empathy." - Dicebreaker

“It really looks like this will be a promising game to allow others a glimpse into what it is like being neurodivergent in a world that is pretty heavily focused on neuronormativity.” - Hessan's County

“To say that a game like this hits close to home would be very accurate. The degree of empathy on display, however, and the continued efforts to improve the game, have me convinced – I believe every game I’m covering deserves the funds it needs, but this is one of the ones I made sure to pledge for.” - Seamus Conneely

Pick up Soft Focues on itch.io (Digital)
And at Indie Press Revolution (Physical & Digital)