a game about how much i dont want to take part in adulthood, set in midwestern space
the abyss strikes fear in my heart
Here is my moodboard:
rostam’s song/music video “EOS”
dark blues and bright pinks/oranges
simplicity of line and color, modeled after moebius/japanese paintings
flat cel-like animation on top of textured backgrounds
chinese imagery, texture, etc.
entirely foreign (at least to an english-speaking audience). how would the space race have manifested in china? how would the artists and writers of the song/tang dynasty visually and linguistically expressed their feelings on space exploration?
journey to the west? a hero’s journey
oil pastel, colored pencil, crayon. a mixture of stop motion and analog animation
a telephone booth in the middle of a planet
lines of bright orange in a dark blue sky
the red/white/blue/orange glow of a rising planet
Kentucky Route Zero
Eject test on threes
The Tennessee Waltz
The roar of the traffic, the passage of undifferentiated faces, this way and that way, drugs me into dreams; rubs the features from faces. People might walk through me. And what is this moment of time, this particular day in which I have found myself caught? The growl of traffic might be any uproar – forest trees or the roar of wild beasts. Time has whizzed back an inch or two on its reel; our short progress has been cancelled. I think also that our bodies are in truth naked. We are only lightly covered with buttoned cloth; and beneath these pavements are shells, bones and silence.
Along the coast we could see time and space / And across the water it was all emptiness / But I held you close, my cheek pressed up against yours / And we could feel the storm gathering in front of us both
-“EOS” by Rostam
- a game, a very technical game illustrated in progressively more and more analogous material, with text popping up that tells the story of a relationship gone sour, or a burgeoning relationship — allow viewers to decide which story they would rather be told
- visual novel or twine with pictures
- traditional narrative presented nontraditionally
- the protagonist is you. it's interactive. the game is an introspective exploration. moods and images are thrown at the user. the game is not about a single person. it's about all of us, about humanity.
- i need to have room for spontaneous and dark humor
- definitely written, like in most point and click adventure games. visually, though, in the world itself (not the text box) or as spoken, the language can be foreign animated, fully rendered, and subsequently filmed on a computer screen, like in david o’reilly’s north korea series
- two types of play: “play the game” and “watch the gameplay”
- themes of loneliness and anxiety, expressed visually through empty landscapes of the last unconquered frontiers—space and deep ocean
- a theme, also, of love as the only solace to this existential reality
- a sci-fi, asian backdrop for a click-and-point adventure
visually, a space roadtrip
- The American roadtrip set in space
- The Midwestern American road trip from sunset to sunrise, bulk of game takes place in the night
- Surreal moments: the game
- On trips and unfamiliar places
- self discovery
- a longer journey of understanding
- Choice to be exploratory or straight edge
what's it mean?
- the confusion of what it means to have paid tens of thousands of dollars for an education, only to be plopped back into an environment in which you have no skills and cannot get any work
- payment through coupons, paradox, catch 22, must have experience to acquire experience
- the dread of the future, its confusion and nebulousness, the disappointment of your family for having paid for your education but not reaping any benefits from their investment
- dream jobs with little pay and terrible management
- overpopulation of youth
- the myth of adulthood
- the purgatory between youth and adulthood as education
- the attraction of surreality and the unknown/untouchable as a distraction from the anxious reality
- the obsession with the illusion of legitimacy/competence
- the specifically delineated and structured schedule of school that is completely incompatible with reality. the successful must go above and beyond what is required, otherwise face certain destitution. school does not prepare for life, apart from the bubble of academia.
- professional buzzwords: graphic design, financial analysis, synergy, networking, experience, etc. what do these all mean in the greater context of life fulfillment? are we all just biding time until the next paycheck?
- zoom in from way beyond in space over planets and horizons and onto a highway
- car is driving on a highway. it's sunset, and you drive onwards, burying deep into the moutainous horizon. music is playing. there's twizzlers in the front seat and diet mountain dew in the back
- you take a look at your map. you'll reach your destination in about half an hour. the map is stupidly simple, like a slightly meandering line curving across the page to meet a star, demarcating an unknown location
- suddenly, the music stops. your car stalls. i don't know enough about cars to know why it stalls, but it stalls nonetheless. you don't know enough about cars to know why it stalls either. suddenly, you find yourself slowly pulling to a halt. the road is silent.
- you look around. there are no other cars on the road. so, you decide to walk. direction doesn't matter, but you must make the decision to walk. you can also chill by the car and watch some bats in the sky, but it'll probably get boring, eventually.
- after walking for a bit in the fields that surround the highway you were on, you discover a dirt road. the shadow of a person is silhouetted by the sunset. it's walking towards you
- eventually you meet up with the person. she asks if you are a traveler, and you say, i guess i am. she says, not many people find our town, even though it's not too far from the highway. you don't see any town nearby, but disregard this fact. you ask if there is a mechanic in town who can help fix your car. she says yes, he has been there since as far back as she can remember, and that he would certainly be able to help fix you car. you say thank you, and you go on your merry way. but before you go, you ask for her name. she gives it. then, she asks you yours. you get to decide between "clementine" and "konstantin" (or something else, idk yet). you part ways.
- you walk along the road, still trying to find the town. no sight of it, yet. it's getting darker, and you worry a bit. but you stumble upon a few locations on the way. each location contains one main person to talk to, and maybe one or two supporting characters. there are five locations in total, not organized linearly, so you can decide who you get to meet first based on which direction you go to. one of these people is a person who will accompany you throughout the game.
- the various characters in the game are:
the mechanic is an elusive character. he is constantly referred to as a genius, a handsome handyman, a polymath, etc. etc. but you never meet him. every person you talk to speaks of him, but you slowly begin to realize that everyone says something different about him, some different miracle.
the "town" itself is a labyrinth. there is no clear end or beginning. you find people in locations independent of where you decided to turn.
“trying to build! connect! network!”
the last stop you make (but you don't know it's the last stop, of course) is a record store, or a concert or something. music. you talk to the representative of the location, and they ask if you want any CDs, because there aren't any more boom boxes in the town. you say no thanks, your car is so old and shitty it only plays cassette tapes. your friend pipes up and says that he's been carrying around a cassette tape all this time with no where to play it. you're like, fuck this mechanic, let's go back to my car and play this cassette.
its some really shitty cheesy song about love or something, an 80s love ballad. and you look upwards at the sky and drive off into the sunset, or directly into a canyon, or watch the universe as it passes by
but like in the office, as the music is playing, it goes from the scene you're in with your friend to some other scenes with other people, and they're all doing stupid shit. all the while the ballad is playing.
- joanna chin: asian girl, trying to make it in the business. proto cult leader. three other bandmaktes stand to her side, but they never say anything. she asks if you "want to build" with her. you're not sure what that means but are too afraid to ask. eventually she asks if you know anywhere she can play a show at, but considering you are an outsider to her "town," you're not of much help. eventually you say you are going on your way, and one of the band members offers to go with you.
- campfire boys: you stumble into a campfire late at night. there is a person in a sleeping bag on the ground, in the distance is a tent that's slightly jostling, and there's a couple huddled together on a log across from you. there are two primary figures: jews, one that is constantly twitching and contributing irrelevant statements to the conversation, and the other that has light eyes, dark hair, and a penchant for subtle sexism. you leave the two dudes to go to the dude in the sleeping bag on the ground — he's wrapped so tightly you can only see his eyes and nose and fingertips, which are just poking out. he talks about how beautiful the universe is, and how much he likes looking at stars. the fire dies out, and the two dudes ask if you want to go to a party. you can go or not go.
- if you don't go, no harm no foul. but if you DO go, you end up sitting in someone's living room with a bunch of people you don't know, and there are posters of topless girls on the walls (or butts, or whatever, the pink floyd poster) and someone talks to you about evolutionary psychology for a long, long time. relentlessly, one sidedly. eventually he gets bored, so you decide to sit on the floor and read a national geographic magazine five times. eventually, you decide to leave, moving on to your next destination.
- the overly optimistic girl. you stumble upon her watching tv on the side of the road. she's like really nice and cool and friendly and asks if you want to watch some comedy with her. you say ok. you watch for a bit. she invites two or three more friends ok, and together you play a game. game within a game. shes the first person in the game who isn't fawning over the mechanic. she starts telling you about how cool and interesting you seem. asks if you know how to act. you say no, but she says you definitely can, she can just tell. she wants you to play the protagonist in her upcoming film. you're to play a lesbian (or a gay man, depending on which character you choose at the beginning) who falls in love. the opening shot is of you holding onto the waist of a person driving a motorcycle that you ride together. you say, that sounds awesome. she asks if you can stay longer. if you stay longer, she will just go on and on about the coolness of this film. and the various people around the circle will talk about halo. and it will be endless. eventually, you will have to pull yourself away in order to cmplete your journey.
- while walking to the next destination, some random guy comes up to you and talks your ear off about dogs. his dog, his girlfriend's dog, types of dogs, etc. etc. the entire time you're like "yep" but you can't seem to shake him off. you ask him where he's going, and he says, oh, i'm just bored, so nowhere right now. there is an awkward silence. he says, well, better get going, and runs off to talk to someone else.
- Kites Are Fun - The Free Design
- Kentucky Route Zero
- 4-Lung Boy
- Mystery House