I was told by a fleeting reader of how my Selling Sunlight musings from yesterday was perhaps the most random of things they’d encountered. They’ve obviously not known Jérémy Hervé Wuthrer Osef Cuany.
Don’t Kill Her he said back in 2016, calling me murderer of the entity he’s reverently referred to in capitalized feminine pronouns ever since while stating that how I did it was of no importance. Incoherent as that sounds, he even managed to piece together a demo that raised him $15,000 out of a requested $20,000 in crowd funds.
I’m two years late but decided to play along this morning anyway. Frankly I fear that any attempt to elaborate upon my experience would not only spoil Wuthrer’s intentions but come across as overly pretentious.
The 20-odd minutes were spent literally falling through an abyss of questions, preternatural creatures, the befitting sentimentalism of its music and multiple paths to explore. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that perhaps there was more to the demo than my first play-through permitted.
No it is not completely insensible as there is very clearly a narrative unravelling in the foreground; communicated partly by text, partly by the hand-drawn art and partly by your own inferences. This is all held together by platforming game-play which actually isn’t the focus here.
Time to update this thread of crazy gifness. pic.twitter.com/8uP1tW47wl
— wuthrer (@wuthrer) January 26, 2018
There’s no ‘goal’ per se, no obstacles to avoid nor gaping pits that you can fall into with certain death; rather while each of these things do exist, they all seem to lead into branching paths within the game world without any semblance of game over. To this end the mechanics are fluidly conducive, never annoying.
But much of this has evolved. Post-indiegogo Wuthrer took upon himself the daunting task of reworking Don’t Kill Her’s entire script to allow for player feedback and years of scribbles. The result is a story where every monochrome prop, character and element has a more prominent role to play.
This not by conventional means in the vein of cutscenes or anything of that sort, but by say T.H.I.S (This Huge In-Between System), a kind of social network that lets the game’s populace communicate, share ideas, stories and mysteries with each other.
— wuthrer (@wuthrer) May 4, 2017
Don’t Kill Her’s enigmatic narrative is to allow players to tap into this social system via an intuitive interface, Wuthrer explains while not explaining much, to uncover its many mysteries. Hash-tagged screenshots that you may capture along your journey as souvenirs also have a role to play.
Some of these concepts might be hard to wrap one’s head around in theory, but by Wuthrer’s own admission, the game has a life of its own regardless of your interference. Its characters go about their work, the space for individual interpretation is wide, and even the less curious players will complete their adventure with a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Ready when it’s ready.