Apartment: a Separated Place on Kickstarter (Robyn Tong Gray et al)

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 3.40.17 PMA-part-ment is a narrative game currently on Kickstarter, and about this > < far from reaching its funding goals. It's a slice of life narrative game that, through vignettes, tells the story of a number of relationships all happening in the same apartment building.

I should preface this by saying that I'm not 100% a disinterested bystander on this project — Robyn asked for my advice early in its development — but it has come a long long way since those early demonstrations.

Some of the interaction involves moving through spaces and discovering objects with emotional resonance, not a wholly new idea but done here quite effectively: holding down the mouse button gives a sort of X-ray view of the apartment you're moving through, allowing you to pin-point the other things you should be looking for. Elsewhere, animated comic strip panels tell part of the story.

Other passages are more unusual: one vignette set tells the story of a writer who is struggling with her marriage. The main view you have during these passages is just the screen of the word processor, though occasionally the husband interrupts, asking questions, running errands, making small demands that are always an intrusion. In this passage the player is typing along to prompted text, so the interruptions always pop up in such a way as to cut off your typing flow, for a beautifully mimetic effect that made me just as annoyed with the husband as my protagonist was intended to be.

See also Kill Screen.

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