this project started about a year ago (wow, woof) when I was doing a course on making personal games at the School of Machines, Making, and Make-Believe. obviously this game is very personal, but it specifically originated from a prompt from Bahiyya Khan to make a game inspired by a My Chemical Romance song.

I was maybe slightly too old for MCR? they were never on my radar at least. my go-to sad-sack emotional-lying-on-the-floor-feeling-miserable music was Radiohead. I was “spending all my money on weird Japanese-only EP releases” into Radiohead, and yet I very rarely sit down all, “ok, today I wanna listen to Hail to the Thief on repeat and read Vertigo trade paperbacks from the library for 6 hours.” life is really hard and mostly I just want to listen to Italo disco to make it through the day.

so this game really began as a meditation on that, on that weird folly of being young and so EMOTIONAL in a way that ends up feeling trite when you’ve actually had to deal with some shit and still go to work the next day. like, yes, I’m very anxious about climate change and Afghanistan (wow nothing really changes huh) but also my kitchen sink is broken so what am I gonna do about it right now?

like just about every character in the game, Daniel is an amalgamation and theft of a few people I really knew, including one person whose AIM screenname was a reference to his favorite song on OK Computer (mine was from Kid A), but for his concept art I decided to go with an album from the time that I actually still listen to now and then.

Moon Safari is a lot closer to my current funk or nothing vibe, but Air also resonate a little bit better with adult Martha. yes, there’s a lot of moping, but it’s a bit more selfish and petty and self-aware. “Lucky and Unhappy” is not that far lyrically from anything on OK Computer, but you could still put it on a mix without killing the party. when I was 17, Air was more what I aspired to be: funky, cool, still sort of unsettling and strange. I would put on Radiohead when I felt like shit, but I would put on Air to lie in bed and wonder what it would be like to make out with someone. Daniel would think of himself through a Radiohead lens, but Molly would want the romance of Air.

Daniel’s an entry level hipster, and a walking panic attack. Having a car would be way cooler if he didn’t have to take his little sister to soccer practice. He wants to write music, or poetry, or whatever, but he’d have to have a life first to write about. His dad’s a dentist, which shouldn’t mean anything, but kind of explains everything.

this art was when I first started feeling like things were clicking, like I was getting back into a groove of something creative, and like I was finally figuring out what this is about.