idyll
 
(there's a less visually cluttered version of this article here)

idyll

hello, my name is loren, and i make games and other digital art. my projects include STAR GUARD and STRAWBERRY CUBES, and a little over a week ago i released a new game called beads of orange glass. i also actively collaborate with other folks: i made Realistic Kissing Simulator with jimmy andrews, and inflorescence.city with katie rose pipkin.now i'm working on a new game called idyll. sometimes the maxim "show, don't tell" is too polite, too apolitical: idyll is a game about climate change. i have been wanting to deal with this subject matter for ages, but it is difficult to get at in a way that's emotionally real, that's not terribly heavy handed. i've tried out many concepts, and i've finally found one which feels right. 

in idyll you play as Lotte, a fisherwoman who lives in a small island community. there is an emphasis here on the rituals of everyday life, an anchor in the known and familiar. fishing, visiting friends and townsfolk, befriending stray cats, returning every night to the abandoned hotel you and your partner are living in. idyll is rooted in the way humans inhabit time, the way daily routine and community are affected by larger things. as you go about your life, the water rises: the island was once part of a large city, and one day will be nothing but sea. 

the game deals with reality somewhat abstractly. the point, for me, is getting at particular feelings, making space for improvisation and intuitive leaps. and for me, for this project, i think the way to do that is not realism. reality is not to be slavishly imitated. reality is condensed by kind abstractions. reality is told through the unreal. 

so: you can have an island which is inhabited by sirens, you can have ghosts who walk on the bottom of the ocean, you can have characters who recite text from floating pieces of garbage to each other, you can sit with a friend on the table on the seafloor and eat dinner together but, through it all, you feel reality underneath. as the world changes, life becomes increasingly difficult for humans, but it becomes increasingly full of new impossible things which couldn't live before.

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 a note on the technology of idyll

a lot of parallel research projects i've been doing are coming to fruition right now. you may have seen some of these if you follow my work. the performative characters i've been working on, world building tools, narrative + writing techniques i've been developing, new rendering techniques i have been concocting. idyll will make use of all of these. i am very excited and feel idyll is going to be really strange and special.

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idyll is a loose prequel to white lake, and many of the techniques i'm using here will carry forward directly into white lake.

i'm planning to release idyll in october.