With only 2 action buttons explore the world and use your imagination to see what is possible. You are not required to play in any specific way. The game is built without any visible goal. The more you play the more you learn the controls to be ready for a twist at the end of the game. The 2 buttons are named Embrace and Shun, this is also the only input we give the player before the experience kicks of. We want to intrude on the gamers thoughts about the game as little as possible before it starts and also we want to give them the only controls in a easy manner to spare the player from trying to find more. Embrace your own experience.
Not to empathize more or less on any of the 2 buttons we choose to display one name in the top right and one to the bottom left just as flash text in the movies when you have 2 names that are equal important for example when 2 producers made a movie together or when 2 big actors both play the main role in the picture.
Not knowing and wanting to find out is what drives you to play Embrace, games today almost exclusively tell you exactly who you are and what to do. To not hold the players hand through out the experience we don’t want any dialog, text or intractable items exaggerated with stuff like glow making it pop out from the world.
We want you to feel insecure and small in the wild and that everything fits in and is a real part of this world. The pacing should be slow to give you time to reflect and imbibe. We don’t want boars to be everywhere because the excitement of finding one will be lost and it is not easy to hunt them either. We are truly challenging today’s quick information flow and trying to bring back more of an old school hardcore way of gaming in a new style.
Almost all games today are about powerful devices and upgrading it, may it be a gun or spells. As you can see in the real world nowadays too, you have your IPhone or what not and upgrading it equals satisfaction. Todays games are all about acquiring and executing power. I don’t say this is not good, it is indeed a very interesting and powerful tool but what it does is that it distracts us from paying attention to the wonders of the world. Which is of utmost importance to this interactive story and this is why we choose to do the contrary.
We have a invisible XP system to tell the game when the player is ready for the end scene. We don’t want to force any feelings or ways to play this game so we leave as much as possible unsaid. The game doesn’t have a name, only the two action buttons do have a name, and that is all you get before you get thrown into the world of of this little child.
Another conscious decision is to skip GUI and HUD, it is not needed, we don’t want to stupefy our audience and we want them to embrace their own fantasy and intuition.
Do you want to hug trees or hunt? Maybe you do both, are you helpful to your villagers or not, or again both, it is all up to you to feel and interpret the game. It is like a painting, the artists feeling when he is painting doesn’t have to be the same you have as an observer. You build your own narrative and expectations.