Road to a IGF: Dim Bulb Games’ Where a Water Tastes Like Wine

This talk is partial of a Road to a IGF series. You can find a rest by clicking here.

Where a Water Tastes Like Wine takes players on a account journey opposite America, entertainment high tales and personal anecdotes as they transport around a country. Players will accommodate a accumulation of characters from all demeanour of backgrounds on this boxcar-hopping trip, conference stories from them that try a fantastical, a surreal, and a frightening.

Capturing so many opposite viewpoints and stories would have been a daunting plea for Dim Bulb Games’ Johnnemann Nordhagen, though by bringing together a collection of gifted writers and meshing their styles with a world, they all worked to emanate a Excellence in Narrative-nominated story for Where a Water Tastes Like Wine.

What’s your credentials in creation games?

This is a tough question, actually! Where The Water Tastes Like Wine (WTWTLW) is, by intention, a partnership between many many opposite people. I’ll list some of their backgrounds below.

Dim Bulb Games was founded by Johnnemann, who formerly worked during Sony RD and on a Bioshock array during 2K before going indie to co-found The Fullbright Company and make Gone Home.

Serenity Forge is a co-developer of a game, holding on most of a art. They have formerly expelled several titles including The King’s Bird.

Ryan Ike, a composer, has worked on many games, among them Gunpoint and another of this year’s IGF nominees, West of Loathing.

And afterwards a writers have a prolonged list of games as well. Some highlights are:

Matthew S Burns also worked on Opus Magnum, The Writer Will Do Something, and associate IGF hopeful Shenzhen I/O.

Claris Cyarron is partial of Silverstring Media, makers of Glitchhikers and many other boundary-pushing titles.

Cara Ellison wrote a weave diversion Sacrilege and contributed to Dishonored 2 and projects by Media Molecule and Square Enix Montreal.

Emily Short has published over 35 well-received interactive novella games, and now works with Spirit AI.

Leigh Alexander wrote a GDCA-nominated Reigns: Her Majesty.

Kevin Snow is operative on Southern Monsters and recently expelled Mama Possum.

Bruno Dias combined a space journey Voyageur.

Cat Manning has created a series of interactive novella titles, among them a Indiecade preference What Isn’t Saved (Will Be Lost).

Olivia Wood has worked on Sunless Sea, Sunless Skies, and Fallen London

All of a other contributors are likewise talented, though an downright list would be ridiculously long!

How did we come adult with a concept?

After shipping Gone Home, we went roving around a star for about 6 months. While erratic by sight and vessel everywhere we could, we met associate travelers and would barter stories with them. On a sight in a center of Siberia, we motionless we should try to make a diversion from a experience, though we motionless to move in a song we adore – American roots music, blues and bluegrass and folk and jazz. The star described in those songs is ideal for a diversion about roving and revelation stories – hopping boxcars and swapping tales of assembly a demon during a crossroads.

I also motionless that if we was going to make a diversion about America, we indispensable to paint a farrago of America and a crowd of stories benefaction in this country. After some fake starts we became assured we wasn’t a right chairman to do that, and that maybe no singular chairman would be enough. So, we motionless to build a diversion around a thought of carrying a opposite chairman write any character, and treating a account like a collection of standalone brief stories, rather than a singular monolithic narrative. we asked some of my favorite writers to contribute, and found some-more and more, and we built this bleak, tragic, fantastical America from a patchwork of stories.

What growth collection were used to build your game?

We built a diversion in Unity, and wrote all a stories and calm calm in Ink, a apparatus from Inkle Studios that was used to make 80 Days.

How most time have we spent operative on a game?

I started a diversion roughly in Jul of 2014, so it’s been about 3 and a half years of development.

Where The Water Tastes Like Wine weaves mixed stories together from opposite writers. How do we work so many stories/writers together so that their work meshes within a universe?

Yeah! This was an engaging challenge. Part of it involves usually carrying everybody on a same page as distant as a star and a themes go – we started with a fast of characters that we wanted to realize, and they all fit together in this world.  But afterwards a vast partial of that was down to carrying a good editor. Laura Michet was a editor and staff author for a game. She not usually took all a characters and stories and done them filigree good while still respecting a author’s voice, she wrote a lot of calm to fill a gaps that fundamentally come adult during a iteration of a game’s design.

How do their incompatible stories, tones, and styles work to emanate a singular account knowledge of Where The Water Tastes Like Wine?

The whole indicate of carrying so many opposite writers is that they any have their possess voice and perspective. This creates any character’s story singular and opposite and mostly surprising! And we think, in a end, it acts a lot like erratic around a US and articulate to a garland of opposite folks might. You get a far-reaching accumulation of stories and viewpoints, though some common themes shortly start to boyant to a surface.

The visible impression of Where The Water Tastes Like Wine has a possess story to tell. What thoughts go into weaving a game’s visuals into a story?

We started building a demeanour of a diversion with a 2D impression encounters. These were meant to elicit storybook illustrations, though also move in early American woodblock prints with their clever black lines. After that, we took that cultured and attempted to request it to a 3D, map-like overworld to emanate a United States opposite that a actor wanders. 

Have we played any of a other IGF finalists? Any games you’ve quite enjoyed?

Yes! There are so many good games this year, it’s wonderful. we have spent a lot of hours in West of Loathing, that is substantially a funniest diversion we have ever played. I’ve also enjoyed Heat Signature, Tacoma, Night in a Woods, and a beautiful Luna. And we usually recently started A Mortician’s Tale

What do we consider are a biggest hurdles (and opportunities) for indie devs today?

I consider creation this a full-time career is a frightful choice right now. There are ways to do it, though it’s really a risk (as is being a full-time artist in any field, really!) On a other hand, we have so many collection available, and so many opposite people creation and personification games – it’s smashing to see all a opposite practice and voices that come out of that!

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