!Please be aware that this post contains spoilers!
Half a year ago on March 17, 2013 This Is Where I Want To Die was released. Since then I get positive and negative emails about the game. Many people liked the story, the twist at the end, and the message. On the other side, there are also people who disliked the lack of gameplay elements. This Is Where I Want To Die is a story that contains true incidents and I wanted it to be shocking, I did not want the player to interfere in any way. Therefore, I called it a kinetic novel; a novel without choices.
Misleadings & Meaning:
“Everything is just there for misleading.” – I hear this sentence often. Right, this was my intention after all. Brad and Ann are positioned on the cover art and in many in-game scenes as if they are holding hands. “Everything just seemed to be too perfect and Ann must be the one who’s responsible for the incident. On the other hand… maybe it’s Brad himself?” – Of course, I had to put some misleadings into the game. Otherwise, there is no point for the reader to pay attention and to imagine things that could’ve happened. “The twist came out of nowhere!” – Indeed. Homophobia is something that isn’t announced either.
Proposal & culture:
Many people immediately knew that the protagonist is a male when he proposed to Brad. I think this is quite interesting since here in Germany I don’t think it would be THAT weird if a female proposed to a male (or maybe that’s just me). This might be a cultural thing and I was really surprised that some people saw through this. If I had known this from the beginning, I would’ve arranged the scenes in a different way. Well, you shouldn’t cry over spilled milk.
Music & art:
The game has a depressing theme and I wanted dark backgrounds and dark sprites. After a while, I hit on an idea: I used silhouettes as sprites which made it possible for me to have vague character appearances. It also made it easier to hide the fact that the protagonist isn’t shown (until the very end of the game). The music is supposed to sound mysterious yet not too sad. The scene in the bar is one of the most happy scenes, that’s why the music theme is more cheerful (also: it’s a bar). Maybe you noticed it after you played the game: There are waves in the background of the main menu theme; this was my attempt to get the player thinking about everything again – about the forever shattered Dream of the Ocean (the track is titled “Ocean Dreams”), the attack that ruined more than one life, the cruelty, the hate. I want people to become aware of the fact that there is still a lot of hate, some countries even punish homosexuality (yes there is even death penalty for loving a person of the same gender in the 21th century!).
Sequel or spin-off?:
I don’t think a sequel would make much sense for this sort of game. I do have many other topics I want to address and I think I might use the kinetic novel format again to put a message across. This won’t be connected to TIWIWTD, but the style might be similar. I have a very sensitive topic on my mind.
I don’t want to go into too much detail, because I think everyone has their own ideas and interpretations. This is basically everything I wanted to mention. This Is Where I Want To Die may not be the best story ever written, but I think everyone should appreciate the message it sends. I want people not only to tolerate homosexuality, but to accept it.