This was what you could call an effects game, it seemed like they wanted to make a really cool experience using all the tool of the black box, and that worked really well, it had a few weaker points but all in all it was a good game.
So we played soldiers in the trenches during world war one, but unlike Dulce et Decorum, form Fastaval 2013, this was much more symbolic.
Every character was played by two players: one was blindfolded but could talk, but only by telling memories nothing concrete like: “lets go over there.” No only: “I remember starry nights under the old oak.” The other could see but not talk. So those two had to work together, but all the players also had to work together in keeping most alive.
Each player had two memories, so each character had four, and you could only move if you had at least one memory left. These starting memories we decided beforehand and used to create the closes to a character we had, not that it was used much. These memories had to be from home.
So during the game we could lose memories and gain a few more. And the goal was to keep all alive by having at least one memory each.
We could lose memories in two ways: First there was a soundscape in the game. In it was two kinds of explosions: a small one and a big one that was preceded by a whistling sound, (like that of a bomb falling).
The small one was not dangerous just atmosphere, something to react to. The big one on the other hand would hit anyone not in the trenches, and they would have to leave a memory and stay put until someone else came out and brought them back.
The trenches was a part of the play area separated from the rest by a stage module that we had to crawl over (oh we could only crawl unless death was here, more about that in a bit.)
Whenever a big explosion happened we would also get pelted by dirt, that had no game effect it was only for effect, but it was a very strong effect. We wore helmets for this reason, a great simulation trick.
In the start of the game when we heard the ominous whistle of an incoming big explosion we would all cover for our lives, but towards the end one or two hours later we had already learnt how long the whistle was and only covered us in the last second.
I have heard that soldiers in the trenches got this ability. That they could hear by the sound on an incoming grenade if it’s going to land close and when to go for cover. But is was a very fascinating to actually experience it on your own body.
Any way why would anyone then leave the trench? Well once in awhile a war memory would appear out in the rest of the playing area, the battlefield I suppose, and a not blindfolded player could crawl out and retrieve it by going to, it giving a short monologue about it, and crawling back again. But as mentioned he would be struck down if a big explosion fell while he was out there. Also the memory would disappear if it was still there when it became time for another memory.
Finally once in a while Death would come, which was to NPC’s in raincoats and gasmask with glowing eyes. They would move slowly, but if they got hold of you they would take a memory, during this time we were allowed to stand up and move around and the non blinded could say the name of the blind to get this one to move away from danger. But in all that confusion the deaths would often get it’s memory, luckily each death would only eat one memory per visit.
So that’s the game, a symbolic slightly gamist but very physical game. An experience more than a story but still a very cool symbolic representation of life in the trenches. Could use some work but it gave a very strong experience.