Project role: Writer
Showcased at Indiecade 2018
The Distance is a 2-player cooperative puzzle platformer designed for geographically separated couples to foster communication and their relationship.It tells a story of a broken relationship in a dual-perspective and introduces innovative multiplayer interactions between a pair of players.
It's not often that you can work on the perfect game at the perfect time, but that was the case for me with The Distance. My first semester of graduate school coincided with the end of a two year relationship due to me moving across the country to attend USC. When I heard director Xian Lu pitch this game as her thesis project, I immediately understood her vision and knew that I could help her realize it. Writing this story of love in jeopardy from two perspectives was both cathartic and an inspiring first game to work on as it beautifully showcases the unique possibilities of interactive storytelling.
In each level, bits of the story are shown to each player; one sees the story from the perspective of "The One Who Left," and the other sees the perspective of "The One Who Stayed." Both players see the poem at the end of each level.
The One Who Left: “They want me to stay here longer.” My heart is in my throat as I live in your silence. I don’t know what to do.
The One Who Stayed: The thought of us being apart for so long drains me. In spite of it, I smile for you. I take a moment to think. And think. And I think…I want you to be happy more than I need you with me. “Then you should stay.”
The One Who Left: I suddenly know what I hoped you would say. That wasn’t it. “Yeah. Maybe I will stay.” I feel my sadness dripping off of each word like acid.
The One Who Stayed: Your voice comes back cold and the wind gets knocked out of me. My heart sinks. I can’t help but wonder what we’re doing.
I count the ways I wish
I could give you more
As our world inverts,
We cling to familiarity
Desperate for safety
We share moments
Like tokens that buy time
And little else
Is this enough?
Somehow it feels
But still we hold tight
To our hope, to each other