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Bloom: Memories releases alpha demo in support of Kickstarter

Tuesday, 12th November 2013 21:24 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Bloom: Memories, a gorgeous-looking 2D action adventure RPG, is looking to raise $40,000 on Kickstarter. Pitting itself as a little bit different from other games, it “moves away from the cliche of violence and domination”, and will permit players to use stealth, strategy and diplomacy to avoid combat completely if they so choose. An interesting concept – and you can try a PC demo for yourself. Check out the trailer and pitch video through the break, and throw it a vote on Steam Greenlight if it catches your fancy, although the developer would probably also like a pledge and is offering various rewards and stretch goals to tempt you.

Thanks, The Wulf

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2 Comments

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  1. TheWulf

    I’m so sold on this.

    I’ve been thinking on this topic a lot, lately.

    If we’re looking at the medium of films, it’s totally okay and cool to have a big budget thing which is all about communication. You could have TV spots and posters trying to sell it, and there’d be no gore or violence visible, since it’s not about that. In fact, the Bay-type action films tend to be a minority.

    Games are not so much the inverse of that, but rather that non-violent big budget games don’t exist. Could you imagine a game about a pacifistic telepath who used words and non-violent means to solve his problems being sold to the mainstream? An indie title, yes. But could you see that game with an EA stamp on it? The modern mainstream line-up is murder, murder, and more murder. Something like that wouldn’t fit.

    I want games where I can use cleverness, stealth, and diplomacy to completely avoid killing. In fact, I want a game where murder is a failure condition because the character you’re playing is really someone of great moral fibre, for once, instead of just a psychopathic killer surrounded by sycophantic yes-men who’re all too afraid to tell him he’s not really a good guy.

    That’s something I liked about Saints Row IV. There’s no real murder going on because it’s a simulation, and yet everyone points how how fucked in the head the boss is. It’s something of a treatise on the nature of modern video games. Except in modern video games, things aren’t presented as a simulation, when someone dies, they don’t come back. And how many people do you, the reader, kill in the average video game?

    So maybe I want games more about talking, and cleverness, and stealth. Maybe I want more puzzles and detective work, rather than a game about shooting someone or stabbing them in the gut.

    I think it says something about us when all of our big budget entertainment is just about murder, but in different ways. Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Battlefield, Dragon Age, the Witcher, and so on. I’m not saying that these are bad games, but I’m making the point that they all force you to be a merciless, cold blooded killer.

    The problem is is that they never ask you to question that.

    The brilliant Spec Ops: The Line did. Brave, brilliant, beautiful little game that it was. It had the strength to show people what their wars wrought, but it took people out of their comfort zones and many hated it. It feels like the average gamer doesn’t want to face that in every game they play, they’re worse than a serial killer. They’re that world’s Genghis Kahn. They’re a warlord who’d kill someone as soon as look at them, and the only reason anyone is nice to them is because they’re all so amazingly afraid of them.

    Every big budget game casts you as a killing machine.

    Yet evolution gave us a mind with which to think, and a mouth with which to speak, and with these tools we can find other ways rather than mindless violence with which to solve our problems. Why hasn’t gaming had a Citizen Kane? Because Citizen Kane wasn’t about punking anyone weaker than the protagonist.

    The biggest problem is that it’s gotten worse. In the ’90s, before gaming became so very mainstream, there were lots of big budget games which revolved around other things than simplified, guilt-free murder simulators. There was so much more to it than that, and it was so crazy with the juices of imagination. You just wouldn’t see something like Toonstruck coming out of today’s mainstream, that’s for sure.

    So this is a contemporary thing.

    What I’m getting at is that you come home, you sit down in front of your PC or console, and you kill things. Whenever you play games, you’re killing things. That’s all you do. You kill this, you kill that, you kill everyone, and you’re surrounded by people who’re afraid of you. Hell, people who might only be romantically interested in you because they’re afraid of what you’d do if they weren’t (which explains Dragon Age).

    Kill. Kill. Kill. And nothing else.

    A lot of that is because it’s easy to make a game about killing, and less easy to make a game about anything else. But we’re so programmed at the moment to believe that killing and slaughter are the most genuinely fun and entertaining forms of escapism that we don’t realise just how base it all is. Just how homogeneous. Every game is the same. The setting changes, the murder never does.

    And I don’t know about you, but when I exercise my imagination for escapism, I can do more with it than just killing stuff. In fact, killing stuff usually doesn’t even enter in there.

    This is why I’m glad we have the indies, because with the indies you can at least have games that are nothing but talking and puzzles. A lot of indie games are just that. To the Moon was pretty much that and I’m okay with it. And then there’s the likes of The Wolf Among Us by small devs, games with talking and choice.

    I wish there was more of that.

    I just don’t like what it says about us when all of our games are murder simulators, that’s all. I know it’s easy to want to dismiss me as a crazy person, or someone who’s horrible, because I take you out of your comfort zones by providing knowledge that’s never occurred to you. That, unfortunately, seems to be human nature. Someone knowing something that someone else does not brings about rage, bile, and toxicity.

    Well, we can’t know everything. I don’t. You don’t. But this is what I know and it does tend to preoccupy me.

    Look at how many big budget games in your library are just glorified murder simulators. Am I wrong? I think if not for indies like this, I’d probably go crazy. I like playing games, but… I just don’t like the murder. I don’t want to be a serial killer, but I do want to enjoy detailed open worlds.

    why is that wrong?

    #1 5 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    So, yeah. Consider this backed. If only because you have solutions like talking to people or walking around them, rather than killing your way through them.

    #2 5 months ago