[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]nce in a while you come across a video game project and you scratch you head thinking “what in heaven’s name is this? Is this a visual-novel? A sandbox? Is it really a video-game at all?” That’s the feeling I got when I checked out the Kickstarter for Where They Cremate the Roadkill. The name alone tickled my spine, and the intro-video left me speechless for a few second. I have to tell you; I have interviewed developers of games that range from the bizarre to the completely absurd, so when I say that this is game is out there then you better believe it’s out there.
I contacted the brains behind the project, the person known as “Clowder” in hopes of getting a bit more information about this one-of-a-kind indie game project. Well, let’s just say the interview answers I got were not what I was expecting, not in a million years, and I say that with total delight, they were just that awesome to read. Don’t believe me? Just keep reading and let us know what you think, comments are welcome and always encouraged.
Cliqist – Tell us a little about yourself.
Clowder – I’m best known as Clowder. My guess is that I came to be with some kind of mission in mind but my creators wiped my memory before I was born. Once I complete whatever I’m here for I’ll retire into the cold Earth where I will slowly deteriorate into a Halloween prop. In a few generations everything about me will be forgotten but the unnoticed change my presence precipitated might last until the kalpa resigns.
Cliqist – Your game studio is called ‘myformerselves‘ ? What is the story behind this unusual name?
Clowder – Myformerselves is symbolic of the notion that we are the culmination of our past selves; that our present self is the surface manifestation of its history.
Cliqist – Describe in your own words what kind of game is Where They Cremate the Roadkill?
Clowder – It’s like a web of dreams with a cranky black spider of reality squatting at the center. The fiction is what traps you and the real is what slays you.
Cliqist – Under your game title it states “Stare ahead and wait for the flash.” what does that mean?
Clowder – It refers to the words spoken by police when photographing a suspect.
Cliqist – What video-game, film, literature or artwork do you believe influenced your game?
Clowder – Folktales, petroglyphs, lost animations, Native American myths, natural histories…all these undoubtedly.
Cliqist – Without spoiling anything tell us the plot for Where They Cremate the Roadkill?
Clowder – Under court probation a convict is given the chance to acquit themselves—and the world—if only they can capture the Devil.
Cliqist – Tell us a little bit about the game-play mechanics, how would your character interact with the game’s environment?
Clowder – The game is like a sandbox where virtually all assets can be manipulated by the player. You will have the powers of a magician with dominion over nature–enabling you to conjure, convert and warp whatever you like. Inert background objects, for instance, could be brought to life to do your bidding. A player could collapse a building or transform a NPC into a pile of goop.
The amount of freedom and variation is extensive. Liberation is a theme.
Cliqist – What kind of difficulty level can gamers expect in Where They Cremate the Roadkill , would there be settings for both casual and hardcore gamers?
Clowder – Where They Cremate the Roadkill appeals to a new kind of gamer: neither causal nor hardcore. This game is for the outsider aesthete, the outcast mutant, the curious observer, the subversive and those who can appreciate what others can’t—and those who don’t appreciate what others do.
When you die you won’t mind. Doing so will enable you to uncover more of the game’s world. You’ll be able to fight your way out of the afterlife. It’ll be like a prison break.
Cliqist – What kind of game-engine will you be using for Where They Cremate the Roadkill and why?
Clowder – We’re using ruby script. In its clarity the code reads like a romance language and it fits our purposes perfectly.
Cliqist – What kind of game length (hours of gameplay) have you planned for Where They Cremate the Roadkill?
Clowder – Those who play Where They Cremate the Roadkill will put down the controller to find 1000000 years have passed. Their loved ones will be dead, the continents will have joined together as Neo-Pangaea and the sun will be on the verge of swallowing Mercury.
Cliqist – Why should people back Where They Cremate the Roadkill Kickstarter?
Clowder – Tolkien did more with pen and paper than Jackson did with all the technology and money in the world. It would be a mistake to underestimate this project.
Contributors to our goal are participants in a movement in games. I believe artifacts of this movement will one day be worth more than the sum total of our funding goal.
The more a game makes—the more rewards it hands out, the less the rewards are worth. Modest campaigns like ours carry the greatest promise of appreciating in auction value. People typically back what shines with little thought of its latent worth.
Even while we’re at the closing end of this movement few realize it’s happened at all. Independent games will, like street art and underground comics, come to pervade high culture. Screen shots, box art, collectibles, tokens of fund raisers, cartridge copies and other related relics will one day be exhibited in galleries and museums.
Miss out now, and when will there be a second chance?
Or there’s always the obvious reason—you appreciate what we’re doing and want to see more of it.
Cliqist – Can you close us out with a Where They Cremate the Roadkill related haiku?
Clowder – I would prefer to write a traditional poem. Is that alright?
The Devil’s suit collar is sewn to his neck’s skin.
His briefcase he carries with the tip of his smallest finger.
He’ll show you a lover that pops like a balloon at the slightest touch.
His guests are wine and dined with blank plates and empty glasses.
When he looks at you he looks passed you.
When he talks to you he talks like the past you.
All the cards in his deck are ace of spades.
Above his door it reads ‘Happy Fun Time Land’.
Below there’s a welcome mat dirty with foot prints pointed in one direction.
Walk far enough after them and you’ll come to
Where They Cremate the Roadkill.
Thanks to Clowder for taking the time to answer my questions! If you’d like to learn more about Where They Cremate the Roadkill be sure to check out its Kickstarter campaign before it ends on February 12th.