In 2013, Coffee Yao set out to craft a horror title derived from East Asian elements rarely utilized in games. His 2D atmospheric side-scroller, Detention incorporated a mixture of Taoism and Buddhist beliefs set against traditional Chinese culture. The game was selected for the E3 IndieCade Showcase thanks to it’s unique and terrifying story.

“Why can’t I find any game out there that could represent our culture and share with the world the place I grow up in?”

Yao carried this question with him for years before deciding to act on it. The result, Detention, is a game that takes place in an alternative version of 1960s Taiwan. This was a time of martial law during Taiwan’s “White Terror” period. A period which Yao feels many young Taiwanese people have already forgotten.

Realizing that his vision had grown too large for a single developer, he approached the creators of Taiwan’s first Greenlit indie game, Constant C. Together with Light Wang and Henry Wang, Yao co-founded Red Candle Games to bring their story’s unique cultural perspective to a wider audience.

Behind The Stories Of History

Yao wanted to focus on Taiwan under martial law, drawing on local cultural references to tell a unique and terrifying story. Gameplay consists of classic point and click puzzle solving mechanics. Players explore a remote high school as evil supernatural forces encroach.

Detention was released on Steam in January, earlier this year. The game has garnered positive user reviews as an immersive and unsettling experience. Definitely worth a look at next week’s E3 showcase.

About the Author

Joanna Mueller

Joanna Mueller is a lifelong gamer who used to insist on having the Super Mario Bros manual read to her as a bedtime story. Now she's reading Fortnite books to her own kiddo while finally making use of her degree to write about games as Cliqist's EIC.

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