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A Game of Connection

Lately, there's a Twitter trend (I won't call it X, Elon Musk) discussing games that make players cry. I recall a such moment while playing Night in the Woods. In the game there's a moment when Mae tries to cheer up her friend, Bae, by playing a prank in the mall where they used to hang out during their happy teenage years. However, the town's mining industry decline has left it devoid of energy, making it feel bleak, and job opportunities are scarce. Young people like Bae are trapped and feeling hopeless.

While this is meant to be a light-hearted moment, it underlines the grim reality that, from Bae's perspective, there's no future. I remember crying my eyes out when realises Life's changes can lead to such despair, as for myself, recognizing how uncommon it is to have lifelong friends, especially the ones you grew up with and thought would stay the same, can be really tough. Seeing close friends turn into strangers is a pretty heart-wrenching experience. For Bae and Mae, all what remains are these fleeting, precious moments of comfort and escape, and reality shows no mercy.



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So why we cry? And why we're drawn to playing video games in the first place. Isn't it because we yearn for new experiences that may be beyond our reach in real life? We also seek comfort in knowing that we're not alone in our feelings. Most of the time, we hesitate to reveal our vulnerabilities, but these moments in games reveal how powerful emotional connections can be. It's something I believe we're increasingly in search of nowadays. Now in my late 30s, I find myself grappling with questions about life. What does it truly mean to become an adult, to be responsible? Most of the time, I still feel like a child trying to walk in my mother's high heels – awkward, pretending, and hoping no one discovers that I was second-guessing everything. I'm on a quest for answers and guidance, but it seems elusive. And now, I've realized that there's a whole new generation looking up to us. Am I good enough to pass on any wisdom I may have, if any at all? Am I the only one who feels this way? Am I alone in this?


Early concept art for The Daughters of Time

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LUNA was essentially a love letter to all the childhood games that inspired me to become a creative person. For The Daughters of Time, initially, I intended it to be a novel, but then I realized that a video game could be a much better medium to forge a deeper connection with my audience. When we sit in front of the screen in the dark with headphones on, we're instantly transported to a different person's body. It not only allows us to witness a story (similar to traditional cinema and theatre), but it also lets us actively participate in it – we become the protagonist in the narrative. That's why The Daughters of Time is gonna be an narrative game. All the characters and the story are set in the present day while the materials and inspiration are based on my own very real personal life experiences. The plots might be gripping, dotted with unexpected adventures and surprises, all in an effort to create an exciting gameplay experience. But I'll keep reminding myself that deep down, I want to create a game that resonates with both me and the people of my generation. Hoping that once it's done, it can be a little source of comfort and understanding during these swiftly changing times.



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