Mez Breeze and Andy Campbell
All The Delicate Duplicates is a short single player first-person digital narrative game that
toys with the concept of time: reality isn’t stable or linear here, but unfurls across a
storyworld that bends, flexes and (in some instances) duplicates.
John, a computer engineer and single father, inherits a collection of arcane objects from Mo,
his mysterious relative. Over time, John and his daughter Charlotte begin to realise that
these objects have unusual physical properties – and that the more they are exposed to
them, the more their reality and memories appear to change.
All the Delicate Duplicates is a PC game – containing a non-linear ‘Back [+Forth] Story’ – that
uses familiar FPS game mechanics to allow free roam around (often surreal) interactive
environments. Using a mouse and keyboard and/or gamepad, players explore objects,
diaries, journals, newspaper cuttings, mobile phones, laptops and other items left behind by
the work’s characters, helping to piece together an elastically fragmented storyline.
• Haunting freeform environments with open exploration.
• Non-linear narrative that pieces together through interactive discoveries in the
gameworld and a text based backstory.
• Music by acclaimed audio creator Chris Joseph.
• Commissioned by The Space.
• Supported by Tumblr through their International Digital Media and Arts Prize.
• David-Lynch-like intrigue (if we do say so ourselves) via a variable storyline.
Inspired by the possibilities of fiction, digital poetry and experimental digital art, All the
Delicate Duplicates tells a complex psychological story through game engine technology.
Developed from the ground up by digital artists/writers rather than traditional game
developers, the work challenges traditional storytelling within games by spanning multiple
time periods, incorporating animated and transitional texts as physical manifestations within
the gameworld, and leaving the story wide open to multiple revisits and interpretations.
The poetic, hybrid language Mezangelle forms a central part of the non-linear language in
the game. It remixes the basic structure of English and computer code to create language
where meanings are nested inside each other. Players will need to read; re-read; then
re-re-read again in order to piece together the narrative.
In regards to what makes All the Delicate Duplicates unique and pushing the edges of all
sorts of gaming and story-telling boundaries, the following reviewers unpack this by stating:
“Luminaries of [short interactive fictions] include Journey and Limbo and Firewatch, and it’s
safe to count All the Delicate Duplicates amongst such company…All The Delicate
Duplicates is refreshing simply because it works the brain in ways that few other games
even bother to try. It’s certainly a game that sticks with you.” – Fuzzy Pixels
“Few games leave me speechless, but that’s exactly what happened when I finished All the
Delicate Duplicates…This is incredibly effective storytelling that will stick with you long after
the credits roll, and may end up being one of my favorite gaming experiences of the year.” –
“I could lose myself in this for hours. This feels so new, unlike anything I’ve ever seen.” –
Beta Tester at the 2016 Game City Festival.
“I rarely ever play a game twice, especially campaigns or story-driven games…However All
the Delicate Duplicates wants to smash that…And while your first time might be quick,
second time around you’ll likely take your time and soak in what the game has to offer. All
the Delicate Duplicates has certainly left a mark. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with a
game that I could see kick start a new form of storytelling.”– N3rdabl3
All the Delicate Duplicates works best when installed on a 64-bit PC with a strong graphics
card. As audio and interactivity are key components of the work, a monitor, keyboard and
mouse (or alternatively an Xbox controller), speakers/headphones, and a reasonable
amount of memory are needed.
Modality of presentation: PC-Game
URL to work: http://allthedelicateduplicat.es
URL to Video: https://vimeo.com/onetoonedevelopment/delicates-walkthrough
Jellybone (british slang for telephone) by Kate Pullinger is a story reflecting the medium
through which it is told. Smartphones are the most important tool of communication of our
time and from a special value for our protagonist.
A London millennial, Florence ‘Flo’ Evans, 24, is used to receiving strange, garbled
messages on her phone since childhood. Are ghosts trying to reach out to her? She ignores
those as best as she can, facing more urgent real-life problems. Being an unpaid intern at a
magazine, she struggles with debts and a crush on her best friends boyfriend. Former
boyfriend, as her best friend Lana has gone missing three years ago. But is she really dead?
Flo suddenly receives a message including information only Lana could know. Is this another
ghost message? Flo who had no real purpose in life until now, decides to investigate who
sent her this message and what happened to Lana.
A dangerous adventure with a paranormal twist, a coming of age story told in 10 episodes
using different media in the unique interactive oolipo format.
Jellybone is told from a first person point of view but opening up the story through third
person perspectives. You can read these perspectives in a kind of parallel narrative, or
decide not too, without missing out on the main narrative.
While reading this story, your phone will come to life – messages appear, it vibrates and
rings, so that you at some point might not be sure anymore if you’re reading a story or
became part of it yourself. You receive the messages Flo receives on her phone and
experience exact the same things she gets with those messages. The narrative is told
through text, when an emotion of Flo is very strong, handwriting is used. Flo does also have
an Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/jellybone_flossie/), which she uses as her
public diary and where she shares more about her life.
To create the right atmosphere, we use sound effects and video collages which show where
we are and what the circumstances are. Collages like this are also used to give the reader
the chance to see what Flo can see in a special moment. The oolipo format is capable of
reacting on where on a screen you are, using surprise effects like suddenly appearing gifs or
ghosts for example (this gets more on later episodes).
inner voice: handwritten
Flo’s public diary: Instagram – real Instagram account
ghost messages: chat module – imitating phone messages (text, images, soundmessages)
action scenes/atmosphere: gifs/videos and sound
In a next step even more interactive possibilities will be implemented. Later this summer and
before the exhibitions, the commenting feature and something we call user-threads will be
released. User-threads enable people to contribute to the story by themselves. They will be
asked to write a backstory or even new parallel narratives. The open end of the last
Jellybone episode will for example be picked up by readers.
Team working on Jellybone
Author: Kate Pullinger
Art Direction: David Löwe
Producer: Solveig Pobuda
Producer: Dorothea Martin
VFX: Jan Schütze
Designer: Daniel Pankau
Please read the story on an iphone
Jellybone is available on the iPhone (all 10 episodes), on Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oolipo) and you can have a look on the web as well (https://www.oolipo.com/stories/jellybone)
J. R. Carpenter
The Gathering Cloud is a hybrid print and web-based work which aims to address the
environmental impact of so-called ‘cloud’ computing by calling attention to the materiality of
the clouds in the sky. Both are commonly perceived to be infinite resources, at once vast
and immaterial; both, decidedly, are not. Fragments of text from Luke Howard’s classic
Essay on the Modifications of Clouds (1803) and other more recent online articles and books
on media and the environment are pared down into hypertextual hendecasyllabic verses.
These are situated within surreal animated gif collages composed of images materially
appropriated from publicly accessible cloud storage services. The cognitive dissonance
between the cultural fantasy of cloud storage and the hard facts of its environmental impact
is bridged, in part, through the constant evocation of animals: A cumulus cloud weighs one
hundred elephants. A USB fish swims through a cloud of cables. Four million cute cat pics
are shared each day. A small print iteration of The Gathering Cloud shared through gift,
trade, mail art, and small press economies further confuses boundaries between physical
and digital, scarcity and waste. A print book edition of The Gathering Cloud, featuring an
extended essay by the author, a foreword by media theorist Jussi Parikka and an afterword
by poet Lisa Robertson, was published by Uniformbooks in April 2017.
The Gathering Cloud was commissioned by NEoN Digital Arts Festival, Dundee, UK, 9-13
It won the New Media Writing Prize 2016, was shortlisted for the ELO Prize 2017, and was an Editor’s Pick for the Saboteur Awards 2017.
Modality of presentation: Web based work
URL to work: http://luckysoap.com/thegatheringcloud