H I R A E T H
When I started making Hiraeth, I had no fucking idea what I was doing. It was almost 2 years ago, August of 2016.
As evidenced above.
I had multiple basic ideas I wanted to apply after a dream I'd had: A locked music box, with letters, keys, polaroids and little toy animals inside.
"Letters / jewelry box / find keys in piles of keys / match w/ hole / gears, somehow / crystals // in box are animal toys / polaroids // cicadas, bees, moths? & animal bones ... " I wrote. And then "you have an animal helper!!" After that, piece by piece, it fell into place.
I started mapping and adding dialogue before the story was even structured. At the beginning it was very different (but not so different) than it is now -- the Dreamer's real world was terrible -- and she preferred to always be asleep. Always Dream.
I kept going in that vein, trying to think of interesting puzzles, trying to make interesting enemies. I've always loved Fatal Frame, and I've always loved Polaroids. How about an enemy that is defeated by an instant camera? Fuck yeah. But how is it relevant to her Dream world? Isn't her dream world better than the real world? Wellp, not anymore, I guess.
I spent hours trying to make single events work and wouldn't stop until they did. I spent days trying to map out different portions of the game. I went through month long periods of hating everything I'd already made and wondering why the hell I was even trying (it was the dead of winter and that Nacho dipshit was just elected President, so I was probably just internalizing my hatred) -- eventually I waded through it, and it was July, 2017 -- I'd mapped, planned, and plotted out the entire game.
Enter now my OG bud from High School (jesus it's been like 14 years???) who has done every pixel --
-- and continues every Photoshop edit for my illustrations, splash in some of my lover's original music and some famous composers, a lot of You Tube how-to videos and MV plug ins, 400+ hours, and you have an almost two hour long pixel-gorgeous romp through a corrupted dream world, centered around a word I picked from a list:
H I R A E T H
(n.) homesickness for a home to which you cannot return -- or, perhaps, a home that never was.
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