Fragments Of Him Gains More For Its Tale About Loss

By Nathan Grayson on July 16th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Unlike many videogames, Fragments of Him only contains one death. It’s a man, a man who had a life, a history, a family, loves, and losses of his own. The game’s story, then, centers around those who knew him before an accident took his life. The first version of the game, while quite basic and linear, is quite powerful in places (and freely available), but developer Sassybot is aiming for something much more robust with the new version. I dutifully picked up a few fragments of new info from designer Mata Haggis. Also, I plucked a new trailer fresh from the Internet’s trailer fields, and that’s below.

Originally Fragments of Him saw you simply removing objects around the environment as your character grieved into an uncaring void, but that’s only the jump-off point for the full version. This time around, Haggis told RPS, there will be new interactions and (slight) branching story paths.

“There’s gonna be different gameplay mechanics in the final version – not just removing objects. You’ll be progressing the story by making choices, too.The story will be slightly branching, but it’s still gonna have that same emotional journey if you go through it. Also each time you play through, you might get slightly different perspective – slightly different lines of dialogue and whatnot. While it is a linear emotional journey, there are different ways to go along that path.”

And while the Fragments of Him prototype only focused on the deceased man’s boyfriend, the new version will delve into the lives of four different characters – including the man himself as he unknowingly lives out his final day. Grim, I believe, is what that’s called.

“There’s gonna be four different stories. The [one about the boyfriend] is just one aspect of it. The final version is also gonna have the story of the man who died – his last morning. You’re gonna be able to play through, find out what his final thoughts were, and what his hopes were for the future. We’re gonna have the story of his ex-girlfriend from university, before the man had his boyfriend. We’re gonna have her memories, the story of their relationship. We’re gonna have his grandmother, how her traditional values don’t necessarily match up with his lifestyle, and how they reconcile that.”

While the boyfriend’s story will still unfold a lot like it did in the original game, the new characters will exist in their own “presents” – not flashback sequences. Haggis described their gameplay styles as “like a mix of Heavy Rain and Gone Home.” For instance, you might find yourself making and eating breakfast, but all throughout your character reflects on life and the world around them.

So those are the main things. There will also be professional voice and sound work, not to mention a soundtrack by a former Ubisoft composer. “Hurrah!” he said, fully cognizant of the fact that these things will likely be used to make him cry bitter, bitter tears.

For real, though, the prototype was quite good at wringing emotion from me at the most unexpected of moments, for instance while I was staring at in-game towel racks and toothbrushes. It definitely plays on heartstrings in unique ways, that’s for sure. It also ends up deceptively personal for that reason, a musty closet full of “Oh jeez, I’ve been there” moments. Fragments of Him will be out at the end of 2014. It’ll run you $20, which probably won’t cover the cost of grief counselling.

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26 Comments »

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  1. Ross Angus says:

    So glad this exists. I like the direction it’s taking over the prototype too. MOAR CHARACTER!

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    Sinomatic says:

    I recall enjoying the free version of this, so I’d be interested to see how the full version pans out, particularly as it includes the various perspectives this time around.

  3. The Random One says:

    The first game was interesting, but ultimately lacking IMO. It eventually eroded into some bizarre antitthesis to an object finding game. I hope the final version will have a little more meat in its bones.

    • Aceria says:

      Programmer of Fragments of Him here. The first thing we did was get rid of the object finding and spammy clicking. It was the biggest flaw of the prototype, but a necessary evil to get something working for the original goal (the Ludum Dare 26 game jam). So no worries, we’ve ditched that and replaced it with some proper interactions.

  4. Armante says:

    This looks rather interesting. I do really hope, however, that the writing will be better than that of the person who wrote: “There’s gonna be four different stories.” Gonna gonna gonna throughout, never mind the mangled English. That would ruin it.

    Sorry to be that guy.

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      kfix says:

      Sorry to be that guy.

      Someone’s gotta do it.

    • Aceria says:

      I’ll quote our writer from our gtalk:

      I definitely said ‘going to’ rather than ‘gonna’!

  5. Sleepy Will says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, this species before you is the increasingly rare lesser spotted chipped shoulder

    But seriously, why is this a “Womans game?”

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    Lars Westergren says:

    Well, it does sound original. And I very much doubt real man-children are into this sort of game as it seems to be lacking a bit in the gore department, don’t you think?

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    cpt_freakout says:

    I’m surprised someone with the nickname ‘johncage’ would make such an incredibly ridiculous comment. Please choose another one before we all Flux your ass out of here.

  8. Timmytoby says:

    This comment leaves me baffled:

    Why should violence or shooting be required for a good game? Portal has no shooting, the Longest Journey has no shooting, etc. All women games?
    Why would this be a game aimed at women specifically? It’s a story about a gay couple (which is awesome). Last I checked homosexual men are still considered male.
    There is no feminist subtext (in the version available at the moment). Not that it would be a problem if there was. But ranting about “women and their silly feelings” seems weird for this game. It’s like hating Super Mario for it’s Pro-Life agenda: Huh?

    Very confusing comment.

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    AngelTear says:

    Obviously, it’s because the man died.
    Feminists notoriously want men to die. This game is their wish fulfillment, as they indulge on the sweet suffering of his last seconds, tasting that lovely feeling of revenge.

    Right?
    (yes, it’s ironic, in case you were wondering.)

  10. joa says:

    Man children come in many forms. Including the insecure ‘male feminist’ form :)

  11. thomir says:

    Best. Comment. Evar.

    Thank you!

  12. Kein says:

    The thing is, in some cases of feminism it is not really ironic.

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    Cinek says:

    “Feminists notoriously want men to die.” – Said every FPS player ever.
    Not.

  14. The Random One says:

    Hmm, you’re right; caring about the feelings and conditions of a group of people you’re not a part of is indeed rather childish.

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    kfix says:

    Whereas feeling the need to fight the inclusion of women at every opportunity is not at all insecure. Nope. Not one bit. Totally secure here.

  16. The Random One says:

    Well, yes, but basing your idea of feminism on those people is like refusing to tip in England because some British people are members of the Royal Family.

  17. Ask says:

    Man children come in MANY FORMS. INCLUDING the insecure ‘male feminist’ form :)

    Not all insecure ‘male feminists’ are man children. Not all man children are insecure ‘male feminists’.

    Jebus. It seems like people ’round here just WANT to be offended.

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    kfix says:

    Well, since I was aiming for sarcastic pity rather than offended in tone, maybe one of us missed something there.

    But, I’m not even sure exactly what point you’re defending? That “insecure ‘male feminist'” wasn’t meant to be a piss-take on either the game or the feminists? Or that I missed the subtle logic of joa’s social observational skills?

  19. joa says:

    My point wasn’t that complicated – simply that both sexism and male feminism can be based in insecurity. I’m sure some male feminists are feminists because they think women will appreciate them more, or that it makes them useful or good as men. But it’s not your political views that make you a man.

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    kfix says:

    My apologies, I did not in any way mean to accuse you of having a complex point.

  21. Premium User Badge

    kfix says:

    Or any point, for that matter.

  22. Premium User Badge

    kfix says:

    Sadly it’s not that surprising, since it’s pretty much the same as every comment made by johncage on this site ever.

  23. tormos says:

    seriously if I had one wish about RPS it would be that people stopped engaging/deblocking johncage and Pope Ratzo