Their own output might be spottier than a ladybird farm, but Double Fine most certainly have an eye for a great concept, both in their self-made games and the select few they publish. Gang Beasts, Mountain, Everything, Thoth and the upcoming Ooblets and Knights and Bikes all came up through the Double Fine Presents programme, and joining that number is the cute-but-haunting Kids. It’s an extremely striking game about manipulating huge crowds of faceless people. Including chucking ’em all down a bloody great hole.
Kids is developed by Swiss outfit Playables, previously responsible for the similarly-styled, surreal Plug & Play. If you’ve heard of Kids before, it’ll likely be because it was nominated for the Nuvo prize at this year’s Independent Games Festival awards. Which, you would be correct to intuit, means that it is far from conventional. It’s pretty spectacular to behold, however:
Double Fine describe it as “experimental” and an “interactive animation”, which implies they’re not planning to remix Kids into something more pedestrian. You can get some sense of how it’s going to shake out in the above video, but official blurb stops short at “Kids allows you to move with and against crowds until everyone is gone.” I imagine there may be a metaphor or two in here, eh?
Kids the game is part of a multi-media triumvurate, also including a film and a Zurich-based art exhibition, which you can see some of here:
The game’s due out later this year, and a session with it will apparently last between 15 and 30 minutes. I don’t fully understand what it involves yet, but all those marching, colliding and plummeting bodies look danged impressive if you ask me. It’s got itself a Steam page, if you want to do that whole wishlisting thing.