Everybody Dies

While I was wandering though the first and second volumes of the electronic archive, I found a text based adventure game (interactive fiction) called Everybody Dies. Intrigued, I downloaded the game and began to play it. The differences between this game and other interactive fictions games (The Baron, Aisle, etc.) is how strongly characterized each person is. The perspective starts with one character who resists your commands and complains the entire time. After he dies (because everybody dies), the perspective shifts to another character, and so on as everyone dies off. Really, each of the characters illustrates how pointless life is and how each one is bogged down by petty concerns that become irrelevant in the light of their death. It also makes clear how easy it is (apparently) to die. All of the characters are focused on themselves and their own goals, and in a lot of the death circumstances, that self focus results in their deaths.

A lot of the death were incredibly detailed and interesting, but what interested me most was what happened after they died. Until in most interactive fiction where death means the game restarts at the beginning, death doesn’t end the game. The game continues on in a “void” before slowly transitioning to the next character’s thoughts. While death seems inevitable, by creating a void as a transition because characters, there is a sense of reincarnation and how all these people are truly interconnected, whether they see it within themselves or not.

The last thing that stood out to me about this game is how similar it is to an interactive fiction game I made two years ago for a different class. The game I built was called “Survive” and it focused on one character exploring an abandoned church and being forced to die again and again in increasingly bizarre circumstances. I had never heard of “Everybody Dies” at the time, but I can’t help but see how well the game is coded and how the structure of multiple characters makes the insane death much more tolerable for the game player. In a lot of ways, my game was punishing to the player, but this game is not. Even death isn’t the end. Life continues on. And I think that was the main thesis of this game.

4 thoughts on “Everybody Dies

  1. I find it humorous that we both happened to pick the same interactive story. It’s interesting that you made a game so similar. Is it available for play? It’s also interesting how you made the death in your game as a form of punishment and hardship for your players, but this game had a bright side and used death as a transition for the next character. However, I’m curious to know if you played the game from start to finish. I only made it to the second character because I got frustrated with his simple-mindedness. I ask because I wasn’t sure if there was a way to “win.”

    • At the time, I didn’t have money to put the game online, so unfortunately, no. I used to have the files on my old laptop, but now the software doesn’t work on my new computer. While I put a lot of effort into my game, I think playing “Everybody Dies” is a lot more enjoyable and well thought out than my game was. It’s just a matter of coding experience, really.

      I wasn’t able to play the game from start to finish, I got to about the third or fourth character before I had to stop playing. I don’t really think there is a way to win the game, but I’d have to read a walk-through to be certain.

  2. Ah, ok. I think I read somewhere that it was possible to win if you work the characters correctly. I personally don’t see how but I only got to the second character before I stopped playing, so I thought I would ask.

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