Archive for March 28th, 2010

Grandmother(‘s House)

March 28th, 2010 by Auriea

When you reach Grandmothers House, it is night. But once inside you discover things may not be as you remember them. It is a memory of a house, of a relationship between two generations, and possibly another more sinister presence. You head through the corridors to the Bedroom. If you haven’t met the murduring wolf GAME OVER. Begin again. If you have, you find grandmother dead. And you are murdered as well. SUCCESS! Begin Again. Only this time, there is one less Red avatar to choose from.

–From the 2006 design document for The Path.

As you get closer to her house the sun sets. So her home is always shrouded in darkness. And you can see the forest also at night by entering closer to Grandmother’s House (thus the colors you see will vary depending on the ‘time of day’ you enter the forest.)

So what, exactly, is up with Grandmother?

In the fairy tales, Grandmother is a bed-ridden enigma. So we let it be in The Path. One must think of all the possible symbolism of her Bedroom (where the story ineveitably always ends.) and her Bed (which makes an appearance at every end-game.) In this house, the girls find a way to either remember or misremember or fantasize all their love for grandmother and angst for her unknown ways. Not to mention a place to revel in their own traumatic situations. But what traumas do young girls have. Trouble at school, dark places under the bed, coming to terms with growing up.

And thus her house becomes what the girls want to see. If no wolf has gotten there first then it is simply about the relationship between the girl and her grandmother. The house can get quite odd. The overlays you see when interacting with objects in the Forest all relate back to these, half remembered half imagined ‘memories’ the girls have, that they put into their ‘basket’ and bring with them to their Grandmother’s House. They invade her home as much as the wolves do. Leaving you to wonder if any of it is really happening at all in Grandmother’s reality.

these are the various reference sheets we used to clarify what each girl’s experience of the house would be.

Of course, if you meet the wolf in the forest the path to the bedroom changes. The wolf invasions superimpose themselves on the ‘Safe’ configurations of Grandmother’s House. Suddenly rooms which before seemed dark and eerie are now damaged and transfigured, seen through the lens of the each girls new experience. Her world is changed. The house is changed. The comfort of the normal ending at Grandmother’s side is lost to her forever. Yes, an intense experience. But in every case, we hope, an experience worth having.

The art of Fuco Ueda

March 28th, 2010 by Michael

One of the artists whose work inspired the design of the Red Girls and helped us defined the atmosphere of The Path was Fuco Ueda. Her pictures of girls who all look like each other, as if they were family or maybe even multiple versions of the same person, greatly spoke to our feelings about our little family of Red Girls. Miss Ueda’s combination of the surreal and the horrific with the sensual and the innocent encouraged our own. Especially the recurring theme of desire -a desire that almost always leads to some form of pain (if only bloody knees)- felt very appropriate.

We had the honor of interview Fuco Ueda through our six protagonists. You can read the result here.