Close your eyes to interact.

Michaël Samyn, February 22, 2012

One of the things I want to capture in Bientôt l’été is the sort of introverted, concentrated way in which almost nothing happens but a few words spoken, a small gesture made, the way in which Duras seeks for precision, accuracy, by standing still, and focusing. I wanted to find an interaction, a “mechanic” if you will, to express this, so you would feel this process when you play, do this activity of focusing, of freezing in your steps and concentrating. I felt I couldn’t use the “let go to interact” mechanic of The Path because, this time, the player needed to be in control. He or she needs to do this, engage with what they are looking at. But in a way that is almost passive, almost nothing.

So I came up with a simple idea: press a key to close your eyes: the screen becomes black, and the object you want to interact with fades in. You need to hold the key (=keep your eyes closed) long enough for the object to be completely “there”. When it is, the interaction happens (in most cases, collecting something from the beach, often a phrase).

This activity of closing your eyes is always available. You can also do it when no object is nearby. You can blink, if you like. As such it is our version of Grand Theft Auto’s greatest feature: honking the car horn. :) When you keep your eyes closed for a bit longer, your inventory of collected items fades in. We’re thinking of these items more as memories (as in The Path). Though there will also be real objects that you can carry with you and play with in the café.

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