Monday, May 21, 2018

My Mother’s Demons promises to bleed onto the table

There is a thin line between experimental group therapy and some indie RPGs. (Not that I’m in a position to talk. A lot of my unpublished RPG work can be described that way) My Mother’s Demons definitely dances on that line.

From the Indie Megamix Mixtape, My Mother’s Demons is a short form RPG about a daughter going to her sick or dying mother but she can only communicate with her mother’s demons.

It’s critical to understand that demons, in this case, doesn’t mean any kind of supernatural creature or even a negative part of the mother’s personality. They are the mother’s coping or protective mechanisms like shame or anger and they are fiercely invested in the mother’s well being.

The game is entirely narrative and has the daughter asking questions which lead to the demons framing scenes in order to provide answers. The daughter will not be in active player in the scenes but she can help guide the scene. In a way, the daughter is the game master. The game ends with the daughter having a conversation with each demon, putting them to rest so the mother can be well.

An important concept in many indie games is bleed, which is when emotions spill over from the game. My Mother’s Demons has a ridiculous potential for bleed. In fact, I’m sure that’s the point. A game of My Mother’s Demons without bleed would basically be a failure.

I respect the game for creating a structure for potentially very powerful experiences. However, I would be reluctant to play it myself and be very careful who I played it with. 

Even by short form, Indie RPG standards, My Mother’s Demons is a niche creation. Unlike many niche games, though, you might not know if you are in the niche.

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