It’s June, the month of gaymers for being Pride Month and for E3. Last year I spent half of Pride Month dedicated to covering stuff from Dream Diary Jam because I’m a fucking Yume Nikki nerd. This year, I decided that I should focus on stuff befitting the occasion, so I’m spending this month looking at games by LGBT devs.
The first game I’m looking at is We Met Once, Perhaps in a Dream, by Metaparadox. It is a visual novel made in Ren’py for Accessajam, a game jam with accessibility as a focus.
Okay, so first off, I dig the setting and the premise of the game. In the game, the characters are immortal, but it isn’t a big deal in itself. The game doesn’t try to look at the big picture of the whole thing like the logistics of resources in a world of immortality nor does the story’s conflict have a big impact where the world or the state of eternal life is at stake. The story instead focuses on characters who are minor in the grand scheme of things and how they’re affected by the whole immortality shtick. I always kinda live for when background things get more focus over bigger picture stuff, it’s relatable and it kinda leaves room for you to wonder about the daily lives of other people in the world.
You are Amberlynn, a girl who is 671-years-old who has long given up keeping track of her own history. However, her interest in the journals she wrote renews when a girl named Gemma moves in next door. While immortality is sweet, it does have an awful side effect in that people that don’t actively record their histories wind up forgetting decades to centuries of stuff since the brain can’t handle holding all those memories. Amberlynn, however, faintly remembers her.
Amberlynn could hang out with Gemma and ignore the journals, eventually hitting it off naturally. If you want fully happy lesbians, stop right here. You can then choose to ruin this by reading the journals and going through her old memories. Ignorance is bliss, as you’re pretty much doomed to have a gray ending the moment you start reading those books. Eternal life may have the curse of making you forget your past, but sometimes, there are things worth forgetting. Much like the endings, immortality is a gray concept with regards to memory, holding the ability to make you forget those you care about while allowing your sins to be forgotten.
I kinda wish that there was more, because I feel the story moves a bit too fast. However, as something made in a week, it’s pretty neat for something made within that timeframe.
And speaking of that jam, let’s look at the accessibility options. You can change the font to OpenDyslexic, a free font dedicated to mitigating reading problems caused by dyslexia. If you’re generally hard at reading, you can enable a voice over option that reads the text boxes and choices that you hover over. While that’s a good addition, it is flawed if you have “auto” enabled, as the game will often move to the next box before the voice over is done reading.
We Met Once, Perhaps in a Dream is a nice examination on the trope of immortality and how it plays into memory and relationships. Art is serviceable but isn’t a big focus of the visual novel. The game is pretty short and you can probably see all the ending variants within an hour. Metaparadox is working on other games, with three demos up on her itch.io, so check those out if you’re interested in her work and in gay stuff.