Emporium is a short interactive vignette. Exploring notions of escapism, loss and a fragmented sense of self in the wake of a personal tragedy.
These pockets of dissonant clarity are a vain effort to find beauty, poetry and reason in one's bleakest and most desperate moments.
Emporium is a small game lasting roughly 30 to 45 minutes, available for PC from Steam, itch.io and GameJolt.
It has a minimal approach to game play, focusing on visuals and audio to build a visceral experience with sporadic dialogue choices leading the narrative.
Initially Emporium was going to be an academic study of suicide, from a psychology/philosophy standpoint. Delivered though a single branching dialogue between two connected characters, with a background narrative tying it all together. However during the writing process the whole thing was becoming very analytical and standoffish.
After some reworking and realigning my focus, the game took on a more introspective path - less academic. More sensory. This gave the game an overall more intimate feeling, and was a significantly more personal project for me to work on.
Although Emporium touches on themes of suicide, depression, bipolar and dissociative identity disorder in a very fleeting way, it’s not necessarily a game about those things. More a sort of confused, vaguely poetic response to those things.
*NOTE* Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics cards.
ABOUT THE DEVELOPER
Hello, I’m Tom Kitchen. I’m an artist, illustrator, and something close to a game designer.
In 2014 I joined up with a small group of friends to form Blind Sky Studios. In August of 2016 we released Mandagon, a small pixel art game inspired by Tibetan theology and philosophy.
Mandagon currently has 300,000+ downloads on steam, with 3,500+ user reviews - overall very positive. view Mandagon on steam
Following the success of Mandagon I began work on a small side project titled EMPORIUM. This game would become my first solo endeavour as a game designer.
Right now I’m in the beginning stages of Blind Sky Studios’ next collaborative project titled Adam, an expansion of a prototype built back in 2014. Adam tells the story of a man suffering from alzheimer's who is disowned by his family. view adam’s website here
indiegames.com said of EMPORIUM "It's striking in its art and music, all while the story drags you through some ruthlessly emotional moments." The full article can be seen here.