Someone, probably Michael Lutz, told me about Notes From The Casketgirl by Sloane a year or more ago and it’s been on my list of things to check out since then. I finally sat down with it, headphones in, and got deep into it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve played a Twine game, and maybe longer since I’ve played one that I’ve really enjoyed. Twine games don’t show up in my feeds as much as they once did, and I have less and less time to seek out games (hopefully that changes soon).
Notes From The Casketgirl is a romance story packaged in a horror concept. A casketmaker shows you the world through the beauty of the objects she makes. There’s not much more to it than that, and I could end here by saying that you should check the game out here. But I won’t.
I think Twine games might be really suited for giving us the gothic in game form. The gothic is a genre, and like all genres it has tropes that it is made of: the bleak world, the Romantic antiheroes, the beauty of death, the love of the grave. Dante Gabriel Rossetti burying his unpublished poems with his dead-before-her-time wife, regretting it, and digging her up: that’s gothic.
When those tropes are presented visually, it seems like they’re robbed of something. Alucard cursing his existence in a castle surrounded by pentagrams is certainly gothic, but it lacks the weight that lives in those textual descriptions. So it seems to me that Twine might be one of the few ways of making games that actually have the full weight of the gothic.
Anyway, these were thoughts I had after playing Notes From The Casketgirl, so play that.