Brain In A Jar is a tiny little production company that is slowly, lovingly, making a science fiction point and click adventure game called Kittenface Saves the World, set in the fictional English town of Over Lyme in 1989, and various divergent futures.
The game is currently in the Alpha phase of development. It is planned as an episodic release, starting with a demo of the prologue expected some time in 2021.
Brain In A Jar is the brain child of Sam Bunn, a British artist living and working in Linz, Austria. It continues Bunn’s more left field explorations of ‘better worlds’ inside a more mainstream shell.
Bunn (writer, designer, programmer, illustrator) is working with his old friend, British musician and editor Tom Pegg (music, editing) and his wife, Austrian artist Katharina Lackner (inking) to develop the game, using Adventure Creator inside of Unity.
kittenface saves the world
(NOTE: most images are early drafts)
Kittenface Saves the World is a humourous, slightly spicy science fiction story about time travel, mind transfer and utopia. Everything connects to the Finch family residence, set in the fictional English coastal town of Over Lyme and to young Max Finch, a fizzing boy genius, who is caught up in a fantastic tangle of his own making.
The story unfolds within the house and around the town. We visit these locations in several overlapping timelines, in order to unravel the mysterious events, caused by quantum time-travel, which will and have already produced far reaching consequences fo the Finch family and the folk of the town.
The player plays as two main characters, in three bodies: Yasashī Kikai No Koe (or Kinoko for short), the daughter of the last family left alive on Earth after the invasion of the killer plants, 150 years in the future; Max Finch, a boy genius working secretly in the attic of his family house in 1989, who is desperately trying to get his home-made cryogenic freezing machine to work in order to save his cat from being put down and has other, more potent sci-fi irons in the fire; and said cat, Mr Kittens The Destroyer, who straddles both timelines in a fight for his survival.
[IMAGE – Kinoko, Max, Mr Kittens]
The future and the present interlock through a series of puzzles that connect the two timelines in an interwoven story of mystery and intrigue, as the player progresses on their way to discovering how this dark future came about and the price they must pay in order to save it.
type of game
The game is a traditional point and click adventure game where the player guides the playable characters from scene to scene, interacting with objects and NPCs. It has been created with reference to classics of the PnC genre such as Space Quest, Kings Quest and Monkey Island, sci-fi film staples of the 80s such as Back to the Future and Robocop, and various elements of 1980s pop culture.
The interface contains a slight twist on the traditional inventory: the player must use both objects and ideas in the character’s possession to solve puzzles and advance the story. Another unusual game mechanic for the genre is that often the player must die in order to advance the story.
Mr Kittens is having a tough time. Apart from the occassional moment where he is back in his old body – which is due to be put down in the morning – he is either trapped inside a human body (meatsack in ‘cat speak’), where he is forced to obey the orders of a mysterious robot (metal devil in cat speak) to complete a mysterious and compicated experiment, or he is on a perilous journey through a dystopian future filled with killer plants, in search of the heavenly palace: a place he believes to be full of cats and free from danger.
Max Finch is the character at the centre of this story – it is his actions that have seemingly created the situation the player finds themselves in – in this particular time loop.
But they player never gets to play Max directly. He is always at the fringes, on the previous page or the next, or else he has forgotten everything. Instead, the player takes control of his body as a surrogate host, either Mr Kittens or Kinoko, as they try to understand what Max is about to do / has already done.
Kinoko is a young woman from a failed totalitarian future filled with killer plants, who unexpectedly travels back to 1989 to save her family and the people she loves. Her mind is switched into the body of Max, who thinks he is in the process of saving the world from his wicked grandmother. Things get more complicated when Kinoko falls in love – in both timelines.
For further information, please contact sambunn [at] rocketmail.com