Festival Dates:
October 6 - 8, 2017
Downtown Los Angeles

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

About Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a single-player narrative game about traveling and telling stories, set in an America inspired by folklore and the Great Depression. Unlike other narrative games, however, WTWTLW is structured not as a single central narrative, but as a collection of short stories. While wandering, the player will meet 16 different characters, each of whom was written by a different writer. The stories share the theme of the failure of the American Dream, especially as it relates to those outside the mainstream of American society. The player, cursed to wander the land as the personification of Folk culture, takes on the task of spreading folktales and helping them grow, as well as collecting the life stories of the characters they meet.

The game is inspired by countless sources, most prominently things like The Grapes of Wrath, On The Road, Huckleberry Finn, Easy Rider, Matewan, Carnevale, Sister of the Road, the poems of Allen Ginsberg and Langston Hughes, and the world described in American roots music, full of grifters and loners and ghosts and magic and tragedy.

Each character is also heavily researched and drawn from historical contexts such as the miners' strikes, the Pullman Porters, the Bonus Army, the Long Walk of the Navajo, and many others.

The game has both a 3D overworld that the player wanders, having various adventures, and 2D conversation scenes between the player and the characters. In small branching choice sequences scattered around the world, the player collects stories on a variety of topics, and then trades those over the campfire with the characters encountered to learn more about their lives and their personal stories. Over time, these stories that the player scatters around will be passed from person to person and grow in the telling, becoming better (although less true). Through all this, the player must maintain their health and other resources against the difficulties of the hobo life. If the player can earn the trust and see the true inner selves of all 16 of the characters, their assigned task is over and they can rest.



About Dim Bulb Games

Johnnemann Nordhagen - lead
Serenity Forge - 2d and 3d art
Chris Dwyer - Production
Ryan Ike - Music and Sound
Kellan Jett - Concept art
Lauren Cason - 3d look development
Felix Kramer - PR
Gita Jackson - Writing
Cara Ellison - Writing
Jordan Minor - Writing
Mari Landgrebe - Writing
Claris Cyarron and Silverstring Media - Writing
Leigh Alexander - Writing
Sydney Meeker - Writing
Anne Toole - Writing
Stuart Arias - Writing
Jolie Menzel - Writing
Austin Walker - Writing
Demian Diné Yazhi’ - Writing
Emily Short - Writing
Matthew S. Burns - Writing
Laura Michet - Writing
Duncan Fyfe - Writing

Developer's Artistic Statement

I made this game in particular because I felt this might be my one chance to make a game that is mine, and I wanted to try to say some things and share some things that are particularly important to me. It has almost accidentally turned into something more relevant than I had thought initially - all the stories I researched are speaking to the identity of America, what it is and what it says it is. There are a lot of stories about workers, and the importance of unions. There are a lot of stories about race in America, and about the immigrant experience, and all these stories are about how the American Dream that we sell fails to live up to the reality as it's experienced by the most marginalized in the country. I knew that I needed to get other people to tell those stories, people who were closer to them, and I also felt it would be really interesting to weave that narrative from so many different voices.

As a backdrop for these stories I drew from my own love of travel, folk culture, and American roots music to create a world that simultaneously celebrates the fantasy of the American road story (Huck Finn, On the Road, Easy Rider) while also attempting to confront the reality of life in America and the fact that that kind of freedom is unobtainable for many people.

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