_transfer in an interactive narrative adventure game where players take on the role of a superintelligent artificial life form and need to explore a hostile computer network and converse with its mysterious inhabitants in order to uncover their reason for being. Gameplay is almost entirely text based, consisting of dialogue between the player and strange others where the player selects an option to respond with or types an action to take against the others. Players slowly begin to pick apart the system and their place in it, sometimes driving the world towards a new apocalypse, sometimes saving it, and sometimes being subject to forces they cannot control. The game has a total of 10 different characters, and any of them can be the player character (which one is chosen pseudorandomly at start). The core story is meant to be played multiple times, and the multiple characters give different perspectives to the main events of the narrative and culminates in well over 35 different endings.
The inspiration for the game came from the creators’ experience with their own genders. Both _transfer’s designer/developer Hyacinth and writer Reed are nonbinary and wanted to make a game that illustrated the confusion that comes with not having the right language to put to themselves and their identities. As a result, the game is dark (both tonally and visually), confusing, and slightly obtuse; it deals with themes of identity, sexuality, and finding your place in a world that wants to erase you.
Hyacinth Nil - Developer
Reed Lewis - Writer/Narrative Designer