What Isn't Saved (working title) is an interactive fiction game in which the player takes the role of an AI sorting through a woman's uploaded memories after her death. Inspired by games like Her Story and Cibele, this piece is concerned with what it means to put a life back together after a trauma and how our narratives of ourselves are constructed. By reading the constantly-glitching text and clicking the UI buttons at the bottom of each memory, players determine which memories to save and which to discard. (Some discarded memories can be partially recovered, though not without decay). The game uses a quality-based narrative system to determine what players have chosen, unlocking further branches and more complicated memories. The status bar at the top will ultimately pace their exploration of Sara's life, and her relationship with her girlfriend Zoe, the scientist who has made this neural upload possible. As the pronouns in Sara's memories glitch out as the AI processes them, players are asked to dwell on the relationship between self and memory.
Once the player is satisfied with their choices, Sara's memories are redownloaded to her body, which the game indicates is simultaneously being repaired by nanites. The end results will use that quality-based system to reflect the player's choices and investments: if they've discarded memories of trauma, the dialogue will reflect that. If they've discarded all memories of Zoe, the game will reflect that also. The ending will be highly granular, reflecting the consequences of individual player choices.
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