I Doesn’t Exist Offers Talking Mushrooms, Existential Dread

Fans of old Sierra adventure games rejoice! I Doesn’t Exist, stylized as [I] Doesn’t Exist, is an upcoming text adventure game that features charming pixel graphics and draws inspiration from classic text adventures such as King’s Quest. Right now, you can support its development through the team’s Kickstarter. They’re nearly halfway there at time of writing, with another four weeks to meet their funding goal.

The game’s story is a traditional three-act structure, but each act includes distinct visuals and reveal more about I Doesn’t Exist’s world and the protagonist. The planned demo will cover the first act, letting players dip their toes into the world and catch its vibes. Verbs and objects are often very precise, which can be a source of frustration in text adventure games. To tackle this, the team implemented a conversational AI and began teaching it words to keep the gameplay immersive and moving.

The first act, mostly finished, is a traditional text adventure in the vein of Zork from the 1980s. LUAL Games plans to open up the world after the introductory act, making the game less of a linear experience. One of the team’s most important rules when designing the game was to avoid walls of text, ensuring a smooth, easy read. The graphics use only eight colors but include a variety of animations to bring the characters and world to life. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a cute little mushroom will offer hints if you ever feel stuck at a puzzle.

I Doesn't Exist Mushroom
I mean, look at this little fella.

LUAL Games, based in Switzerland, is a duo comprised of Anna-Lena Pontet (programming and game design) and Luzia Hüttenmoser (art and game design). The two recently completed their bachelors at the Zürich University of Arts. After receiving support and encouragement, the two decided to turn their bachelor project into a full-fledged game. Jonas Fülleman and Paul Schmidt provide the soundtrack. As fellow alumni, they’ve ensured that the soundtrack is dynamic and procedural. I Doesn’t Exist’s audio experience is different for every player and every game. The team has already won several awards and nominations. These include an Interactive Media Grant from ProHelvetia and several showcases at GDC. Check out their official website for more details.