I’m kind of obsessed with Mike Bithell’s Thomas Was Alone. For those who aren’t familiar with awesome things, its an indie puzzle game where you play as a gang of rogue artificial intelligences, each represented by a simple shape on screen. You guide the characters as a group to the end of each level, using each one’s unique abilities and properties to help the team overcome obstacles.
What’s so great about it, though, is that each character has their own unique personality and quirks. Despite the fact that the cast are all portrayed as squares and rectangles, they have more depth than a lot of 3d-modeled characters in AAA games. Thomas (the red rectangle in the image above) is trying to find his place in the world, but is optimistic that he’s meant for something. Chris (the orange square) starts out as kind of a jerk who prefers to work alone, and so on.
I was playing it a bit the other day, and while all the characters are great, I found myself wondering what it would be like if there were one more. A badass who plays by his own rules. A man who lives life on the edge. Insert third cliche for “boilerplate teen rebel character” here.
Awwwww yisssss. Right off the bat, you can tell this guy doesn’t conform to your fascist system, old man. He’s 3d. He’s pointy. He probably has an embossed denim jacket that’s not really cool anymore but he still wears it anyway because ATTITUDE. Quadrilaterals want to be him and parallelograms want to be with him. He chain smokes and keeps the pack rolled up in his sleeve, etc., etc.
Approximately four minutes after realizing that this was A) a horrendously stupid idea and B) I have a lot of horrendously stupid ideas that would otherwise destroy my favorite games (see my Dark Souls post, for example), I got started on a theme song for this guy. And if you’re questioning why a grown man would spend any amount of time writing music about a geometrical shape with a bad attitude, what are you, my mom?
You can hear the track below. If you haven’t yet, go play Thomas Was Alone. You can buy it through Steam or direct from the developer here. You should also check out the amazing soundtrack by David Housden, instead of this unofficial nonsense.