Cosmonet Games

Description (in English): 

Cosmonet Games are a set of digital games that are designed around the idea of an indirect branching narrative. That is, instead of a player making direct choices on the game story (choosing to take the path to the left, saying no to the king, etc.) the player makes the inconsequential choices of everyday life that define the player character’s personality. The story then evolves based on the small choices, having them influence the big, uncontrollable events of the main story.

Originally inspired by a mutual love of personality quizzes (Buzzfeed, specifically), designers Martzi Campos & Sean Bloom wanted to see if a game could be built solely on taking them. Cosmonet is set in a near future in an alternate universe where Russia won the space race. The game takes place entirely on the computer console of Lena, a bored cosmonaut who is stuck in space trying to teach birds how to fly in zero gravity. She converses with friends and family through chat, and conducts experiments, which the player has no direct control over, but in her down time she takes personality quizzes where the player makes her choices. Depending on her results, on such pressing issues as ‘what job should you have’ and ‘what kind of toaster are you’, Lena may or may not save her job, her relationship and the very birds she is training to fly.

Cosmonet was originally created in 48 hours for the Global Game Jam, and left the creators excited to explore the concept of indirect branching beyond the scope of a personality quizzes. They went onto create a longer, more expansive game, From Ivan.

From Ivan, the sister, or more accurately, brother piece to Cosmonet, takes place in the same shared universe as the original but focuses on Lena’s brother Ivan, who works a mundane job on earth as an HR representative. Ivan’s primary focus is on which is the most appropriate greeting card to send to co-workers for various events, and sorting through his mail. If Cosmonet is a love letter to personality quizzes, from Ivan is the same for the epistolary narrative by unfolding entirely in letters and notes sent to and from Ivan.

Both games focus on the idea that how you choose to define yourself creates your story. Cosmonet is how you define yourself internally and how your convictions decide your fate, and in From Ivan it is how you relate to others that affects both the world around you and your own path.


Screen shots: 
The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Eirik Herfindal