Plenty of things in life have expiration dates: cartons of milk, your passport, antiperspirants. After a week in the fridge, you should really retire that open bottle of wine. Relationships, on the other hand, don’t usually come marked with an end date. You might see the end coming from a ways away, but the ‘when’ is, in most cases, unclear.
Not so in Ephemera (French: Les éphémères), a new narrative experience currently in development by Interim Studio. Designed by Lazlo Bonin and animated by Jazz Eladas, Ephemera is a “notgame” in which you have one fleeting summer to spend with your love before she leaves in September.
You get to choose between lingering on your memories of her, bringing the past to life with splashes of watercolor in a pristine white world, or live in the moment and enjoy your dwindling time together. Looking through her silhouette, the world is filled with color. Ephemera’s unique, painterly art style sets the game’s wistful tone, visualizing what it is to feel that life lights up in the presence of a certain person and how color is leached out when that person goes away.
Your actions dictate how you will remember this final summer: piece together your days through impressionistic vignettes, captured on film or painted with ink. Voiced in Quebec French, this second-person narrative unfolds like a work of art, exploring themes of time, memory, and loss.