Fishbowl demo live today, filled with cozy memories and strange dreams

May 10, 2024
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Do you know the feeling of moving to a new city for a new job all by yourself?

In Fishbowl, our main character Alo is doing just that. You experience a slice of Alo’s ordinary life, at home. Set in urban India at the onset of the pandemic, Fishbowl serves as a vignette of that time through our eyes. A new PS5 demo available today lets you get a taste of Alo’s life.

The game follows Alo over a month during which she spends time indoors, in isolation, her phone and computer being the only connection to others. Taking care of home chores, doing her best with self care and staying on top of work-from-home are things she is still getting used to.

Until unusual dreams and bittersweet childhood memories begin to crop up, all thanks to a package sent from home, containing a mysterious toy fish. Tumble into a story of nostalgia, melancholy and self-discovery, where the choices you make, determine the path that Alo takes, leading to multiple endings, true to how you play.

Fishbowl demo live today, filled with cozy memories and strange dreams

Figuring out life one day at a time

As Alo slowly gets familiar with her new home, do care tasks like watering your plants, snacking from the fridge (samosas or idlis anyone?), make sure to stay hydrated and take moments to relax between work and chores.

The mood at home is a reflection of Alo’s emotional state and sometimes, ordinary objects may give you an idea of a larger meaning behind them—that writing desk seems awfully dingy. We hope for everybody to tinker around and discover little hints and secrets we have planted throughout the game.

Fishbowl prioritizes the every day—simple things and mundane acts, and how living through them mindfully is a way to understand our emotions and check in with ourselves.

Moving through grief at your own pace

Alo recently lost her grandmother and is uncertain about how to cope with this loss and grief. Fishbowl represents grief as an ongoing feeling and not as something to “get over” on a time limit.

Players unpack Alo’s late grandma’s belongings and uncover memories from her childhood which help them connect the dots to her past—whether it’s time spent with friends after school, your very first sleepover or the one day you were all alone in the park.

Each object in Fishbowl is a storyteller, celebrating the idea of how the things in our life can be little time capsules, reminders of days gone by—from an old sweater your grandma knitted to a storybook you barely remember. Some of these objects also unlock new things to do at home, like the beat-up record player which still lets you play a familiar tune from back when you were little.

A look into the “player first” mechanics of Fishbowl

In Fishbowl, we place importance on allowing players to experience the game as they’d like, with no time limits and no fail state. Don’t feel like doing the laundry, let it pile up, enjoy a warm shower, go for it! Much like life, we allow for players to do as much or as little as they are able and have their story unfold accordingly.

It’s our way of showing what prioritizing people over the pressure of productivity could look like. Taking the focus away from giving value to the player for their actions, but rather simply valuing them because they are.

Like when you work from home as a video editor, your colleagues encourage you to do your best if you fall behind and cheer you on if you get things done in time. And you support them too, whether it’s the intern who is struggling or an old-timer who doesn’t see their worth.

Meet our characters and experience a slice of urban India

As the game progresses you meet characters, each one with a rich, unique story of their own. You get to know them through video calls that have branching conversations where choices matter. Through these, you understand how others are managing in the lockdown, you get to delve further into Alo’s life, forge new friendships and stay in touch with those dear to you.

We give players a window into Indian craft and culture. As fans of pixel art, we were keen to portray everyday Indian objects and diverse characters in this style. Tiny details in the backgrounds will tell you a little more about their personalities, like Zuari’s certificate for becoming one of the youngest government school teachers or how Iris’ love for DIY has her sewing and knitting her own clothes.

Through Fishbowl we’d like to take you on a journey to feel all feelings as there are no right endings. Fishbowl’s demo is now out on PS5 and we hope you enjoy playing this one day in our month-long story made by a two-person team from Goa, India.

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