Hello there, I’m Martin Ganteföhr – the Creative Lead behind the State of Mind team at Daedalic Entertainment in Germany. Today, I have the pleasure – and, indeed, pride – to present the aforementioned State of Mind, a dark, deep, and ultimately dangerous thriller that focuses on of the most discussed topic of the day, transhumanism.
Dare I say it myself, but State of Mind comes into view at just the right time. We’re living during an era of immense technological promises, but one saddled with equally weighty concerns. Do we leave our bodies behind and are immortal in virtual reality? Or do we head for a digital revolution that will seal the end of humanity? Both avenues are readily being discussed seriously within the offices in Silicon Valley.
As a result, we just couldn’t resist dipping our own toes into this particular pool, delivering a thriller powered by a complex, fragmented story.
Two worlds, two protagonists
In State of Mind, two completely different worlds sit in contrast to each other. On the one hand, you have a dystopian Berlin in 2048 – the ‘real’ world, if you like – and on the other you have a new, bold, and supposedly ‘perfect’ virtual world dubbed City 5.
State of Mind’s lead is Richard Nolan; a journalist, family father, and technology critic, whose life has begun to fall to pieces. His memories are starting to shatter, his wife and child have disappeared, and almost all of the certainties in his life have faded away. The big question is, what has happened?
Naturally, Richard sets out to uncover what is going on underneath the surface of this sullen and suspicious city. Along his journey, Richard will discover the crack that not only bleeds through his own life, but also through to another world where he finds he’s mysteriously connected with a second protagonist: Adam Newman.
A multi-perspective, modern adventure
The relationship between these two contrary worlds – and, indeed, the two men who reside in them – is essentially the heart of the game. However, State of Mind isn’t primarily a thriller about the technology of the future, but rather it’s about the people that live in it.
Richard Nolan has to get his life – and literally his self – together. He uses his investigative nous, picks up gadgets aplenty, and interacts with the people around him to make progress, taking his first steps into a network of intrigue and secrets: one littered with dealers and cyber anarchists with their own vices and motivations.
We experience all this together with Richard; the temptations, the hazards, and the contrary truths of both worlds. And we also get to learn the stories behind the two central figures from a whole variety of perspectives.
Time jumps and character changes: mementos
This, however, is where things get complex. Since the time Richard lives in is the product of former events, State of Mind allows players to play in the past. It’s a mechanic we call “mementos”, and playing within them allows you to access the world Richard lives in, the characters he interacts with, and time itself.
The look: (un-)realism and fragile characters
The idea of putting something fragile together is fundamental for State of Mind: the fragmented story, the division between the two worlds and the two torn protagonists Richard and Adam are the product of this.
In addition, it’s also an approach visible in the game’s art style: the “sharded low-poly” look. This style let our figures appear as edgy and fragile characters like they are in the story.
We are very proud that we have found an art style that reflects the (un-)realism of the transhumanastic idea and demonstrate how fragile the reality is. As such, State of Mind benefits from a unique look, and hopefully it gives play the human touch we think is befitting of our game.