I Used to be With It, But Then They Changed What It Was

Now What I’m With Isn’t It

Re-writing Stars Fall Up in 2021 from its 2016 original version was a more interesting experience than I was expecting. The most prominent change was the game’s subtitle, originally “a mini-RPG for Us Damn Millennials”. When I first wrote the game, I was drawing directly from the life experiences of myself and my friends, and my general peer group of 20-somethings, us all cramped into tiny apartments with each other while bouncing from job to job and town to town in the years after college, spinning from one friend circle to the next as you meet and leave important people in your life. But I’m no longer in that world (and overall pretty glad about it). Not to say my lifestyle has undergone a wholly transformative change, but I’ve obliged to move along with the tides of time. I feel that the messages of this game will still connect with plenty of people out there, or as I have to call them now, “younger people”. But I also don’t want to make this a thing about age; everyone has their circumstances, so I want to leave the game open to whoever feels it resonates with them, and welcome them just the same. To that end I’ve re-established the subtitle as “a mini-RPG for the Damn Kids These Days”.

It is an exercise in nostalgia to be working with the art assets for the game again, too. Even more than the mechanics, they are a product of the time when I was working on this project all summer, three and a half apartments ago. They were all doodles drawn by my friend group at the time, many of whom were also the initial playtesters, and more of the inspiration for this game than I can rightly give credit for. I can’t say I’m as close with many of those people now as I was back then, mostly just because that’s how the flow of time goes sometimes. But when considering whether or not to get new art assets for the re-write, I came to the decision pretty quickly to keep the original drawings as faithful as possible to the original, because even if no other readers would ever notice, they’re quite integral to me as part of the essential package of SFU.

And It’ll Happen to You, Too

I’m not as “online” as I used to be, not to say that I was ever really “with it” back in the day when I was the age to be so, but back when the game was released in 2016, hashtags had a fresher spot in youth culture, and they managed to extend their life by being encased in the resin of comedic irony, with people jokingly saying “hashtag blessed” and whatnot. (well, most of them ironically). Nowadays hashtags are srs bsns, they’re used to promote multi-million dollar events or products or help professionals get more eyes on their work. Maybe hashtags grew up too. I didn’t want to switch up such an integral part of the game, also because I have no idea what current social media trend I’d replace them with. Maybe this will cause the game to have a bit more of a nostalgic feel, but that’s alright.

 

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— Nagi

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Author: Nagi