All or Nothing (1973)

by Autumn Chen profile


Web Site

Go to the game's main page

Member Reviews

Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Give your All and get Nothing..., June 5, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov

Adding to the Goncharov craze of November 2022, All or Nothing (1973) takes on a meta commentary approach on internet trends, the cashing out on said trends*, and artistic creation. Set during an undefined present, we discover through snippets a group of four adults are putting together a trailer for a Kickstarter project to create a Goncharov movie, competing with other crowd-sourced project on the same idea.
*which, lol, considering the jam

The game starts as a rendition of a scene for a Goncharov movie*, being shot, formatted like a script and with a dark edited picture. You get to choose some options about where the scene goes until one of the characters yells CUT, following one of the actors fumbling his lines. The scene moves to real life (change in background and font), as the crew bickers about the production. The game will continue flipping between the dark setting while the scenes are shot and the brighter background of real life, announcing the transitions.
*which is not a real thing, just to be clear...

We are introduced to a four-member crew shooting materials for a Kickstarter campaign: Arash - playing Goncharov - the director of this whole enterprise and maybe a bit too obsessed with the project, Vivian - playing Katya - the scriptwriter who is disillusioned with making it in the industry, Tony - playing Andrey - looking for a paycheck, and Sofia - playing Sofia - also here mainly for a paycheck*.
*I think? It's not as explicit as Tony. Maybe some connection or support?

Like most of Autumn's games, All or Nothing (1973) takes a storylet approach to the storytelling of the downtime of the crew (about 2-3 scenes). You can follow two groups: Arash/Goncharov and Tody/Andrey, or Vivian/Katya and Sofia/Sofia. Each will discuss their view on the production, their worries and dreams, and what is happening in their lives.

(Spoiler - click to show) Arash's method acting is worrying some of them or getting on their nerves, but he only cares about making art and be remembered*
*this is an interesting conversation between Tony and Arash on the subject, where fame doesn't seem to interest Arash if behind it there is no creative output to show for...
Vivian is starting to resent telling Arash (her boyfriend) about the meme and letting him string her along the production, while she questions whether she still want to even pursue this.
Sofia lives in a shitty studio with a baby, Tony looks to get paid* (and maybe more?).
*Unlike the other three characters, it didn't feel like there was much to Tony. Maybe being paired with Arash made him more of a background character...

By the second storylet, lines between the characters in the real world and in scenes start to blur. Vivian and Sofia comment on events being similar to struggles the Goncharov characters suffer through, while Arash and Tony lean more and more into the method acting (with Arash being much more into it). Like their movie counterpart (according to lore), both couple have the option of potentially leaning into the sexual tension in the air (with Vivian/Arash cheating on the other*).
*Funny thing, in the lore it is unclear whether either party knows about the cheating, condones it, or resents the other for it. Still they don't see each other separating because of it.

The line fully disappears when the real world characters embodies their scene counterparts so much during the height of filming, that neither Arash, Vivian, nor Tony realise Sofia's cries to stop the scene (even her holding her child do not phase them). At this point, the background does not even return to "real-life" mode.
While Tony and Vivian do manage to come back to their senses, Arash still stays in character, ending the game with I am Goncharov...

I really enjoyed figuring out that the characters' lives mirrors the ones they portrayed (though the exact lore is unclear one the specifics), with Vivian and Arash being a couple and playing Katya and Goncharov who are canonically together, Katya's dalliance with Sofia, Goncharov and Andrey contrasting identities (light/dark, naive/serious, free/taken...)... as well as trying to find the Goncharov themes (the clock, the gun, the boat...).

A final note: the game references two works: All or Nothing (which is incidentally the name of the game, paired with the fictional release year of Goncharov) and Miss Officer and Mr Truffles, two crowdfunding campaigns which started from a meme post on Tumblr making the rounds on the website. Neither managed to deliver an end product (the second never reached its goal). A bit of a wink to A Paradox between worlds there... Is it also foreshadowing the future of this project?

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment