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A procedurally generated prelude to a kiss, October 21, 2020
by Enrique Henestroza Anguiano (Oakland, California)

A cafe serves a bagel-centric spin on avocado toast, a party has an analog radio playing in background, and a cousin’s loft is decorated with a shiny new vitamix. After this, a moment of hesitation, of anticipation, or of self-doubt. A bit of pretentious banter about jazz from him, a flirty line about ears from her, or a smile from them. And finally, after a moment of consideration, there’s a kiss, clean and smooth, or close-lipped and awkward. is a procedurally generated game in 5 extremely short acts covering various settings, moments, and feelings leading up to a fateful kiss. The progression from one act to the next appears to be fairly random, with each act containing three or so possible links that are drawn from a larger pool and are cycled through in real time. These UI choices support and enhance the themes of anticipation and possibility in the game.

While simple, the game is effective at creating a sense of place, time, and feeling in a very small package, with the short length encouraging replayability. After several playthroughs, additional themes emerge: the commonality of human experience and desire across infinite possible permutations, the serendipity of chance encounters, and the delight in making the most of the cards you happen to be dealt in one potentially special moment.