Damon Reece is the lead writer on Necrobarista, a visual novel about death and coffee (and therefore the rest of life) rendered in a bespoke-unto-madness 3D anime style and set very definitively in Melbourne, Australia. It’s in most ways a visual novel, but there are key ways in which it couldn’t be written or built like an ordinary one of those—or indeed like a movie, or quite like anything else.
In this conversation, Damon tells me how this wonderful game was made, why Route 59 probably wouldn’t make a game like this again, why Metroid Prime rules, and all sorts of stuff that Australian players don’t need explained to them even though I most definitely did—like the fact that Necrobarista isn not set in the future, and what the hell Goon of Fortune is.
You can play Necrobarista on Steam and Apple Arcade.
You can get the soundtrack on Steam and Bandcamp.
You can also follow Damon (and Route 59) on Twitter.
• Early on, I attribute to Damon a thought that actually came from one of his Route 59 colleagues, namely that a story about death is a bit similar to a story about teenagers, in terms of emotional register.
• If you do want to hear more about indigenous Australian (or “Australian”) representation in games, do check out our talk with Phoebe Watson about Chaos Tavern.
• Starbucks has made a bit more headway in Colombia, but the fight has not been lost as yet.
“All The People Say (Season 3)” by Holly Hyperion.
“Optimism,” “Confluence,” and “Nostalgia Trip” from the Necrobarista Original Soundtrack by Kevin Penkin, with additional production by Jeremy Lim.
Logo by Aaron Perry-Zucker, using Icons by by Llisole, Dávid Gladiš, Atif Arshad, Daniel Nochta, Mike Rowe, Jakub Čaja, Raji Purcell and IconsGhost from the Noun Project.