While many of us were playing games like FF VII Remake or Doom Eternal while staying home this past year, one geek decided he wanted to use that time to make his own game. So he learned some game development skills from YouTube and created Gloom and Doom, an indie game about being stuck in life.
What he ended up with is a quirky visual novel about an ancient ghost named Gloom and a young girl named Wynona who is destined to destroy the world.
According to the self-described “game dev noob” Drew Pan, the story is based on his experiences during university. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, his friend was stuck in a lousy job, and another friend couldn’t get out of a toxic relationship. “I sort of combined all of that into a horror concept with a wraith as the protagonist,” he explained.
The game is not horror in the regular sense of big dramatic scares or intense gore; Pan opted for a lighter tone reminiscent of the 90s slacker movies he grew up with. The “horror” comes from that feeling of being unable to progress from a certain point in your life.
“I think it’s something a lot of us can relate to,” he said. “Maybe you’re in a unfulfilling job or a wrong relationship. Maybe you feel like you’re going nowhere. But no matter what you do, the next day will just be more of the same. Like you’re living in a bad sitcom.”
Inspired by the clever storytelling and simplicity of Doki Doki Literature Club, Pan designed his indie game as a visual novel. He felt that this genre was something he could explore as a first game.
Not too much is known about the story now except for the rough outline and the promise of quirky characters like a skateboarding angel and a demon girl-next-door best friend. With these types of characters, it’s safe to say that Gloom and Doom has a healthy dose of the supernatural.
The aesthetic is not like most visual novels, opting for a Western-comic style instead of the traditional anime look. We like the thick lines and bold colors because it’s different, and that skateboarding angel looks pretty radical.
Gloom and Doom releases sometime in late September 2020 (at the earliest), and you can find it on Steam here.
Disclaimer: Drew Pan is an on/off contributor to Geek Culture.