As someone who hardly plays video games, I thought I would begin this journey by playing the most basic of basic games – a game that claimed to be a short story game… One that took under 10 minutes to complete. I present to you: The Plan.
A fly ascends to the skies, pondering the pointlessness of its brief existence.
The Plan was developed by Krillbite Studio in 2012/13. The developers describe The Plan as a small side project but it has received a lot of positive attention throughout the years. They describe it as being a short, experimental game about self-discovery. I definitely noticed how calming it was to play.
The Plan offers players an eerie, yet stunning backdrop to fly along the path of life. The game can be summed up as a simple yet striking metaphor about the circle of life. The picturesque scene is also accompanied with a slightly haunting score that was performed by Oslo Camerata.
Joseph Burnstein from Buzzfeed summed up the experience of The Plan to a tee. He commented “… Here are the emotions I experienced during the three minutes it took me to play The Plan…: confusion, frustration, boredom, fear, amusement, delight, joy, enchantment, and regret.”
Steam categorises The Plan as indie, atmospheric, short and casual. Basically four words that sum up this video game perfectly. Krillbite have developed this game for Windows, Mac and Linux.
As for the rules of this game; they’re as simple as you think. You control the fly with four little buttons. [W] to go up, [A] to fly to the left, [D] to fly to the right and [X] to go down. The objective? Just keep going up. You’ll see what happens. Mobility is a key mechanic in The Plan – the whole point of it is to move around and get through an obstacle or two.
The Plan received very little initial advertising. Krillbite notified the media with a brief mailer and sent a newsletter to their friends. The rest happened through the power of the internet. Let’s plays started popping up all over Youtube and sites like Eurogamer and indiegames started writing about it.
According to the Krillbite website, The Plan was named the 10th most important game of 2013 and has been downloaded just under 800, 000 times. I downloaded my copy from Steam in the ‘free to play’ section. It is also available as a free download from their website.
Krillbite.com. (n.d.). Krillbite Studio Presskit – The Plan.
Krillbite Studio via steampowered.com (2015). The Plan, two year anniversary!
Game Designing (2017). The Beginner’s Guide to Game Mechanics.