Time Flies is a small time management game that was discovered during this years Summer Game Fest. On its surface, it appears to be a fairly simple time management game where you explore a house and try to complete as many tasks as you can before dying. Each run takes between one and two minutes.
The whimsical music in the teaser sounded like a mic being dropped: You are a fly. Make the most of the time you have. Because we all will die.
Michael Frei, the other half of the Games development team (along with programmer Raphael Munoz), told me that he was interested in having a fly as a useless, almost irritating thing. [I think] thats something we strive to accomplish every day, like what is meaningful to me. What should I do with my life?
In Time Flies, you take control of a fly in a minimalistically drawn world that consisted of several rooms in a house or apartment. The fly desires of getting drunk before it dies, but you fail to get up beside the droplet on the table next to it, and your list becomes one item shorter.
Frei asserted that playing is one form of entertainment, although, as in real life, flitting around and dying without achieving a single meaningful goal is equally valid.
Ultimately, it's up to the player, according to the player.
Another possibility is that your allotted play time varies depending on your geographical location. The game compares your IP address to a list of life expectancies per country, and gives you an equivalent number of seconds to explore. Players in countries with better healthcare and less pollution will have several seconds longer to explore before their fly dies of old age.
Frei, who resides in Switzerland, states that depending on where you live, you may have more or less luck in life.
Time Flies is a far less abstract game than Freis previous games, Plug & Play (2015) and Kids (2018), which are more like interactive short films that involve pushing, pulling, and prodding figures through shady black-and-white environments. Thats not to say you will be upgrading your flys skill tree, but it's an evolution.
Time Flies was inspired by Glider, an old Mac game, that was my first video game ever played, and it was my father's Mac Classic, the first Mac you could acquire in Switzerland, according to Frei.
Time Flies was a browser extension that generated annoying, buzzing fly flies around website elements that were following you. Frei considered having the titular character be a single pixel rather than an actual animated fly. The outcome is something we cant quite envision.
Im kind of fortunate in a way to be able to complete assignments on my own terms, which is, I think, a real pleasure, according to the speaker. Each project he's done has just barely funded the next. I have creative freedom, he said. I don't have to live up to anyone's expectations, which is interesting to me.
Also to flirt with the expectations of the audience. That's always quite interesting.
The developers conducted a survey on what people typically put on their bucket lists. Frei said the majority of people that publish their bucket lists online are more interested in bribing rights than in significance. I just hope I won't have too many regrets when Im dying.
Time Flies is scheduled to be released on Mac, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC in 2023.