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Revision as of 14:41, 23 June 2015 by Hexzyle (Talk | contribs) (Adding quotes of the overview, and bunny design. Will add "story" block of text from ingame when I get a chance)

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OBEY does not have official ingame lore, but it does have underlying subliminal messages intentionally designed by Daniel Dez, the developer.

"OBEY was inspired by authoritarian systems of influence and the way they function. OBEY is not about bunnies or robots at all: the meaning of OBEY becomes evident when you realize that the situation spontaneously arising in your game with your fellow players mirrors a recurring human pattern.

These are the ideas that have, and will continue to inform my decisions on OBEY."

~Daniel Dez

The "Story" can be viewed from the main menu, and discusses the ideas behind the general game design.

Dez also revealed the graphical design of Robosaru (Originally submitted to the Robosaru page)

"The design of the robot is intended to represent illegitimate power. The halo embodies one of the worst forms of this: the merging of religion and nationalism (both illegitimate forms of influence on their own) typically for the justification of aggression. It is also the source of the light beam (fear) that malevolently watches over others (literally and figuratively). The robot's shape is meant as a Christ figure / totem pole emphasizing the religious aspect of anachronistic and plainly false explanations of reality that influence the present. The robot is gold colored, a giant golden idol that everyone wants to own, yet is the fulcrum of their trouble and that players also hate or envy only when it isn't theirs. It is also adorned with trite symbols of peace and love: cheap attempts to conceal it's true and obvious nature, as is often the case with most examples of illegitimate power.

The main cannon is a giant phallus. It is the main instrument of control in the game and represents patriarchal and misogynistic systems used to justify all manner of violence, coercion, and injustice (and not without irony in a video game).

Robosaru also takes the form of a simian. Ostensibly the most intelligent branch of life on Earth, in this case the top of it's head is cut off and the head is empty. It's brain replaced with something else, something tiny that controls it instead, and for it's own purposes. Robosaru's head was inspired by the monkeys in the 'Dinner of Doom'. One thing I usually don't talk about is that I try not to refer to Robosaru as 'him' or 'he'. It is neither. In fact, Robosaru was designed with feminine parts to not only emphasize sexual power/influence (besides the gun) but also to a lesser degree parental influence (which can sometimes take the form of illegitimate power). Note that Robosaru has 'breasts' and also the entry door is red and like a vagina (with a light above it like a clitoris), and the base supports sort of like open legs. It isn't as literal as the gun, but it is something I was thinking about when I designed it. When you gain power in OBEY, it isn't just meant to look like a tiny sperm taking power over a body, or a symbolic penis, but also like the player is regressing to the womb in a sense. We are infantilized by the things we think we want. Consider about how often power leads to self destruction. (How many celebrities destroy themselves with drugs or financially after being able to get anything they want? Consider the Khmer Rouge wrecking what remained of Cambodia after realizing power and as an indirect result of that, themselves. Same with the 3rd Reich. Or repeated again with the hell created by ISIS's attempts at an Islamic Utopia.) There are many examples.

But yes, in effect, you have basically a giant monkey-faced, brain-dead, gold-plated Christ with an enormous phallus that players use to coerce each other in the game."

~Daniel Dez

Dez mentioned bunnies as a design choice on the original Kickstarter campaign:

"I chose baby bunnies to counter the robot because I wanted the contrast and asymmetry between players inside vs outside the robot to be as large as possible. I wanted the player's avatar to reflect their (apparent) impotence against the robot's (apparent) invincibility.

Secondly, baby bunnies seem to me to be among the most defenseless and innocent of creatures, it makes it all the more shocking when it becomes evident that it is they perpetrating horrific acts against each other (for money). Sound familiar?

Finally, baby bunnies are a fitting animal to live in a magical forest, which I also wanted to have as an environment to counter the hard lines and aesthetic of the robot."

~Daniel Dez