Posted by squinky on Oct 01, 2021

Hi everyone! I'm D. Squinkifer, one of the three worker-owners of Soft Chaos, and I wanted to announce that I've just finished a new videogame project, titled Squinky and the Squinkettes present: SECOND PUBERTY!

SECOND PUBERTY started out as a project wherein I wanted to explore feelings around gender transition and starting hormones in my thirties. Then, the pandemic happened and it also partially became about getting through that whole thing. At this time of writing, the pandemic in question is still not over, and I guess neither is my gender transition, for that matter. But the game is finally as finished as it's ever going to be and therefore ready for you to play!

I designed SECOND PUBERTY to feel somewhat like a music album or a collection of poetry, uniting a bunch of small videogames around a particular theme. Each game is its own bite-sized experience, meant to be played in any order you want and to be returned to if and when you so choose, and you will probably end up with a favourite and/or a not-so-favourite. That said, there is a narrative arc of sorts embedded in the album as a whole:

"Super Modesty Bros." is about growing up in a religious purity culture and being taught to shun things.

"hold in your farts or die" is about masking in order to fit in, a common experience between queerness and neurodivergence.

"An Introvert goes to a Party" is about coexisting within a crowd of other people while dealing with sensory overload.

"Dance Dance Validation!" is about getting people to like you by becoming a compelling and charismatic performer.

"please don't leave me." is about finding oneself in an unhealthy and abusive relationship, and finding the courage to walk away.

"You wake up from a long, dark sleep" is about how it feels to slowly come out of a depressive episode.

"Hot Apocalyptic Summer" is about reuniting with your friends in a world where everything feels weird, uncertain, and, well, apocalyptic.

Incidentally, this last game kind of sums up how I've been feeling about cofounding Soft Chaos. It's a weird time to be starting a new game studio, and in spite of all our planning and hard work just getting the basic bureaucracy of everything settled, none of us have any idea what's going to happen or how things are going to go. But at the very least, we're all in it together, and for the first time in my very long and winding game development career, I feel like I'm actually part of something bigger than just myself.

You can play SECOND PUBERTY for free in a web browser here. If you make a donation for $1 USD or more, you will also get a downloadable copy. Meanwhile, if you aren't already supporting Soft Chaos here on Comradery and want to help us make more games as a co-op, you can subscribe here.

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