September 29, 2022

The creators of As Dusk Falls revealed that the multiplayer aspect of the narrative-focused game was, surprisingly, inspired by Twitch Plays Pokémon.

As Dusk Falls is a narrative-focused game that is classed as interactive fiction but is closer to something like a visual novel than a point-and-click adventure game, taking inspiration from one particularly unexpected source: Twitch Plays Pokémon. As Dusk Falls encourages playing with friends via multiplayer options where players can vote on individual actions, as well as having a limited number of overrules that can be used to force a decision. The inspiration for this approach is tied to the classic Pokémon multiplayer experiment known as Twitch Plays Pokémon.


Twitch Plays Pokémon started out as a strange experiment, as it allowed everyone in a Twitch chat to input commands in an emulated version of Pokémon Red, so that the game was being controlled by thousands of players at the same time. The concept of the Twitch Plays Pokémon experiment caught the imagination of fans, with over 36 million people checking out the stream throughout its run. Twitch Plays Pokémon also had its own unique controversies and fan creations, with some international localizations of the mainline Pokémon games actually referencing it.

Related: As Dusk Falls: Best Things to Do After Beating The Game

There’s no denying that Twitch Plays Pokémon was a major moment in the history of the franchise, with the game even winning a Guinness World Record for having the most participants in a single-player video game. There have since been numerous other Twitch Plays experiments, including Twitch Plays Elden Ring. Twitch Plays Pokémon was also a major inspiration for another video game that would seemingly have nothing in common with its subject matter.

As Dusk Falls’ Multiplayer Was Inspired By Twitch Plays Pokémon

As Dusk Falls is all about the player making difficult choices and trying to keep the main characters in the game safe, as they constantly encounter harm and unfortunate circumstances in their lives. These dark and gripping story moments can also be enjoyed with friends, thanks to the multiplayer options in As Dusk Falls. Screen Rant spoke to As Dusk Falls developer Interior/Night CEO and Creative Director Caroline Marchal about what inspired the creative elements of its story.

Caroline Marchal: Story-wise, inspiration comes more from shows like Breaking Bad and Fargo, or movies like Dog Day Afternoon, which I love.

In terms of gameplay, inspiration was a bit out of left field. I don’t know if you remember in 2014, Twitch Plays Pokémon? It was a phenomenon at the time, and I was just fascinated by how people came together to try and achieve a goal. I found the stories that were published every morning really inspiring as a communal experience. I got inspired by this, and I wondered what’s the narrative equivalent of that type of experience. So, I started thinking of how we could allow many people—who might be gamers or might not be gamers—to share an interactive story.

It’s strange to think that a communal Twitch experiment involving Red constantly walking back and forth through the Kanto region would inspire something like As Dusk Falls, with its cinematic thrills and strong storytelling, but inspiration often comes from odd places. Twitch Plays Pokémon put lots of people behind the steering wheel of a Pokémon protagonist, and the end result was often fascinating. As Dusk Falls uses its unique approach to multiplayer to let multiple players control the destiny of the game’s protagonists, and it can often be as chaotic as Twitch Plays Pokémon.

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