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The Killer

A small notgame inspired by the thousands of senseless killings committed in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime. Requires no gaming skills whatsoever. Takes about three minutes to play through, though the length varies, and the experience is never quite the same for any two people.

Amazing!

I just found your site, and after playing this game and then learning so much about Cambodia I had to tell you how amazing it was. Please keep making these, I really think you’re on to something!


The Killer

The Explosion didn’t really match up with the song so it felt really odd.


The Killer

Got here from Extra Credits. Damn that was depressing (in a complimentary way). I wanted to just say how impressed I was with how affected I was by such a simple game. The felling of powerlessness and futility was intense.

I’m having trouble finding a way to say the game was horrifying in an amazing way. Or awesome in its disturbingness.


its simple yet heart

its simple yet heart touching. I would have never imagined that i would be feeling (sad) after playing this game (idk if u call this a game). a brilliant piece of art.


its simple yet heart

its simple yet heart touching. I would have never imagined that i would be feeling (sad) after playing this game (idk if u call this a game). a brilliant piece of art.


Left me with a lump in my

Left me with a lump in my throat and tears flowing down my cheeks.


The Killer

This game is actually what I feel all games should model themselves to strive being. It is amazing that you were able to make something so utterly simple be an example of what all games should strive a player feeling. Giving me the choice to think about what I was going to do to my victim and actually making me be able to shoot myself/shoot away from the victim, made me feel so connected to these seemingly blank characters. 10/10


I’m not sure I liked the

I’m not sure I liked the choice of such a long walk. If it added something to the game, maybe … but as it stands I think the most powerful points in the game are 1) the moment you realize you are the man with the gun, and 2) when the corpse drifts down into an ever multiplying mass of bodies in the killing fields. I think the long walk sort of detracts from them … I suppose it’s a holdover from your Walk Or Die game.


The Delivery Of The Message

That was just….

An experience is all i can say very well made experience with a little bit of learning at the end and knowing what they had to do and those who did not follow the orders of the mad.

was glad to of played this i am going through the others as well i shall also point others here


Thank You

That was maybe the single-most thing I’ve experienced and gone through in my entire life that has impacted me and how I think of things.

Thank you.


Jesus, man. You’re incredibly

Jesus, man. You’re incredibly good at what you do. I chose to show mercy, but damn it sure as hell didn’t make me feel any less horrified by the ending. Your minimalist approach to these sorts of issues, combined with your ability to make me care immensly about a few pixels is something I have a great deal of envy over. Thank you for making things like this.


Wow

I am very close to tears right now.
I don’t know whether to thank you for this terrible experience or hate you.

All I know is that it was worthwhile.


Congratulations. It made me

Congratulations. It made me feel like a miserable being the moment I started pushing the victim.

A small suggestion. If you would like to enhance the experience, you could get the Leutenant get shot the moment it shows mercy. So, the player would feel he has payed a huge price for letting the victim go. And that feeling would be very strong since I (the player) was not able to shoot the victim. Just couldn’t do it. But if you implement a similar scene like the Freedom Bridge, then… just in that moment… that feeling of mercy, of not being able to shoot the victim, would have hit hard because the price for that, was death, =S.

Congratulations again. Awesome experience.


Wow

I learned something new! I played all three games and I have to say, I was touched by the work and passion that went in to each one of them. I was moved by the meaning behind them and they truly touched me.

Thank you!


The Killer

At first I walked slowly, I was wondering why this had to happen, what did this man do, that I was to kill him for? After a while, I just accepted it and kept walking forward. When I was given the ability to aim, there was no way I could kill him. I was practically crying by this point. This was a great interactive experience. As an aspiring future game designer, I hope I can create an experience as moving as this one.


Without knowing the subject

Without knowing the subject matter or reading the little description I just started playing. Pushing Spacebar we walked forward with the occasional shuve with my rifle to ‘encourage’ the black figure.

After a while I SAW the black figure. We had been walking for days with no rest, how must they be feeling? So we started stopping each night to rest. We stopped for three or four nights and each morning I would start us up again with a shuve from my rifle and away we went.

On the fifth night we stopped, I had seen Cambodia and my mind made a horrible connection. Even if I hadn’t, where else could we be going with my rifle and the way I was treating the black figure?

The music played in a loop for sometime and I felt trapped.
Compelled by ‘duty’ to go on and curiousity to see the end but with a certain knowledge of what that end would be no obvious means of escape from what I think will happen my only option is to stop and we have not moved since.

I will look the other way, the black character is free to run or talk to me. I will not push them any further. I just wish they could be animated to run away…


Simply amazing.

Simply amazing.


This was pretty touching… I

This was pretty touching… I liked watching the sky shift through different phases of the day. Kind of made you grow an attachment to the person you were taking out to the field. I wonder if anyone playing the game actually chose to shoot the prisoner? Because they thought they had to? Because they didn’t care? I don’t have the heart to see what happens if you do, especially since at the end it said “lieutenants like you”


Impacting

I couldn’t do it. It’s “just a game” but I couldn’t do it. I stared at the screen for a few minutes, tried other keys and options, and moved the target around. I don’t understand why such a simple thing caused me to feel what I felt - a thing I don’t yet fully comprehend either. I don’t even know if I should say thank you or not. You have accomplished something meaningful here. If nothing else, I would have to call this “art”. But “game”? Maybe. I just wish the weight of it inside me would go away. I know you must carry something similar having made this. You’d have to. I hope your weight goes away too, somehow. Good luck with your future projects.


The killer

I am seriously touched by this work.
This experience drags on pretty long and i wanted to move forward without poking him, didnt want to make him, but wasnt able to go further myself and miss what all this is about. I felt horrible disgracing a man for my own curiosity.
The music was very fitting (dont know why you have a setting without it)
In the end i choosed not to kill the man, I knew what all of this was about, I didnt choose to kill him, I was ordered. In the end if i were a soldier back then, I would have been dead for ages. Killed by the people who should protect me.
Thank you for this experience, and excuse me for my lack of language skills.


Thanks a lot, I used your

Thanks a lot, I used your game for explaining to my students (seminar in philosophy) some existentialist concepts.


I simply...

I can’t describe what your game made me feel, you just placed me in a world without telling me anything about what is going on except of a guy with gun, and another walking in front of me because I’m forcing him to, then you show me beautiful landscapes, and I start to think that they both are seeing them, even if one is going to kill the other one, and the other one is filled with fear.
And it made me though that my story would be about two persons that start a journey as enemies but then after seeing all that paradise they create a bond, and when the decisive time came, I just couldn’t kill him.

Thank you…
Nehemek Amador


I went through The Killer.

I went through The Killer. Perhaps “played” is the wrong word here. Not sure. The walk to the fields. The stopping every now and then. The continuing. The arrival. The aiming at the prisoner.

And then moving the crosshair up into the air, away from the prisoner. Firing a shot into the air. Seeing the prisoner run away.

I read the end screens and their information. And I cried. I cried a lot. The long, long walk to the fields, the minutes spent thinking about how people take lives of their fellow men and if they ever even stop to think about the cruelty, the fear, the everything of it.

This is an important piece of art - whether you’d call it a game or something else. In a world where people have been numbed to photos and videos of victimhood, where we are shown so much of things that are cold, hard, cruel and wrong that we can’t deal with it on any level except regarding those things as numbers and things on paper. Things that sort of happen and you sort of realize it, and at the same time things that never happened to you and things that you will never have a true need to really realize and explain to yourself. In that world, this is a statement, an artwork, a show of kindness to people who have been hurt so much. It’s a wish. I don’t know what else to say.

Thank you. Thank you so much for creating this.


Killer

Hey I had a pretty good kill to death ratio in my last game. where is the leaderboard


I was absolutely shocked by

I was absolutely shocked by how such emotion was conjured up from a simple game with pixels and stick figures. I’m not quite the emotional type but I definitely felt something the deeper it went underground at the end. I personally chose not to shoot the man. I think this game really drives your point well. I already knew about the Cambodian genocide but so many are still unaware—hopefully it is never forgotten.


Thank you so much for this game! It's incredibly powerful.

I found out about The Killer on Facebook: a guy I know mentioned that he’d be telling about it to his philosophy students. And after I played it, I was stunned. Even the song, which I have heard before, suddenly had a deeper layer of pain to it.

I then showed the game to my boyfriend, who, apparently, did not know about the Khmer Rouge, and only found out through the game. He was also left completely astounded. We’re both from Russia, and it hits close to home. But also, it’s more poetic and subtle than anything that we’ve ever seen on the subject of purges back here.

So, while I know the argument about ‘gaming not being an art form’ is dated, I still get it from some people. Now The Killer is going to be my go-to example of how that’s not true.

And it’s probably not a very good comparison, but it came to us both simultaneously: the decision that you have to make in the end reminded us of the narrative structure of The Walking Dead game, where the morality of decisions that you make throughout the gameplay affects the outcome, but still results in the same ending for all. It’s interesting, how an indie project like yours, and a big shot game have gone in the same direction with that.

I also find it truly innovative and crucial to taking gaming to the next level. This exercise in empathy is something that not even the most accomplished ‘make you a better person’ movies have managed to achieve in their relationship with the viewers. It used to be my childhood dream that the increasing interactivity of games would lead to very complex human experiences, previously unknown, for the gamer, and now I see it come to life, and it’s just brilliant.

I wish there were more projects like that, so that they could educate subtly on the past horrors that the Earth has seen and employ the concept of becoming an avatar to help gamers develop as human beings. I see it as a very important tool for school and university social studies classes, too. Like, here in Russia, where the general understanding of human rights is despicably low, I often find that appealing to one’s feelings doesn’t exactly deliver the message of enlightment. While with the use of such instruments as the Killer, it would be so much easier to get through even to the people less inclined to abstract thinking and/or projection.

And I’m sure that educating the hearts along with the minds is key to preventing any future genocides from happening.


We just played Loneliness and

We just played Loneliness and the Freedom Bridge, and man you’re a genius. Thank you.


i love it

i think this game was really well put together, and i didn’t expect it to take that turn, i had mercy, i feel empowered.


Fantastic way of ending it

Beautiful game. When I got to the end, I didn’t want to kill the stick guy, didn’t know what he did to make me want to kill him. When it became clear that the only way to progress was to fire, I shot up into the air. Literally cried because I was so happy for this stickman that I had become so emotionally invested in over the course of the journey to get to the fields.


Amazing!

This is one of the best games I have played this year, and so are the other two.

Just so you know. I chose to miss!

Plese do more of these


Thank you for the experience

I absolutely love what you’ve done. I first played loneliness and then this. Loneliness was perfect. I could really empathise with it. And I love that all the dots are the same, but everyone rejects your dot. You are doing a great job and I think you should continue to be awesome!

When I played The killer I started noticing details and thinking about other stuff because the changes was so slight. I’m not sure if some of my friends would have the patience to play it all the way through. I think that the length is important in order to get the point across, but it shouldn’t be boring, that’s when people leave and then the game is “useless”. What if the prisoner tried to run? what would happen then? Would the soldier shoot him dead? or catch him, so he could bring him out to the fields? what if he did shoot him? would the soldier have to carry him to the fields? Is there any birds nearby? or animals?

Thanks for the experience. You made me think “this is awful”. I have known that there are bad conditions in other countries for my whole life, but it has been repeated to me so much I’ve started to ignore it. In order for people to care about the bad conditions, they need to come to the conclusion that this is bad, for themselves. That is difficult to do, and you’ve done it.

Don’t Forget To Be Awesome


Wow...

Thankyou for creating this amazing piece of Art (capital a Art). I’ve been marathoning the extra credits web series and just stumbled onto this gem. What a great example of a way to use video games (even simple ones) to portray a deep, disturbing emotional message .


just a note

Thank you for giving me the option.


If one of your objectives was

If one of your objectives was to scare me when the mine blew up in this “notgame,” then you succeeded. It was pretty powerful. The comments that appeared when I decided not to listen and quit pressing the spacebar were very effective, eerily calm yet demanding me to go forward. One thing I noticed was the difference in the colors of the men’s faces, as I was playing the role of the white man pushing the black man to his death. Ultimately, when they both died, death was blind to skin color. I guess that just goes to show that there never are any winners when it comes to oppressing people. Thanks for making me aware of the plight in Cambodia, and props to your notgame for being both powerful and effective.


Thank you

Your simplicity in your games is beautiful because of the feelings behind them. Having something so meaningful in such a short game is amazing. I hope you make it on to a triple a game companies team because if you could put that much thought into a 30 hour storyline as you do in your 4 minute notgames the gaming industry would be a much better place. Keep it up seriously!


May God rest their souls

May God rest their souls in peace!


I think that the experiment

I think that the experiment should stress the fact that they were being tortured prior to being killed. Maybe before walking or once they reached the river they should have to torture the person for a few seconds before killing them so that the experiment will be more effective to the person after they have read the facts at the end. They will have more visuals.


Your creations have presented

Your creations have presented to me an entire new perspective on video games, video games as art and history in general. The symbolism in your works shows a phenomenal amount of forethought and care and it has inspired me and for this, I thank you Mr. Magnuson. In addition, I really see how the killings due to the Khmer Rouge has affected you as a human being, to see such atrocities committed and it has made me consider just what we have done to our fellow humans. I once again thank you for teaching me and so many others.


Feedback - The Killer

This was one of the craziest experiences I had on gaming. Such a weird situation you guys put us on, coercing someone defenseless.
The choice you ask the player, myself, to take at the end is in the same way awful. Obviously everyone knows it is a game, a low graph, simple control game, and still, shocks when we have a choice to kill someone we’ve been treating that bad.

It is actually hard to express the feeling. Shoot someone? ahahha, this is just crazy. How could you make me feel bad?

And either choice, killing or not killing, is at last bad, finding out what the heck was going on.

Amazing experience, different on many ways of everything I have seen on games. My sincere congratulations. You made some people think of moral and thinking of many point of view (me, the killer? I know we are always killers on every freaking ps3 games, but not with these feelings) with the simplest game ever.

Incredible.

Dan.


Interesting

For the first part of the game I didn’t like where it was headed - me with a gun, marching someone out to be killed. The game told me to keep going, but I didn’t want to. I started marching forward again out of curiosity, but then found that if I clicked away from the flash window, I would keep walking even though I wasn’t holding the space bar. That allowed me to distance myself from what I feared was inevitable - reaching some point at which my character would automatically shoot this prisoner. I still watched as the characters walked, though, curious about what would happen. When we were getting near to the fields, where the game told me we could stop, I took control again. When I was given the option of where to shoot, I was delightfully rebellious. I was so happy to be able to choose not to kill. In the following explanation of the game, where it explained that I had been killed for showing mercy, it actually brought me some peace in knowing that I did not commit the crime, paying with my own life to make a stand against evil.

Powerful experience. Amazing what simple game mechanics can do.


Powerful

I’m greatly touched by these mini flash games. They are so powerfully moving. Thank you for sharing your work and dedication to such (often) forgotten or ignored histories.


Holy crap. That was amazing.

Holy crap. That was amazing. I’m emotionally drained right now.


Best what i've ever seen on internet

This “experimental travel” is very unique and i think u have to do more things like this because it is well made and have a really interesting subject. it is very sad that not everyone knows about this, because this travel made me to think about that people and what happend before, and what can i do to help. sorry for my english


Just Wow!

This was such a powerful massage, from the start with the only option, to be push the man forward and every time I stopped the words would appear, I tried to stop countless time, in the forest, next to the river, all the lovely scenery slowly moving forward I was feeling ashamed for what I knew was going to happen, that there was a point that I just wanted it over and help down the spacebar and was shocked awake with the gun shot. as the music played i was over come with what those emotions of the people in whos shoes i had just walked in.

Thank you very much for this experience, keep up the good work.

- Lennon G.


These games always touch my

These games always touch my heart on the deepest of personal levels


your game: killer

Let me put it this way; i set my cell phone on the space bar so i didn’t have to do anything. like i seriously i had no idea why that wasn’t just a movie… other than for the choice to kill the guy at the end or not.


your game: killer

Let me put it this way; i set my cell phone on the space bar so i didn’t have to do anything. like i seriously i had no idea why that wasn’t just a movie… other than for the choice to kill the guy at the end or not.


This was a really powerful

This was a really powerful experience. Thank you for making it. I was already aware of the Khmer Rouge’s genocide and abuses (Dith Pran came to my high school to speak) but there’s something really intense about playing through it yourself.