this was such a beautiful story. Love the interactive elements and the melancholy vibes!
Mud: A Golem Memoir
A downloadable zine
Imagine a place you could go, all alone. You can stay there as long as you need. When you emerge, you will be someone new.
Play out the story of a golem from the moment of its creation to its final days. Mud draws on the mythology of the golem, an animated construct from Jewish folklore, to tell a story about queer and Jewish identity and the experience of feeling out of place in your own body.
Mud includes guided choices and activity prompts designed for a solo reader (or to be read with a close friend). These activities have very light roleplaying elements.
We invite you to give it a try and treat the book as either a story or a game, as you see fit.
Want a physical version?
The book is a black-and-white, richly-illustrated staple-bound zine. It's a total of 36 pages, and printed locally in Northampton, Massachusetts.
You can buy a physical copy from our website here!
Content warning: This story contains imagery suggestive of self harm. Please take care.
In order to download this zine you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $6 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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I like role-playing games that try new things, and when it's in the form itself that there is experimentation, I'm even more a customer. Mud is on the border of role-playing, as it seems to be more of a first-person interactive story, something close to a contemplative video game with several possible endings... But most of all, it's in the form of a comic book illustrated with wispy blobs and blurred outlines, making the story of this golem something touching outside of any game. I felt like I was playing Mud just by reading it, and it was quite an experience.
At 1 point after I was invited to walk in the rain, I was listening to this: https://podcasts.podinstall.com/sound-nature-sound-nature/202107301749-episode-81-mud-creek-mud-flow.html
At 1 point as I was asked if I’d like to change my dream, I made a card
At 1 point I was a planet
At 1 point I thanked the golem that was me and the writers and patrons who were not.
At 1 point I wrote a note hoping someone finds it
Mud: A Golem Memoir is wonderful. It's an engaging solo game comic touching on themes like the meaning of existence, personal aspirations, and search for community. The evocative images really make it shine, and I assume you can read and enjoy Mud as a short graphic novel. But playing the story yourself is more rewarding. Within the narrow limits of the format, Hannah Shaffer and Evan Rowland use clever design to offer personal connection and interesting choices for the reader. I was surprised how well I was drawn into the story.
(CN for marginalization, loneliness, self harm)