• Arrow keys move your gaze about the surface of the water.
  • Press 'Z' to look at yourself and what you have become.

“Surface of Scum: A Necrotic Character Generator”, is a hyper-lo-fi digital storytelling tool which forms part of Bella Paloma and Uma Breakdown’s current video-game project The Well of Sickness Shimmering (releasing in 2023). Surface of Scum takes the start of a role playing game - where the player makes choices and rolls dice to build their character - and expands this into an experience about the unstable self, and identity as a collaborative compost heap. The game references St Anne’s wood and holy well in Bristol, UK (once considered a potent holy site in Medieval England), and more generally the folk magic of healing Clooty Wells. Surface of Scum is made entirely with free, open source, browser-based software.

Game made using Bitsy (by Adam Le Doux), with these additional hacks: Mixsy by Ruin, Bitsy audio hack by Mark Wonnacott, Custom Key Handler by Sean S. LeBlanc

Images made using PIXILART, then converted into Bitsy rooms using this tool:

Special thanks to the Bitsy Discord community for advice and troubleshooting.

Music made using BeepBox

Commissioned by MAYK as part of MayFest 2022, and Bristol + Bath Creative R+D via the Trailblazer Fund.


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Development log

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