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this one i had rolling in my head last summer but i didnt make cuz its mostly a story game and i cant do story games:

you're a kid who has to organize your dads files (meeting minutes, receipts, project folders, etc.) your dad doesnt talk much so you dont know much about his past, but you learn bits and pieces about it from these files, out of order. some of it tragic, some of it funny, and then basically the idea would be that you fit it into this timeline that describes your dads life before you were around.

there might be some aspect of 'i need to get these files organized before this specific time' as well, just to limit how much you can learn from a particular document before you have to file it away

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Damn, I really like this idea. I can picture you going through receipts of like the one time he took you to lunch or a movie and memories being triggered. Or past due heating bills and you remembering a cold house in the winter. I think you are missing a sort central game mechanic, if you wanna go that route. Maybe the time thing can be it? Or it could be a Gone Home type of game where you focus really on building the dad's life through the objects not through any sort of mechanic. Not sure if that makes sense.

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That's cool idea. In fact we use similar mechanic in game in the making. But there's the twist that you can connect those evidences in different manner so you get different output. So in dad's scenario it would be like A) Connect dinner receipt with plush toy and you get memory about time when father took you to amusement park and won this for you and after you went to dinner B) Connect receipt with divorce papers and yo got the "dad's cheating" story.

It could be a thing. Some dusty archive room, with boxes and papers and photos. You have to cut the tape to open the box. Particles flowing in air, some 80's music from old radio you've found, and you can have a break for eating a sandwich. But you can play only for few real life hours that the magazine works. After that there's a fire - everything gets burned down. You can leave game at that with story you've made so far or start over with digging. Maybe with some things different/missing so over time there are just empty boxes. Only fading memories.

That's  a really cool idea. Do you imagine it being a 2d or 3D game?