Nula: Butterflies Rise is a decision-making game that explores the experience of living with anxiety.

Inspired by puzzle adventure games of the early 90s like Myst, the surreal comedy of Flann O'Brien, and the author's experience of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Nula creates an immersive textual experience, an insight into the daily struggle anxiety can be.




Nula: Butterflies Rise

Chris Samuel

Nula: Butterflies Rise is a decision-making game that explores a life lived in anxiety. Decisions can alter the narrative which is interspersed with mixed media and interactable elements.

There’s only the sound of the bin workers outside; talking as they throw sacks into the lorry.

It’s difficult to hear what they’re saying.

Over the body of a girl, lying with her eyes shut. Half-heard dialogue between the men is scrawled upon the wall.

‘How many more?’

‘What’s he on a week …’

‘Apparently she lives in there?’

‘Who said?’

'First-floor window'.

‘Always liked this street’.

‘I’m starving already’.

‘Not them, on these ones’.

The lorry drives off and the scrawled messages fade one after another until they’re gone.

The world comes into focus as the light brightens and the Butterflies bar slowly begins to fill.

Nula has four ‘health’ bars entitled ‘Butterflies’, ‘Panic’, ‘Comfort’ and ‘Tolerance’.

A) Shut eyes
B) Roll over and look at your phone
C) Smoke
D) Get up