dys4ia is the story of the last six months of my life: when i made the decision to start hormone replacement therapy and began taking estrogen. i wanted to catalog all the frustrations of the experience and maybe create an “it gets better” for other trans women. when i started working on the game, though, i didn’t know whether it did get better. i was in the middle of the shit detailed in level 3 of the game, and at the time i had no idea what the ending would be; it was hard to envision a happy ending.
i’ve largely lost my interest in working on larger games though – “larger” meaning something like lesbian spider-queens or redder. i’d been making a lot of quick two-hour games like transgression: i decided i could make a lot of little games and weave them together into a collage of my experiences and frustrations. at some points i was making up to three a day. most days i managed two or three. i put the project aside a few times, to work on games like savagery and keep me occupied. by the time i found a way to actually pay for the game, i had an idea of what the ending would be.
i asked my musician friend and temp roommate liz ryerson to compose music for the game, and she produced a soundtrack that’s really beautiful and personal that i’m PRETTY FUCKING HONORED to feature in my game. and tom fulp was gracious enough to pay me for something i knew wasn’t a very mainstream-marketable game. a whole pile of people helped me test it, and a bunch of rad trans ladies who might not all want to be outed gave me opinions that were super enlightening.
dys4ia debuted at the forallgamerssake show in toronto, curated by jaime woo – a show about gender and queerness in videogames. the version that ran at the show didn’t have music – it only featured the sound effects, all of which i made with my own mouth. now you can play the finished game at newgrounds.