Night in the Woods is a cat named Mae. Like the other characters in the game, Mae acts more human than feline, a 20-year-old college dropout that's coping with both her and her friends' gradual transitions to adulthood. After the PC, Mac and Linux game earned $209,375 on Kickstarter in November, developer Infinite Fall announced a PS4 version earlier this month, which was playable at E3.
Writer and art director Scott Benson's work to provide ambivalent quips and behaviors for Mae that complimented the cynical cat's inner dialogue was immediately apparent in the game's E3 demo. It started with Mae contemplating what news reports would sound like if she chose to burn her room down with her in it. After bounding down the stairs, Mae's mom called her to the kitchen to see if she would be home in time to watch an awful made-for-TV movie about a man that kidnapped his wife. There's an open chair, but Mae sits on the counter while the mother and daughter discuss the film's premise at length (providing players choose to keep the conversation going). The to-do list in Mae's diary then updates: "Watch misery porn with mom."
Benson, a seasoned animator and illustrator from Pittsburgh that is crafting Night in the Woods' story with his wife Bethany, admitted to Joystiq at E3 that drafting lines for a video game is new to him: "I've never written fiction or characters really before," as his previous animated shorts tended to be of the silent type. Benson had an interesting source of inspiration for his witty one-liners, then: Twitter. As he explained, the social media channel "has the same kind of cadence and kind of vague feelings" as Mae and friends display in Night in the Woods.