Happy new year one and all! So… What’s been going on in the land of the codemonkey? … well, since my last post very little really. After working on three projects solidly since I departed university I thought it was high time to take a break and do some reflecting. As you can probably tell I’ve been having trouble sticking to one project so it was high time to step back and see what was going wrong.
I read an interview with David Cage recently (the man behind the brilliant heavy rain) and he preached that the secret to a good design is not to design for profit or prestige, but the secret lies in designing something close to ones own personal experiences and beliefs. What can be more powerful to absorb a players heart and attention than to create something honest and dear to your own heart. Achieving empathy with a player will last far longer in their memories than stunning visuals (which are trumped on a routine basis on every new release.)
So it was back yet again to the drawing board, taking the bulk of December off to wind down, actually play some games, catch up on some reading and to work out where I am and what I need to say. That is, as they say, when it hit me. So far I’ve managed to produce some interesting yet unfinished prototypes, absorbing myself in their development so far that social connections and paid work had become nothing more than background noise in my life for so long. Perhaps the key then, for me, lies in this feeling of loss of direction yet thorough absorbtion in a project when it comes to mind.
Sketcher, one of the earliest games I started to prototype was to have this as a subject of its core narrative but looking back at the ideas that have grown since then a great solution came to mind-what if I encompass all of my work into a collection of games built around the concept of an unfinished piece? A game as it were, about unfinished games. About being lost in your own creativity and trapped within the high walls of expectation you’ve projected onto yourself.
Soi this is where i sit on the beginning of this new and exciting year, working on redesigning what prototypes I have into mini games where the chief objective is to complete the work left unfinished by the designer. To finish building platform levels left half baked, to fix syntax in doors and pickups to allow passage, to complete construction of areas to create fuller worlds. If anything, it should prove interesting to see if my attention can be held long enough on a project based around my own foibles.