This blog has moved:

In addition to my current writing, all the old posts are collected on the new page.
(You can use your browser's "find" function to find what you're interested in there.)
Your browser does not support Javascript.
This site requires Javascript.
You can see where this becomes a problem.
Without Javascript,
Many posts will look wrong
Comments are inaccessible
Interactive dialogues won't function
Hidden text will never be revealed
The sidebars will not open

If you choose to continue, be warned
That you are missing crucial elements
Of I Am Not's design.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Now here's a good game!

Des Rêves Élastiques Avec Mille Insectes Nommés Georges by Deirdra Kiai. Don't worry, it's in English. And it's free. And it's very short. Go on, download it. What are you sitting around here for?

It's an adventure game, or at least an adventure game derivative. (It depends on how you define adventures.) I wish I saw a lot more stuff like this. It's a personal project, starring the gamist herself and a bunch of people she knows. It's got a similar aesthetic to a blog post, which may be why I find it appealing.

Something I find clever is that it intentionally gives you no control, then repeatedly calls your attention to that lack of control. It does this in order to get you to identify with the character. If only mainstream gamists were willing to be artistic like that! You could say (and indeed, it's said in the game) that this game is meandering and pointless, but I say it is straight to the point. Much more so than adventures which give puzzles and giant worlds and endless minigames. You don't play through an adventure for that. At least, I don't.

I always say that you learn about an adventure character by seeing your options. This goes very nicely with what I've been title="In Darkness">thinking lately in regards to self-image in the real world. There are only a few things you will consider doing in any given circumstances, and what those options are define who you are at the moment. So if an adventure game wants you to identify with its character, it just needs to limit your options to what the character would consider doing. Then you understand who the character is, without needing to be told.

I'm not sure if Kiai understands this principle. In an earlier game of hers (Chivalry is Not Dead), so many options were given that after the entire game was over I still had no sense whatsoever of who the main character was or why I should be interested in him.

And yet, in this game I identify with the character. That's because when the character is the writer, the writer's more likely to get it right without realizing it. When you write yourself, it doesn't take any thought or conscious effort to limit options to what you'd consider doing yourself. Kiai the gamist isn't going to give Kiai the character any lines of dialogue which feel wrong to her. The end result is exactly what is needed from fictional characters: the limited options given let you understand the character.

Anyway, go play the game. I've spent more time writing this than I did playing through the game twice.

Also, because it's specifically referred to in the aforementioned game: The Graveyard by Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn is an exquisitely-crafted title="The Garden and Droplets: Movement">movement game, also tiny, artistic and free.

Seriously, what are you sitting around here for?



Very intriguing, insightful comments. Thank you. This is all very helpful to me.

When you say "I'm not sure if Kiai understands this principle", I'm inclined to respond with "That may be so, but I'd like to think I'm learning as I go along". If that makes any sense at all. :)

I'm honored to have the creator of a very good game comment on my blog.

Totally not my style. Too artsy and self important. No choices in anything in the game. There is no effect of the player on the environment, and the player is superfluous.

I know that was the point, but I prefer to play games and not artistic statements.

You act like the two concepts are mutually exclusive! You wound me. Smilie's offended too. :(


Post a Comment