04 June, 2016

Game Chef Thoughts (Part 1)


Sunlight, light and darkness… Technology, as a tool for facilitating science and revealing the unknown… Dance, as a form of ecstatic release… Alarm, as the drama of being made aware of something that was previously hidden… I’m seeing Gnosticism.

Then again, I see Gnosticism everywhere, so it’s hardly surprising that this is where my mind would go first.

My second idea was a generation ship where technology has all but failed as the inhabitants plunge away from one sun toward a new one. Alarms triggering as certain ship systems fail due to degradation, or other come back online as the ship’s solar sails accumulate enough radiation to recharge the ship’s cells.  

I’d think about trying to create the type of game I love to play, but over the last few years the types of games that have done well in Game Chef have often been unconventional, whether moody ritual pieces, angsty catharsis ridden mind-screws, or loose interpretive endeavours. The games going through to the finals are often chosen by the community of designers involved in the contest, where some years I make it through as a finalist, and some years I don’t even get a look in. But the type of game I like to play rarely gets very far.

That leaves me in two minds, do I try to create the type of game I’d love to play, or do I try to create the type of loose, angsty, cathartic thing that the cutting-edge gaming hipsters seem to enjoy. Am I too jaded by that style of gaming hipsterism to create something authentic in that vein??
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