Sometimes the World is Just Too Small

Back from Comic-Con. Since the only thing worse than watching live footage of a bunch of nerds get their geek on via live TV feed is having to listen to one of said nerds talking about all the fun they had, and their celebrity meetings/sightings, I won’t.
Well, almost. Like I said way back here I searched out the Penny Arcade dudes to ask a single burning question, “No indie area for zero budget and student games? What the deuce?” To which Jerry (I refuse to use his online avatar’s name) replied with, “No space actually. PAX fills up every square foot of the Convention Center there, otherwise we would. You can enter the PAX 10 though and win a booth.” To which I replied, “Yeah, but there’s no real guarantee there. Besides, my game is more of an olde skool affair and less of an art house game.” To which he said, “Well, they’re also building additions to the Convention Center up there, so maybe we could do something like that later.”

-After doing some more thinking, I hate the drop down move on a philosophical level. No matter how I wrap my head around the concept, it always seems like more for the sake of more. It doesn’t add to the core gameplay in a fundamental way nor add additional aspects. It is a feature that I can prune, and so, I did. As I keep hearing and thinking, “He’s a Thief, not a Ninja.”

-In other game news, after coming back after almost a week I still like the scripted bits and level designs for level 3. So, yay. Still need to have them tested though.

-Since I was away for a few days with nothing to think about, since TTT is done from story, gameplay, concept and programming point of view and I can’t build assets in my brain I found my mind wandering back to the EP. Being free of the concept of structures and narrative in a real way, to not worry about context for actions and gameplay concepts is amazing. The ideas are there and they’re magical. My brain is full to the brim with new ideas and some really odd experimental game concepts, things that could only work in a project like the EP. Things I’m very excited about. One of which follows the concept of Loss and Failure, wherein you can’t win, only try to endure for as long as you can. I take that bitter pill and wrap it with some reflex based shooter candy to taste and the get it all tied up into a retro cool exterior and, at least in my head, NetHack style ASCII graphics. There’s only a concept there, no story, the hints provided in the game towards a meaning or purpose. In a basic sense, I care less for it, since I’m all about that sweet, sweet shooter candy, but I still find my brain demanding context and I think this massages both halves of it.
The other thing is still in it’s primordial life stages, growing, changing, beginning to live. I wanted to do something where the player is their own enemy and I wanted to do a game with some cute way to affect how time effects you and your environment. I’ve previously torn into Braid since I felt that the core platforming mechanics were too loose and the time bits an artifact of the levels themselves. I wanted to avoid that by making the time parts fundamental to the experience. So, I decided to combine the two concepts into one and the parts that are left are very exciting to me. In a way, one idea became the core gameplay of the other and vice versa. I’ve never seen anything like it before, so you’ll have to excuse me if I play this one a little close to the vest for now. After all, I need to finish Thief first. At the end of the day, it’ll always be my first born, and my favourite.

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