Stated Goals! 2015!
Well it’s 2016 so I should write 2015’s Stated Goals, wherein I write down what the “objective” was in each of my games over the year to learn deep things about myself and the world around me (see also: 2012 and 2014). And so…
Make music out of physics.
Writhe in pain inside a framed picture in a gallery.
Go on the run.
Make music out of Breakout.
Look after your children.
Re-enact The Shining.
Go to an exhibition.
Compete in sports inside a jail cell.
Play chess against a perfect opponent.
Shoot a gun.
In the past I’ve tried to reflect a bit on what these goals represent. I tend to start off with ‘diverse’ and I’d like to think that’s true again of this year’s games. Of course, this could also just me wanting to believe I create diverse games because I view that as a positive. Still, there are a bunch of different-seeming activities here I think, from music to simply ‘looking’ (at a lack of art) to sport to chess to parenting.
I think that music made a strong showing this last year. Obviously in the two Sound System games, but less obviously in my travails to get the theme music of The Shining accurately represented, and likewise with Unchained Melody in the Ghost version of BREAKSOUT. In both cases I sequenced the songs using Terry Cavanagh’s Bosca Ceoil. Great piece of software. Also had some ‘procedurally generated’ music in Jostle Parent which fit rather well tonally.
In terms of the year’s treatment of violence, it was a strange one. A couple of the games involve shooting a gun (A Series of Gunshots most centrally), but in both cases the moment was very much about shooting a gun, rather than using it instrumentally for entertainment. There’s violence in Prometheus’ futile writhing against the eagle of course, and also in the potential harm that can come to your children in Jostle Parent, but again in both cases this is somewhat ‘the point’ rather than a mechanic for entertainment.
Perhaps most pleasingly, 2015 was a year in which I was really quite proud of a number of my games. I mean, I’m always pretty happy with all of them, but I thought there were a number that were very successful in terms of what I felt I was trying to do with them. Stand outs on that front for me would include Let‘s Play: Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: Art Edition Edition, What We Did, Jostle Parent, Let’s Play: The Shining, and A Series of Gunshots. Actually I could quite easily include a couple more there. So that’s encouraging!
Overall it was a good year for making games, and hopefully 2016 will be more of the same. I’m already quite pleased with the direction Indie Bungle 2 is headed.