Ten Years is a Long Time



I’m still making these games about time and have been stuck for, well, a long time on the game that lasts for ten years. By a long time I mean I’ve been stuck for, like, a few days, which feels like a long time when you’re being held back from continuing work on a project that you conceptualized as (perhaps paradoxically for a sequence of games about time) not taking long to make. I have been watching a lot of Woody Allen movies, is that affecting my writing style here? Anyway.

The interesting thing about the various duration games has been thinking, as per usual, about the “truth” of the games, how they can be authentic and work with the amount of time involved. That doesn’t always mean that have to be “about” the amount of time (speed dating is, but the typing tutor isn’t, for example), but it means that the relationship between the gameplay and the amount of time it takes should mean something. There should be a laugh in it, or an aha, or some other thing that’s worthwhile in this life.

So anyway, the decade has been tricky for that. My opening idea was that you would be raising a child for ten years – it would be kind of like a Tamagotchi, basically. And at the end of the ten years, if the kid wasn’t dead, it is taken away by the military or the priesthood. End of game. But somehow I’ve never quite been able to visualize how to make that work on the screen, I don’t know why. And so I’ve been shuffling between other ideas… one was called “One Decade of Fighting the Visible Signs of Aging” but, hilariously, I don’t think it’ll work at the resolution I’m dealing with graphically. (I’m keeping that title though, so stay the hell away from it, you.) Another idea was to have continuous lottery draws after you’d picked your number to illustrate just how much you don’t win. And so on.

Anyway, I do have an idea for it now, enough of an idea to make a quick version and see if it works out. Obviously I can’t literally playtest any of these ideas anymore, but I should be able to get the picture, right? Am I right? Anyway, I’ll see you later.

25 November 2013
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