One Apocalypse Later…

Post-Apocalyptic Abramovic Method Games

I’ve started working on a new game after the release of Eveline, trying to pick up the pace a little bit as it’s been hard to focus in on making things so far this year somehow. The new thing is currently titled Post-Apocalyptic Abramovic Method Games. It’s a pretty solid title – it’s one of those games where the title came first, in fact, so I doubt the title will change over the course of development. It’s a tells-it-like-it-is title. Titles are important.

I actually starting thinking about making this particular game quite a while ago, about this time last year in fact. I thought of the title and the general concept of the Abramovic Method Games set in a post-apocalyptic future – playing on the idea of long-durational work that’s central both to the Abramovic Method and Marina Abramovic’s practice in general. I like the weirdness of thinking about doing meditative exercises after the world’s been destroyed, the idea of a place you would go to to “get away from it all” and focus on inner awareness etc., in a wasteland. So that’s the concept. Ha ha.

But originally it was going to be a 2D thing where I’d essentially remake the existing Abramovic Method Games in a related way but with a post-apocalyptic spin – somehow glitched out, say, or the trees would be dead and charred. But I really struggled to work out how to do it, even though I loved the concept. Sometimes your specific ideas about execution just don’t serve the idea and you’re pretty much screwed at that point.

So I left it alone for quite a while, until thinking about the idea of doing it in 3D in a triumphant (terrified) return to using Unity (after the difficult but largely acceptable work on The Stolen Art Gallery). And in fact doing it in 3D gets at the idea of a place that feels appropriate in this remake – getting at some of the ideas of a “retreat” and so on that aren’t so present in the previous game, which was more focused on explicitly remediating the exercises to digital form.

So 3D is the plan. Unity and SketchUp are the tools. The image at the top of this is how far I’ve got in terms of setting a visual style for the game, and I’m happy with it I think (I’m also happy that there’s a SketchUp Woman for scale now, and not just the Stan Lee guy). I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible because my skills with the tools are… simple. I’m making the landscape using SketchUp’s sandbox tools, notably the very fancy-sounding TIN (triangulated irregular network) and the embarrassingly named “Smoove” tool. And the rest is all just pushing and pulling shapes etc. and importing it into Unity and using the still-great First Person Drifter script for controlling an avatar.

And that’s where it’s at. Now you know. Wipe that tear from your eye, it’s okay.

28 March 2016
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