Thursday, April 26, 2007

I want make a game, game, game and again game

Via the Corvus shared feed, on Destructoid, I found out about a great piece of art called "game, game, game and again game". When I played I must say I was freaked out. Not because I thought it was totally weird an schizophrenic (it is), but because I've had a similar idea for an aesthetic a while back. I sort of tried to do it, but I eventually got distracted from the project, school and all that. It was about squish bugs mainly, and I was going to give the bugs personalities of sorts, so you could have the ants talk like communists revolutionaries, flies as hedonists, and some other bug as a total nihilist ("Oh what's the point of doing anything if some giant hand is just going to squish me") Still even though he took it a different direction, I totally applaud his efforts while simultaneously feel overwhelming jealousy that he got their first. I bless and damn him at the same time!.

The game is more about semi-non-linear exploration of ideas then anything else, and the mix of text, images, video, and game mechanics definitely makes this a most play. It's definitely a Punk Game to say the least.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I find myself drifting into the abstract

"Ariel, what going on? You've haven't said anything in awhile."

"You have a very contemplative face on."

"What's your thought process right now?"

It's true. I hadn't said anything in awhile and the small what some space of my Japanese car made my silence totally conspicuous. I was totally concentrating on some internal thought processes. I needed it to recharge, since I was totally jamming out a music festival earlier and
I was still reacting to that. Even though I liked it and had a lot of fun, social situations and large groups do tire me out in nonphysical kind of way.

"There's nothing sinister about my silence. I just trying to forget I have a body right now"

"Umm, please don't. You're driving."

"No, no. I'm concentrating on driving, trying to forget I have a body"

"Oh I see. You feel like that you are part of the car. Or that the car is a part of you."

"Not exactly. I'm trying to forget I have a car to. I am just concentrating on the road. And not what the photons hitting my eyes that my brain is interpreting is a particular road, but the Idea of road."


"Wow. That is some pretty deep shit."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Let us play... for honor!

I learned a new drinking game last night. It's not like most drinking games. Drinking games are usually either: (a) Everybody drinks at the same time, like drinking every time someone says "the Force" while watching Star Wars (b) Drinks are used as a penalty, like beer pong or some such or (c) or drinking is used as an obstacle to overcome such as flipcup. This one is different though. I forget the name (figures), but I remember the rules and they're quite simple.

You need one deck of cards. The dealer has to flip the top card of the deck onto the table, encouraged to do it with a flourish. Before he does any other player may announce that he will drink to the next card. Anyone but the dealer may do this, and any number may announce. The game will not proceed until someone does. When the card is put down face-up, anyone who announced they were going drink must drink sips/gulps/seconds half of the amount of the card rounded down. Aces you drink nothing. J, Q, K, you must drink 6,7,8 respectively. The dealer may pass the deck after three rounds but is not required to. After 3 rounds though, any player tell the dealer to "take a sip and pass the deck."

Brilliant. Most drinking games are about forcing people to drink. This game has totally flipped that around, which of course means that light drinkers can play with even your most grizzled alcoholic. So what's the point? Honor. Pride. That kind of stuff. It's about social status. I find that kind of intriguing. It is a game that doesn't just have a social context, it takes that advantage of that social context instead of just adding it on top. The mechanic also interests me enough to think about coding it. Hmmm, stuff to think about

Thursday, April 12, 2007


No more damn Vonnegut.

I wrote my senior paper in high school on Timequake.


(Ting-a-ling is a reference to that book in case you didn't know. It's not is most famous book.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Guerilla's know how to do it

(via BoingBoing) This caught my eye. A guy is putting on a Guerrilla Drive in and marketing it in a very interesting way. By broadcasting an access code on an AM frequency from a secret location, which you use to get updates on where its going to play. That's just friggin cool. Too bad it's on the wrong side of New York for me to go. Clicking on the links led me to the DIY instructions on starting your own. Myself, I'm going to Google for any near me, but I somehow doubt it.

Also I wonder if it is possible to harness this spirit for games. I've been every now and then considering how to create community events with games. I've talked about fun for the audience before. Games are supposed to unite people, players and spectators. I've considered the idea of Big Screen gaming events before. People taking turns playing console or computer games. Perhaps I should start this guerilla style?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Bet

I have this thing about observing games and play wherever I see it, and most importantly observing the people how they are acting and reacting. Like it always amuses me to see people buying lottery tickets. Recently I experienced an interesting sort of game. Recently a pair of my friends got married. Now, they dated in high school, but it definitely was not a continuous relationship since that time. Then again, even when they were apart all they really seemed to think about were each other, so who knows?

When faced with the sudden surprise announcement, after convincing us that it was not an April Fool's Joke, the other guys were of course conflicted. Would this work? How long will it last? The questions about the fate of these two hung in the back of our minds while we celebrated the beginning of the marriage process. Naturally, after those two left the rest of us started placing bets.

Basically we, three, each put down a bet. One bet that the marriage would last for a year or two before divorce, another bet between two and three years, and I optimistically bet three to four. If no one was right, all the money would go toward a party or something. We had talked about how much we wanted them work but our brains telling us that it wouldn't last. The other two reflected it seemed kind of cold to take bets on that. I firmly protested just because we act this way in the Magic Circle of a Game is not indicative of any lack of respect for two, on the contrary we wanted them to last! We all in fact wanted to lose!

That sent reverberations through my skull. A game we all wanted to lose. An interesting idea, no? It may or may not unique in that respect, especially with the way some people play certain drinking games, but it is certainly not common at all. It seems to come about when there is a cost outside of the game to winning. I'm not sure if that's the only time though. I'd have to think about that some more. The point is that I wonder if one can design a game to be like this. Some games are of course moddable so that this is an out come like a Vampire game where everyone takes the Flaw Dark Fate. Not that Vampire games are 'won' as such, but its close.

What would be more interesting was if the alternate endings in Wing Commander III, which were accessed by losing certain missions were somehow better. Like better ships at the end, or somehow more satisfying and less tragic.

I wonder what a game designed from the ground up to encourage losing would look like.