This is the game made for the Berlin Mini Game Jam on November 2013. I don’t remember the theme of the jam any more.
A few days before I had attended a presentation by Fernando Ramallo about his game “Panoramical“. One thing he mentioned that picked my attention is that some people, when they play the game in public, they tend to try to play in a way that pleases the audience. That is, they are not so much playing for their own entertainment, but for kind of “showing off”. That got me thinking about the idea of this game.
Using Qt, I am able to run an app that displays two windows. This game is meant to be played in front of an audience, with a projector. The control window should only be seen by the player, while the other window should be placed at the part of the desktop that is displayed in the projector, for the audience. There is an animation, that due to the time constraints of a game jam it’s basically a set of coloured rectangles moving around, appearing and disappearing, in a very abstract way. The control window also shows a (fixed) set of sentences. The player can click on any of them, at it will be shown in the “game” window.
The idea is to provide a voiceover, through the sentences you choose and at the moment you click on them, to the animation that is playing automatically. In a sense, you can change the meaning of the images on screen by choosing which tale to tell.
The game itself is a failure. I was concentrated on the technical side of the implementation, and never gave much thought to the actual content on it. Combined with the time limitations, this resulted in a rather disappointing result. A part of me wanted to do a parody of pretentious “artistic” narrations by going over the top with the pretentiousness and vacuity, but I never was inspired enough to write anything funny at all, and the animation itself is way too crude and ambiguous. The main problem, when it comes to the content, was however the branching. That is, the animation itself is fixed, but the set of sentences is branching, like in a twine game, at it was very hard to keep the tree of options within a reasonable breadth while providing interesting choices. Currently no choice is actually interesting at all.
I guess I would need to rethink or revisit the concept in the future, taking a different approach to the content side of it. Still, I think that the idea of a game that is meant to be played in front of an audience, for the purpose of entertaining them instead of entertaining the player, can be interesting.
Because I call this a failed game, shelved under the “abandoned projects” category of this blog, I didn’t even bother to make builds for the different platforms. I’m providing linux binaries, if you want to run it on a different OS you will need to compile the source code itself. It’s written in Qt, so it’s multiplatform, that shouldn’t be a problem.