Sorry yet again about the delays and inactivity! It's not that I've stopped caring or drifted too far off course; I'm just working my way through a lot of difficult things right now. Still. I have three weeks free after next week, though, so I'll have more than enough time to resume work on games development. I'd like to write a bit here though about dipping my toe into the world of games playing
, which I rarely do...
Though I've spent years of my life making games, I've said before that I rarely play them. This is because I began seeing them as the competition, and rather than feeling inspired by the work of others, I just felt inadequate if my own efforts couldn't compare. The fact that the world of gaming seemed to be inhabited almost entirely by the 'sort of person' I didn't see myself as is a big factor too. Anyway, I avoided games for ages.
Recently I've been playing Bravely Default (which I mentioned recently), and getting back into games a bit that way. But today, I delved into Hearthstone; a bit of a random thing for me, not something I'd normally seek out, but... Well, basically, of the two friends I've made here at university, I'm especially interested in keeping in touch with one during the impending summer holidays (during which I'll retreat back into isolation for like three months, which is good for games development but bad for my sanity). She's really into Hearthstone - a game she was introduced to by her boyfriend, it seems - and though it didn't immediately seem like my kind of thing, I felt I should at least give it a go so then we could do something together. I've only played it for a couple of hours so far, and I didn't hate what I saw, but it made me wonder what other options there might be.
She's not hugely into games in general, and nor am I (and I am aware of how silly that always sounds considering what I do), so it's difficult to find one we'd both care about.
My idea of a good, appealing game would be one where we could just explore a world together... Cooperative, not competitive. More of an adventure than a challenge. The game Journey (which I love) is a good example of what I mean, though annoyingly the whole point of that is that you play with a stranger.
A cursory perusal of the relevant tags on Steam reveals mostly the sorts of macho fare that made me feel that gaming isn't really for me. Fighting, conquest, crass silliness... I'm not saying there's anything wrong
with these things; it just feels as if there's nothing that really matches the specific thing that I personally would enjoy. Something beautiful
that fosters bonding and a feeling of immersive awe.
It makes me want to make such a game myself, but I'm not sure how I'd go about it. While I've not been actively developing games as quickly as I'd like recently (just little, unmotivated bits here and there), I've been going over a lot of ideas in my head. While I feel I should probably return to Taming Dreams, I feel more and more drawn to the other idea that I spoke of; the one built on the same engine but with a different feel and goal. Something I can make, finish and release on both mobiles and Steam without having to worry about carrying on with episodes forever.
I'll talk about it more later - posting concept drawings and my ideas as I develop them - but the gist is that you'd play as a woman ('female protagonist' is a popular tag on Steam for a reason) who is essentially struggling with feelings of loneliness, who wants to seek out and befriend others... or something. It'd deal with the Three (or six, depending on how you look at it) Ideals I've talked of before, and would involve - perhaps - the same 'agitation' system as Taming Dreams.
You'd roam around a world alone, meeting people who'd join your party and offer you quests. By completing their quests, you'd develop your relationship with them, learn more about them; sort of like how levelling up characters unlocked backstory stuff in MARDEK. There'd be a handful of these characters you could find by exploring the world - six, probably - though it's up to you which ones you find and let join you. It wouldn't have a linear story, but rather by befriending a number of people, you'd be able to unlock a final area and ending and such.
I have planned it in much more detail than this, but as I said, I'll talk about it in more depth in later posts (though I get the feeling I already have a bit in earlier ones), but that's the gist.
I'm not promising anything; I'm just going over my thoughts at the moment, tangled and tormented as they are. I'm excited about exploring possibilities!
On another note, here's a random portrait that has nothing to do with anything:
It's based on ∞ this photo of some random model ∞
, though it's an idiosyncratic interpretation rather than a photorealistic carbon copy.
I hadn't painted anything in weeks (I've been neglecting literally everything as I forget everything about overcoming difficult feelings that I tried to teach and sink deeply into my own miserable mind), so I show this as a way of saying that I'm at least making some steps to return to a more productive state! Which feels good.