Audiences & Experiences — Week 5 (Viewing / Reviewing)

This week in the Audiences & Experiences unit of the course, I spent the majority of my time looking at starting my game design document and planning out the outlines of some of the sections of it. Specifically I started working on the sections regarding inspirations for the game as well as that of the audiences that the game is targeting. There’s not a whole lot to say here — A lot of it was mentioned when I last presented to the class, but I elaborated a little more on the main game that inspired the idea, as well as real-life inspirations for the concept.

Aside from the GDD, we were also assigned to play two games. One of our own choosing, and one from a small selection provided to us.

From the selection, I had a brief go at “Airplane mode”, a game that is essentially meant to replicate the experience of flying in an airplane as realistically as possible. A bit of an odd experience, but one that actually kind of captured a lot of the small things that you would tend to experience in a real plane flight, like just being able to look around and see other passengers going about their business and looking around. I imagine this is something that might appeal to people that are scared of flying or have never flown before, as a way to get an idea of what the real thing might be like (though arguably a 360 degree video of a real flight may serve the same purpose in this sense? I’m uncertain).

The second game I played is one that I used as a inspiration for the current GDD I’m working on — Celeste. It’s a game I’d played before, but I wanted to give it another go with a new save file for the purposes of reminding myself about the game and what it’s like. The game covers the journey of Madeline, a mostly ambiguous character (who the developer later revealed to be transgender) who decides to climb a mountain, much against the advice of a local elderly lady. I won’t spoil too much for anyone that wants to play the game themselves, but the game focuses a lot on her interactions with a mirror image of herself (who fans have aptly nicknamed “badeline”) who represents much of her inner turmoil and anxieties. Eventually after a great deal of struggle, she comes to accept this part of herself. I thought that this idea is a really nice model, and is something I’d like to explore in a similar manner in my design document for Crestfallen.

The last task we were assigned for this week was to read the first ten or so pages of the history of indiecade. This was a really fun and interesting read compared to some of the more academic readings we’ve been doing, and it was super intriguing to see how events like these built themselves from the ground up. It reminded me a lot about the story of someone I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past who helped set up insomnia gaming festival, which had a similar success story in some ways.