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Summer Project: 1 down, 5 to go

April 27, 2008

I’ve been into game design without electricity a lot recently, moreso than at any other time in my career. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been reading my blog.

It’s been an especially enjoyable time for me as a designer because being unconstrained by production deadlines and traditional industry profit motives, I’m able to experiment with particular mechanics and play patterns for my favorite reason: just because I can. There was a point a few years ago when I would have looked upon something like this as a purely academic exercise without much of a point. Now that I’m on doing it, though, it feels more to me like I’m freed from the artist factory where they tell me to paint the same picture (or the same type of picture) day after day after day.

And now I am free to paint what I want. Many designers won’t get the opportunity to discover just how plastic games can be.

This summer, I’m going to be creating six different games, each dealing with its own topic. Ultimately, I hope to display these games in an installation (a term that experience designers, interactive artists and others use when they display their works for others to view). I’m not ready to talk about what the games are about yet, but the title of the whole thing is “The Mechanic is the Message.”

I finished the initial design for one of the six games this weekend. I’ll be building the prototype over the next couple of weeks. If you’ve ever completed design on a game, then you know how hip this feels.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 28, 2008 12:06 am

    Strange that you made a post about this, because I plan to be doing the exact same thing (http://dsilvers.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/to-design-or-to-gopher/). A company recently e-mailed me back and said they had no art or design openings, but that I could get them coffee if I wanted. So I’ve decided instead to just sit down and make a bunch of games: new board games, that flash game, and my big mod. I’d rather make coffee to spur my own creativity than someone else’s, and I’ve realized I haven’t done enough designing in the last few years. I’m sort of thinking of it as my three months training for Applied. This is where you laugh and tell me it won’t even be enough.

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