Matilda Wants Some Foods
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Matilda is a mini-experiment: a minimal core “dramatic beat” of PC/NPC interaction that involves negotiation over a clear goal with a clear confrontational obstacle. You play the cat Matilda, who wants “foods,” and you must overcome the obstacle of your owner Jenn and her interpretation of your behavior in order to get the foods. The interface consists of menu-based dialog choices that attempt to unify implied behaviors and/or actions with the intentions of speech. This is the first in a building-blocks approach that will continue in Perchance to Dream.
The ultimate goal of this game development is to leave behind the typical tree-branching of game conversations that often result in a “hub-and-spokes” model confined by distinct entrance to and exit from conversations. In other words, the tactics mapping and variable tracking of a conversation engine can lead to a plotted-out (but not not “on rails”) webbing approach of linked conversations with multiple NPC’s in a story experience that can avoid simplistic branching while still retaining the ease of play in menu-choices for a simple interface.
Sleepwalking Backwards is an experimental Commodore 64 narrative experience with simple top-down puzzle mechanics. It was developed in 48 hours at Global Game Jam 2012 with teammates Ethan Fenn (programmer), Eliott Mitchell (artist), Arshan Gailus (musician) and Greg Kinneman (programmer). As a player, you push together pieces of Polaroid snapshots to progress through fragmented memories of a relationship. Arranging the pieces correctly reveals text, images and doorways to further rooms. I discussed the game in a Creator Spotlight post by J.C. Hutchins.
The game is hosted and playable here on the site of our musician, Arshan Gailus. It only takes about 2-3 minutes to play. If you’re interested in our process and the constraints of making a C64 game, check out these postmortem blog posts by our programmer Ethan Fenn and our artist Elliott Mitchell.
Perchance to Dream
Website - Work in Progress
This project is a conversation-based visually interactive drama variant of the Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) style of game. The gameplay takes place through menu-based dialogue choices and actions involving puzzles that provide the player with an interactive narrative experience. Development for the game began the weekend of October 9 & 10, 2010 as a part of the Boston Game Jams Lunar Jam. It is a collaboration of Myers Interactive, Hybrid Mind Studios, Arshan Gailus and programmer Don Mitchell.
You are a researcher of The Daedalus Project, a lunar-based experiment in which something has gone terribly wrong. People are treating you strangely. Unknown faces seem familiar. Your wife seems to be hiding something. Could it be sinister? You seek answers. As you proceed, conflicting memories lead you to challenge not only your trust of others, but also your own perceptions of reality. What is The Daedalus Project? "Why," you ask, "am I here?"