Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Without Comparison: “Any Moment” by Jakub Koziol

Posted by (twitter: @yr_property)
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 12:30 pm

[Warning: the following is mildly spoilerific, but personally I think it’s about as spoiler-filled as your average game review. So if you want to enter this game completely unaffected, go play it first.]

Any Moment is an entry that is completely different. As far as I can tell, it bears no resemblance to any other game this LD. I think the best way to describe it would be the ‘weirdest’ or the most ‘experimental’ game, rather than the most ‘innovative’ . A game that I struggle to find a comparison for.

How many of us just have to keep connected to social media? The restless checking for new emails and messages, and the serious impediment this can be on your creativity. Any Moment centres on this, and then branches out into the author’s submergence into depression. This is interesting and evocative by itself; however, what makes it so special as to be considered ‘without comparison’ is the way it approaches this subject. There is only ever one screen. There is only ever one method of interaction. There is only ever one path. Profound minimalism. How else do I describe it?

Well, okay, I can maybe do a bit better… It is an autobiographical conversation game where you listen to the author detail the aforementioned problems, spoken with the genuineness and austerity of unscripted, stream-of-consciousness speech (even though I suspect it was partially written). The only occasions at which the player interacts is when a question is posed, at which point the player can press the spacebar when they are ready to continue listening. For instance, at one point you are asked, “have you ever lost interest in something you really loved?” The audio pauses; a prompt arises waitingSpace for your to press enter. The player pauses, contemplating and reflecting until they are ready to move on. For me, this was a profound method of interaction, unlike any other this LD. It doesn’t require choices and consequences, but it still engages the player to an extent much greater than many other entries combined. As patronising as this may sound, it forces you to ‘think’, to involve yourself.

There is also an interesting overriding theme in the game: the desire to be listened to. In games we expect the player to be the ones listened to. The player is the one who inputs, and the game acts accordingly. In this case the opposite is true. So then, I hear some of you cry, why on earth is it a game? Well, the player sets the pacing. They choose when to progress, and they are being directly interacted with by the author — there isn’t even a fourth wall to break. And the player listens. For once we holster our expectations of power and listen. I feel that this is an important message, ever more potent as more and more gamers are demanding games tailored to the  player, rather than games directed and authored by, well, the author(s).

So, an autobiographical minimalist game with no agency that demands passiveness on the part of the player. Yet it works. Go figure.

On a sidenote: this is the kind of game that some people may consider to be “ruining the game industry” and causing its impending “demise”. So in the spirit of hyperbolic dystopianism, I recommend everyone enter the Ruin Jam 2014, a jam to celebrate games that “contribute to the downfall of video games”. Hopefully I’ll get the time to do my little bit in aid of the forthcoming apocalypse. (And thank you to Sunflower for bringing my attention to it.)

Also, this is the third ‘best of’ list I’ve written (well, in this case it’s more of a mini-feature). Please do check out my past two lists on the best romantic/erotic entries and the best sci-fi entries.

–Snoother

Our Ludum Dare entry got featured by NewGrounds and Adobe!

Posted by
Saturday, August 31st, 2013 9:24 am

Hey guys,

We released our game ‘Mr. Moore’s Last Seconds‘ here on Ludum Dare as our entry for the 72 hour jam. This game was made from scratch with no used or re-used assets. The interesting thing is, that we actually posted the game on NewGrounds, you know, just to see what the community over there would think. The creator of ‘Clockwork Cat’, ‘Captain Jack’, ‘Pull The Wire’ and more also did the same. They got the same result! I don’t know about those guys, but I’m overjoyed that our game got Front-Page on NewGrounds. Also, when we thought it couldn’t get any more awesome, Adobe decided to announce it as the ‘Gaming Rocks Pick of the Week’. The game has ~25,500 as of this post, and for us, that’s a huge achievement.

We created a small team called ‘Hexaton Games‘, and we would really appreciate it if you followed us on either Facebook(link) or Twitter(link)! If you have played the game, and you like it, the you would be doing us a huge favour by supporting us and getting the games OST for only $1 (link). We really do hope to make some more awesome games for you guys.

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Anyway, I guess the main purpose of this post is to encourage the Ludum Dare developers to post the game on NewGrounds, try and get a little attention from it. I mean, you deserve it, you made a game in 72 hours, and you should all be damn proud of yourselves no matter how big or how small it was. You actually made a game. If you didn’t, or you didn’t finish in time, just try making your ideas a little smaller until you know you can develop them. We personally can not wait for the next Ludum Dare!

You can play the game at NewGrounds HERE!

Thanks,

Joey (Hexaton Games)

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