RMBR is probably my most important game since I started to bake some pixeled stuff 2 years ago.
If you have trouble to understand the concept of the game you can watch this Vine. Or try to imagine a Twine game where you “drag” the words and not just “click” on them. That’s a bit synthetic but it’s the closest description I can write with my poor English skills.
There are two main ideas behind RMBR. The first one was, I wanted to make a game about Alzheimer. I actually have a grand-mother who suffers from it, and I wanted to try to explain feeling you can have when you speak with her, but also what I imagine (from what I see and what she tells me) being her mind. How words are losing their meanings, how memories are becoming blurry and fade away, and how some of them, the oldest ones, are in contrary back vividly.
To be honest I totally failed to do it correctly, mainly because I needed a lot more time to write and include some contents. Time I didn’t have during the jam. But more on that later.
The second idea came from my recent interest in french surrealists. I’m presently reading a lot of novels/poems by Breton, Leiris, Desnos or Queneau (about whom I already develop with a game called Milmiliar – only in french right now sorry about that – which was inspired by Hundred Thousand Billion Poems). And Leiris specially worked a lot on the words and their meanings, how each one of us have their own personal dictionary. If we think that the meaning of a word is shared by everyone, that’s an illusion. Because we all have our own experiences of the word, our own memories, our own understanding of it. So he decided to write his own dictionary (Glossaire j’y serre mes gloses in french, I didn’t find any translation of it sorry about that).
And because he was a surrealist and a poet, Leiris decided to write only definitions with puns.
For example in RMBR you can find this definition of “game”: a gem. This is something very personal for me. It represents the way I feel about games – well some games at least – and at the same time is an anagram of “game”.
This is what RMBR is about. You start with a very simple little story, told in few words. And then you can explore it like you would do with a landscape or a building in an adventure game, by exploring the words and what they mean in context. Until you finally find a definition like the one above.
The exploration is mainly about two points of view: mine and my grandmother’s. Exploring her mind or mine produces different results. In the boy’s mind things gets accurate and are a lot in the moment. In her mind things are confusing, words fade away. Well that was the intention at first.
I had a lot in mind while doing RMBR. But because it was my first mobile game so I spent a lot of time struggling with basics mobile dev problems, and didn’t get enough time to include all the content I wanted or all the features I imagined. But the main concept is here and the feedbacks I got surely convince me that I had something.
I like this idea of navigating in a text like you would do in an adventure game. As a fan of Simogo’s Device 6 I sure want to explore news ways to build a bridge between literature and video games. And mobile phone or tablet are probably the best media to do so.
That’s why RMBR is my most important game. I think I finally got something that’s really merging these two objects. And now I want to push it further.
I’m currently working on a full version of the game which will not be only about exploring a text but also will integrate puzzles and enigmas. The structure of it is a bit uncertain at the moment while I’m mainly trying to improve the “engine” and testing some mechanisms. But I’m also rewriting all the content, in french this time. Because I can’t do something good in a language I can’t really master. Two people are going to help me.
David (Badabing): He did some SFX and music for the jam version (at the last moment, thanks to him) and will be in charge of the sound design.
Violette: She will work on the English translation of the game. We’ll work together, because a lot of the texts will not be directly translated but in fact entirely rewritten.
So I hope this little post-mortem gave you some interest in the game. If so, you can:
– try the jam version http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=7969
– stay tuned via my twitter @Pitoum
– take a look at my unfinished website http://www.pitoum.net
– leave a comment if you have any question
Thanks for reading/playing!