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1  General / Check this out! / Re: My latest gametrekking notgames on: May 18, 2011, 05:14:40 AM

Thanks for your comments, and interpretation of Taiwan! That's great that the game didn't come across as overtly political to you, as I'd rather that it not do... I call It "political" just because I don't want to be accused of trying to "mask" a political message or something Wink. Where did you get to in the game? It continues to change up until about 1:50 . Interested to see what you thin of the other creations, as they are quite different Smiley.


Thanks for taking the time! Yeah, I was going to mention that I reused a lot of code/assets for The Killer, but I figured it'd be obvious for anyone who played the other Smiley . I agree that the music may be a bit grand for the action... also that it's a bit of a juxtaposition from the context, being Icelandic in origin. The reason I use it is that the whole idea for the (not)game came to me while listening to that song (while in Cambodia), so it's all wrapped up together for me... though perhaps not for others.
2  General / Check this out! / My latest gametrekking notgames on: May 16, 2011, 09:42:03 AM
Hi all. Sorry that I haven't been very active on this forum lately Sad . This is still one of my favorite forums on the internet... I just haven't been discussing much on the internet lately, since I've been spending all my time traveling, and all my other time trying to make notgames about it (, for those who aren't familiar with my project).

Anyway, I am more passionate than ever about the notgame idea, and have been doing my best to make intentional notgames about my experiences traveling, and the things I learn about the countries that I pass through... just little sketches and experiments that may or may not be useful to anyone (and may or may not be overreaching and exploitative).

Anyway, without further ado, here's what I've churned out over the last few months:

Taiwan :

Relevant blog post: The first gametrekking games

A little abstract political piece that might be more game than notgame... I still intentionally left out many traditional gaming elements though (eg explicit goals, scoring, etc.).

The Kindness of Strangers :

Relevant blog posts: Taiwan: touch your heart, The first gametrekking games

An autobiographical travel piece that is definitely more notgame than game, but regretfully contains one really "gamey" element, which is the "wall-jumping" skill requirement.

The Killer :

Relevant blog post: Cambodia: Like no place I've been

This one may be flat out emotionally-exploitative. I've had quite a few people say that it moved and/or educated them, but does it deserve to?

So anyway, I'm happy for any feedback or thoughts as usual. And no, my feelings won't be hurt Smiley .
3  General / Introductions / Re: Taking a look around... on: September 13, 2010, 05:30:44 AM
Hi Russel, nice to see you here. Took a look at your site: very cool!
4  General / Everything / Re: CNN thinks games are art (but forgets about the artists?) on: September 08, 2010, 07:32:05 PM
To me this single thing has always been the most important aspect of what we call "indie"; way more important than the possibility of "unlimited freedom", "no deadlines", etc etc.

When you put your name on something you immediately make it 10000% percent more interesting, because you take the biggest possible responsibility for it. It's basically like saying "this thing describes me", and that's a very good way to make other care about what you do. People are interested in other people.

And obviously it helps anyone with a big ego, like me Smiley

I'm right there with you Erik.

And I think you're right Michaël that the author's use of artists' names vs. game names is telling and significant. To me it emphasizes the fact that with video games we are generally working on a product, as you say, rather than attempting to express ourselves in a meaningful/personal/authorial way.
5  General / Check this out! / Re: - computer games (read NOTGAMES) inspired by world travel on: August 12, 2010, 02:23:46 PM
darn. you're not going to the Philippines?

I'd love to, actually! Just not as certain about the Philippines, because of the whole crossing water issue... will definitely look into cheap flights/ferries, and make it there if I can!

Any particular connection for you (with the Philippines)?
6  General / Check this out! / Re: - computer games (read NOTGAMES) inspired by world travel on: July 31, 2010, 04:48:39 PM
Thanks Michaël! You've got a point about the electricity/connectivity issue! I've thought about it, and determined that I'll simply have to spend some time around power outlets if I go "trekking" for a while in some place without electricity. Fortunately or unfortunately, most of the world seems to be pretty "connected" these days.
7  General / Check this out! / - computer games (read NOTGAMES) inspired by world travel on: July 30, 2010, 10:22:01 PM

Some of you may know that I live in Korea. I've been teaching English here for the last couple of years (when not writing about or making computer games/notgames Wink. Well, I'm going to be heading out in October, for the next phase of my life, which is going to be some extended traveling. The reason I'm posting this here is that I thought some of you might be interested to know that what I'm hoping to do during my travels is make notgames about the things I see and experience. I just started a Kickstarter project saying as much, and assuming I can meet my goal, that's what I'll be doing.

I just wanted to say that I'm really excited about the idea, and thank you all for inspiring me in a big way. This website played a large role in re-igniting my passion for the interactive medium, and especially my passion for making notgames (which I've been making ever since I found this place).

Preempting Michaël's concerns about my project: I know that I won't get everything right. Heck, maybe I won't get anything right. I know that Freedom Bridge failed in a lot of ways, but when I read a comment like the one at the bottom of this page, I can't help but think that it succeeded in some ways, too, even if only for some people.

I want to do better, I want to experiment, I want to fail and have you guys tell me why, and try again and again. I'm ready to give this notgames thing my sweat and blood for a solid while.

So wish me luck Wink

More information on the project at
8  General / Introductions / Re: new around here on: June 30, 2010, 05:10:18 AM
Welcome Marek. I've been looking around your website, and am curious to play some of your games when I get the chance. Also cool to see you involved with Glorious Trainwreks.
9  General / Introductions / Re: Hello on: June 15, 2010, 04:34:18 PM
Welcome Ed! Just now took a look at that video, and I like it a lot. Very keen to see where the project goes.
10  General / Introductions / Re: Hello ngf on: June 15, 2010, 04:31:42 PM
Welcome David! I tried out Ada, and like it a lot: very interesting, innovative, and experimental. We definitely need to be doing more interesting things with sound in software, so its great to see things like this.

Looking forward to "seeing you around."

11  General / Introductions / Re: Hate to start another thread on "H". on: June 02, 2010, 04:18:44 AM
Interesting to hear the different opinions on realtime vs. pre-rendered. I definitely agree that there is a big difference, though I would also agree with Utforska in that I don't think one is superior to the other. I'm interested to play realMyst, but I can't imagine it having the same slow, thoughtful pace, and dreamlike feeling that the original version had for me.
12  General / Introductions / Re: Hate to start another thread on "H". on: May 31, 2010, 02:11:49 PM
Thanks for the info Utforska. I've been interested in playing Riven for a while (I've remained quite impressed with Myst, since I played through it several years ago), and your recommendation has brought it to the front of my mind again.
13  General / Introductions / Re: Hate to start another thread on "H". on: May 28, 2010, 03:09:18 AM
Welcome Utforska!

Curious regarding your recommendation of Riven: have you played all the games in the Myst series? Most people seem to agree that Riven was the strongest in any case, but I'm just wondering (I myself have only played Myst).
14  Creation / Notgames design / Re: When gameplay hurts - my path to notgames on: May 25, 2010, 01:05:43 AM
Gamers are used to putting some effort in their entertainment. And if they pick up one of our games, it's probably not because they're expecting Mario or Doom.

Good point. Though gamers can be fussy in terms of preferences, it's true that they're used to working for their own entertainment, which is a rather unique strength (obviously "sophisticated" entertainment at any level requires effort on the part of the viewer, but with games, even the most "lazy" gamers are used to putting in some effort). And as you say, the more "fussy" gamers aren't probably very likely to pick up a notgame anyway.

This is another one of those conversations around the issue of how much game to you put into your not-a-game experience. I've decided to eject all gaminess from my project. It seems to me that half-heartedly putting in some weak game elements into an art project doesn't make it an art project that may attract some gamers, it just makes the experience a crappy game. From what I've seen, Amnesia is, at it's core, a game. This doesn't mean it can't be an interesting and artistic experience. You seem to be putting a lot of thought into it as a game, which is good. I can understand you're frustrations but I don't think you should look at it as gameplay vs experience. If your game is strong, everything will fall into place - make Amnesia that best GAME it can be. It's when the gameplay is secondary that it can be problematic.

Interesting point Ghostwheel. Personally I feel that we haven't yet explored deep enough to know all the ways that gameplay and "experience" or atmosphere might interact. But at the same time, I think you're on to something, in that I don't believe the interactive component of a work should ever be treated as a second class citizen to image and sound, whether or not that interactive component is built around "gamey" elements. Whatever the interactive elements are, they need to be fully integrated as part of the work's aesthetic. Something that far too many game developers don't seem to understand.
15  Creation / Notgames design / Re: When gameplay hurts - my path to notgames on: May 24, 2010, 02:10:33 AM
Thanks for sharing Thomas! Your experience as a developer here is exactly the flipside of what we've been talking about over on the interactive closure thread:

Interesting how the sides converge!
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