Some words about words

Part of what I want my Feedback Loops game to do is comment on why and when games (and anything) are or aren’t fun. There’s plenty more to the idea, but that theme is where this started for me. Games have played with their own tropes for years – watch this playthrough of Default Dan for a few seconds and you’ll see what I’m getting at. I like that sort of thing and think I have a take on it…

Default Dan and his coiny decapitation
Default Dan and his coiny decapitation (click the image for official site)

Some folks have been generous with time and advice recently (thank you Matthew, Jonathan and UsTwo) and it’s shaped my plans some more. I’m confident in the Feedback Loops idea, but also developing a sense of how complex it will be to implement. It seems that a good place to start will be to just make something that feels good. Without simultaneously commenting on why at the same time. That’s prompted another idea (that’s two whole ideas now, I’m basically the new Miyamoto / Einstein).

I’m preoccupied with the written word, particularly after a brief intro to Critical Theory in my late teens. It created an unnerving sense of how difficult it is to be sure that the meaning of anything we write down is conveyed and understood as intended. Growing up and seeing (particularly through work) the way that the world has adapted to the internet and social media has also contributed to that feeling.  But, also seemingly as a result, I fucking love word games. So I’m going to make one of those, and aiming for it to be simple but different, and funny, and fun.

Grayout logo
Grayout – horror doctor make tap-tap less wordy (click the image for official site)

I played Neven Mrgan’s language-stifling Grayout during a spell of high anxiety at the end of last year. Even though it’s completely terrifying, it’s brilliantly so. I’m rubbish with horror, but when it’s that clever and the fear feels like it’s been earned, it’s hard to beat for exhilaration. To have made anxiety fun is a pretty remarkable thing, I reckon.

Games like Grayout and Simogo’s Device 6 are always amongst the first to come to mind when I think of my favourite games. But after a little thought, it struck me that so are more light-hearted examples like Denki’s Quarrel (not on the App Store anymore, sadly) and You Don’t Know Jack . In terms of cumulative time, I’ve sunk hours and hours into those latter two and plenty more like them.

So yeah, I’m going to try and add something of the tone of those latter examples to the mix. Shan’t be attempting to frighten anyone, not sure I have that in me. But making a fun word game feels like a good ambition for now.

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