Some Game Chatter and The Endless Maze
Written by CJ Hurtt, Writer/Content Planner.
I usually use this space to talk about DOTT and what we’re up to and where the game is at as far as production goes, but today I want to talk about other games. In case you’re wondering though, DOTT is cruising along and we are still toiling in the dark to bring it to life. Indie games, man, it’s a slow go sometimes. We’re a small team and it might look like there’s not much activity. That’s because we don’t want to announce something prematurely. It’s happening. It’s just happening a little secretly. With any luck there’ll be a ton of announcements all at once as we march forward.
Anyway. Other games. That’s what I came here for.
Silent Hill, Arcanum, Riven, Fallout 2, Grim Fandango, and Vampire: The Masquerade. These five games changed my life and how I view games. Yes, I know. They’re all old. So am I. I played these games at just the right time to affect me though. What they showed me grabbed me by the brain stem and never really turned loose.
Obviously , game innovation did not end with these games and I’m not so backwards looking as to suggest that new games need to replicate the the past. I know, I know. I’m treading dangerously close to being like THAT GUY here who explains to all the kids how they don’t know music. “That’s right, you guys don’t know nothin’ because you don’t listen to Dexy’s Midnight Runners. That’s was back when music mattered, dammit!” But, it’s not really about that.
Those five games have amazing settings and atmosphere. They present a world where you are mostly alone, or alienated, but the actions you take matter. You are faced with existential crisis and told to “do”. Do something good? Do something bad? There will be consequence for either action and it may or may not be a positive one (even if you did something “good”).
Everything is a puzzle to ponder and solving it will probably only reveal another puzzle or the question of whether trying to unsolved the truly unsolvable is worthwhile. There’s an endless labyrinth to walk. You will never reach the end. Do you still try as what you may learn on the way may prove enlightening? Or do you skip the whole thing and eat pizza while shooting laser guns at demons? Do you try to synthesize the two options?
In Arcanum, there’s a mystery quest concerning a conspiracy. You run through a number of hoops before you hit a brick wall in your investigation. The conspiracy won it seems. Or maybe it wasn’t real to begin with. Maybe the game devs just wanted to reference Chinatown. On a playthough, do you still run the mission for the experience? Do you skip it because it goes nowhere?
I always run it because deep down I believe there’s something that I missed. One day I will find that missing clue and it will all come together.
Also, I enjoy chaos.
I’ll be back again and run though these five games and what I think is in them someday soon.
Have to go. DOTT’s stirring again.
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