My Unannounced Title

I have decided to do something that which is likely my destiny, but it took my broker to convince me to go forward with this plan.

I am developing my own game: A project about the art of video games.

One of the very few textbooks for my BFA at Emerson was Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. The text looks at the aspects of visual communication in which comics work. It’s a comic book explaining the art form of comics in a comic book. I want to make a video game explaining the art form of video games in a video game.

This is an idea bouncing in my head for few years. Now I’ve decided this will be my first independently developed project since Antidote. The goal is to create a foundation and language for interactive media at a high level. While individuals working in games will hopefully appreciate this project, I’m including people who want a deeper understanding of interactive media concepts.

This isn’t a project to learn how to *make* video games. Nor is it a project to take current topical issues. It’s about how the form of interactivity has evolved though the years and the foundations that have survived though the years. Told in a narrative which invites the player to directly experience the concepts outlined. If my project can stand the test of time just as an art criticism book published in 1993 can, I have done my job well.

My first steps are creating the outline and design doc, which effectively amounts to an academic paper. I hope to work with a number of people working in net art and interactive media to help tinker with. There will reach a point where the project moves to actual implementation once the outline itself is solid.

Right now my goals are desktop platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux [hopefully]). I’d love to go into tablets (iOS, Android), but that is a technical specification and I don’t want to limit the project to that just yet. Consoles would be awesome, but way too much work for little return at this stage.

Funding is going to be the tricky bit. While I’m sure there’s a Kickstarter in my future, a few people I know make a good case that more traditional funding could be procured. A hybrid between wouldn’t be out of the question either. If an established studio came along for supporting the project, then sure! This is a project unlike any other, so I don’t feel there’s an established outfit that would support this project. Loved to be proven wrong, but it’s not likely. So I’ll just make one.

In all, this is a rather exciting decision for me, if not also scary. I’m launching into the realm of non-fiction gaming and starting the first art criticism game ever. In the process  I’m forming my own production house. No pressure. I feel confident that there’s a place in the world for this kind of project, and I’m confident that I can find an audience willing to support this endeavor. My hope is that I can make this all work out and continue my career in the games industry.

Again, no pressure.

  • http://worldmaker.net Max “WorldMaker” Battcher

    Good luck! Sounds like a useful sort of challenge to try to build. Also, the thing that comes to mind in reading your description here is Raph Koster’s A Theory of Fun. If there was one other game developer that I think should at least provide advice on a project idea like this, it would be Raph Koster.