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Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

A week and a bit ago I had a weekend to myself so in an effort to avoid boredom/madness I decided to be super productive and take foody photos (the pizza in my most recent post) and also have a go at making some Christmas presents, which I will not post about until after Christmas, for fairly obvious reasons…

All in all it was a success but I wanted to get out of the flat as I was going stir crazy so I wandered down to the Dundee Contemporary Arts to have a look at some indie game developers showing off their latest creations. Oh yeah, I am that cool.

Some people may find wandering around a video game exhibition on their lonesome a faintly embarrassing experience. It turns out I may be one one of those people.

After the initial embarrassment dispersed I did get chatting to some of the developers and it turned out to be quite an interesting couple of hours. I love video games and have done since I was a kid so I find the current climate really interesting. The rise of independent game developers creating low budget but often innovative games is, I think, a good thing for an industry over saturated with generic war shooters.

I’m sure this is something I will discuss more in the future but at the moment I think people should check out Pippin Barr’s selection of games and ‘games’. They are at times funny, frustrating, clever, confusing and often downright bizarre.

One that Pippin demonstrated at the event was Safety Instructions. This is effectively a typing game, where you have 10 seconds to type out the safety instructions on the screen. Sounds basic but it is actually entertaining. Pippin said that his aim was to create a sense of panic in the player, and oddly this does work. I like this idea of using very simple game play mechanics to create specific emotions within the player. I’m a fairly clumsy typer so I ended seeing this screen a fair bit.

He also has games which made me laugh, partly down to how daft they are but that just makes them more enjoyable. Epic Sax Game and Zorba are two examples of these.

There are lots of games on his site here which are all very simple but they are worth investigating. Often these sort of things can be seen as pretentious and I guess I can sometimes see why, but they are also definitely interesting. I think experimental and/or indie game developers are important as they can try things out that bigger developers would see as too much of a risk. A small indie company do not have to ensure they get a metacritic rating of 85 or over to get a bonus or even keep their jobs, so they can create content that may split the audience. These experiments and even the mistakes are useful for future developers (larger and small) as they can see what is a good idea, or where something went wrong and hopefully create more interesting and unique content in the future.

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