I've decided to start a journal for Summoning Signals (and some idea loosely related to this project). Game design is a strange beast and I've decided to try to document my journey trying to make a game/art-game/experience thing. I hope that by keeping this journal I'll be able to organize my thoughts, build and implement the ideas/mechanics that make sense and discuss world building in general.
What is Summoning Signals?
Summoning Signals is a project I created in March 2019 for an art residency at Perte-De-Signal in Montréal. The idea was simple, I was supposed to make something in response to two other artists whom I was collaborating with (Lucas Paris and Pascale Leblanc Lavigne). We were working on a repetitive movement and I made a very simple Dreamcast art-game where the player would interact with solar panels and a strange radio. If you charged your battery during the day, you would be able to receive mysterious transmission . The way these message were generated felt like they kind of followed a sort of, albeit loose, narrative. (This version is still available for download, by the way)
It has since then evolved into something quite different.
The simple idea of receiving poetic messages from a radio turned into a more organized narrative with exploration aspects, item collecting, and so-on. I think the first thing I wanted to add to the game was a bigger world. That doesn't surprise me, I LOVE world building. I wanted the player to discover a strange world and tell a more structured story. So I turned the game upside down and now you have something resembling quests, with items to collect and devices to repair. There is around 15 areas to explore. I feel like overall, this new version will offer a richer, more complete, experience.
But what experience? What do I want to convey with this game?
If I am making a narrative-oriented game, what story do I want to tell?
Am I just making a narrative experience to excuse my love for world building?
How do you feel about that? Do you need to justify your game with narrative?
How do you deal with making projects that fall out of the classic game experience?