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1044923 Posts in 42338 Topics- by 34035 Members - Latest Member: michaeltheflynn

September 22, 2014, 02:13:07 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingGray
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aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« on: April 22, 2009, 02:16:02 PM »


Yo, we just released this little game Mike (fucrate) and I did over the last few weeks in Flash. We're interested in your feedback and interpretations. It's one of those highfalutin "art-games" so it's not intended to be entertaining. Try and keep that in mind while playing it.

Play it now

Thanks everybody.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 02:50:33 PM by aeiowu » Logged

CK
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2009, 02:36:46 PM »



no, the gameplay wasn't stimulating and it becomes monotonous quickly.  but that's just as a game.

it seemed to me like a symbolically-heavy, politically-minded application.  that was my initial interpretation.  people were running en mass in the same direction, most of them wouldn't listen, a few would, getting their attention was short and simple and never failed if you kept pressing space - this is what made me think it was political.  facts over emotion = reason.  the smart people can be told the truth, they can accept it, and then use this new information for their own gain (reaching others as it required many people).

that is only what i thought and i know it's a silly interpretation.

i really enjoyed the graphics, they were great  Grin Hand Thumbs Up Right  i mean i really really liked them  Kiss
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increpare
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 02:58:25 PM »

ah, that was cool.

the tedium of the mechanic wasn't that bad, for me.  generally I liked what you guys have put together : )
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Glyph
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 04:45:52 PM »

I found it to be pretty fun. I liked how it flipped what side you're on. That's cool.
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 05:08:06 PM »

I am kinda curious- does it go on forever? I switched back and forth twice, just to make sure it didn't end there. Still, really cool game, nice use of symbolism.
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george
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 05:08:17 PM »

The visual, sound and motion design were really enjoyable, just great. I thought for a moment that convincing the blokes with the signs/placards would be harder or more challenging but after a few tries it seemed mostly the same as talking with someone not holding a sign. I played a bit after the switch but I admit it got a little monotonous, after which I quit.

A longer game about crowds and demagoguery would be pretty neat. Smiley
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aeiowu
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 05:11:20 PM »

thanks everyone.

ps. I urge you to try and finish the game, but that's all I really can say I think...
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 05:34:58 PM »

Game is worth finishing. I'm apparently the first TIGer to do so. I did enjoy it, though the mechanic was a bit irritating. Not badly presented, and the art is fantastic.

Overall, it's good. Deep but not staggeringly so, and well presented.
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2009, 05:58:49 PM »

thanks everyone.

ps. I urge you to try and finish the game, but that's all I really can say I think...

Just to make sure we're clear, there is an ending apart from switching everyone over to a certain side?


On to analysis.

The design is nicely done, the static and gray tones all work well together. It took me a while to fully grasp the logic behind convincing people to convert, I think I only truly ever understood it form a gameplay perspective until around the third time switching a crowd over. I'm not sure this is really a good thing. The symbolism in your game seemed to me more obvious than your mechanics themselves, which I think forces the player to think more about playing the game than the game's actual meaning.

As far as meaning goes, your use of the colors black and white in addition to the riot setting makes connections to racism and the civil rights movement, although I think the intended idea here is a bit more subtle. It seems to be a game about tolerance, though more about tolerance of ideology than tolerance of race.
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TOM SENNETT
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2009, 07:17:18 PM »

It's one of those highfalutin "art-games" so it's not intended to be entertaining. Try and keep that in mind while playing it.

That's a joke right?

But seriously, I agree with Captain 404 - the theme of the game is more intuitive and better communicated than the actual mechanics. I think that's a little silly, personally. Kickass themes and meaning don't have to be mutually exclusive from kickass gameplay. I really like the things you touch on here - I think the visual metaphor for convincing someone works really well, with the sound waves matching up and turning the whole thing gray, but the gameplay representation is confusing and repetitive. I basically resorted to smacking space whenever a wave went near the center. Is that all there is to the gameplay or am I missing something?

I gave up after a few minutes and quit, because it didn't seem like there was any way to lose, and the gameplay looked like it wasn't going to evolve past what I'd seen.

Overall: "Art-factor" nailed, slick presentation, confusing and tedious gameplay.
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aeiowu
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2009, 09:48:38 PM »

It's one of those highfalutin "art-games" so it's not intended to be entertaining. Try and keep that in mind while playing it.

That's a joke right?

Nope. It's not supposed to be entertaining.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2009, 03:15:19 AM »

It's one of those highfalutin "art-games" so it's not intended to be entertaining. Try and keep that in mind while playing it.

That's a joke right?

Nope. It's not supposed to be entertaining.
I would say that most 'art games' are at least engaging in some respect.  So I'm not sure how designing a game to be boring is necessitated by the genre.  Although doing it for a reason is certainly within the genre ... and I do think you've done that here.  Though it wasn't that interesting a reason, as far as I could tell.  I didn't play very long, so perhaps I missed a lot; I felt like the message of the game was to tell me not to play it, though.

I had fun finding the hidden words in the title graphic, but I'm not sure they're worth the loss in readability.  Conceptually it just strikes me as 'cute'.
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Greg Game Man
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2009, 05:41:13 AM »

my interpretation is:
the visual style is cold, dull, very impersonal.. just like politics!
the gameplay is repetitive and tedious, like politics!

so i guess you nailed that. umm, you influence people easily with argument, until youre part of the majority, so then you influence them the other way.. after a while of arguing with everyone you either dont care, or you fit into the middle ground and then your opinions arent strong enough to influence anyone.

The problem i have with the game is that, while it is impersonal and cold, and the people are just a mass of easily-influenced, faceless drones.. the way you influence them, is by talking to them 1 on 1, so it conflicts with what you set up, a bit.

My problem wit it is that i am just not interested in art games, unless they have a really really interesting idea behind them which is some revelation about life and you can sink your teeth into it, or if it deals with people and relationships and interesting things like that.
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aeiowu
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Greg Wohlwend


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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2009, 10:42:25 AM »

"THE END" will come up at some point. Then, and only then, have you finished the game.
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Alec S.
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2009, 11:48:55 AM »

I got to the ending.  I thought it was pretty interesting.

If I'm not mistaken You find a moderate point (gray) but find it's hard to convince anyone of something that's not an extreme.

I also thought you did a pretty good job ramping up difficulty and making phases shorter as you go to keep the game interesting.  I thought the first couple of phases could have been a bit shorter as they can get a bit boring.  You want to get people to finish the game, but the way it is now, people are likely to quit after the first or second level.
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Glyph
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2009, 12:35:44 PM »

If I'm not mistaken You find a moderate point (gray) but find it's hard to convince anyone of something that's not an extreme.
Oh, so that's what it meant. Pretty good concept, actually. Good work.
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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2009, 12:38:25 PM »

It's one of those highfalutin "art-games" so it's not intended to be entertaining. Try and keep that in mind while playing it.

That's a joke right?

Nope. It's not supposed to be entertaining.

Well then why make a game? Why not just make a textbook or an informative brochure?
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2009, 01:57:15 PM »

Nope. It's not supposed to be entertaining.

Well then why make a game? Why not just make a textbook or an informative brochure?

Because virtual interaction is a different form of expression, it has the ability to express things in a different form than a textbook or informative brochure.  Ideally, that results in being affected in a different way than one would be affected by a textbook or informative brochure.  I would guess Greg's hope as a game designer is that there is a potential to be affected in a deeper way, in addition to simply being a different way.  Even if that's not true, isn't it still valuable just due to the difference?

This particular game is meant to express a message other than "entertainment," but the form of expression used is virtual interaction.  Therefore, the ideal situation would be to understand the message and be affected in a different way than you would by receiving the message through some other form of expression.

In this sense, you could consider the game as the structure, and it's message as the content.  Couldn't you have a variety of content that still fits the same structure?
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TOM SENNETT
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2009, 07:04:52 PM »

Hey man, I'm down with games actually meaning something. I dig taking gaming's distinct characteristic - interactivity - and using it to convey something in a way no other medium can. And I, in fact, applaud this game for doing that, or attempting at least.

But if the form of expression is "virtual interaction" and it's not entertaining, then it's no better than some goddamned tax software. I understand the desire to push the concept of what a game is, but games are made to be played, and playing should not be working.

The best art is entertaining. Maybe not for everybody, but for somebody at least. I'm of the opinion that art and entertainment are not mutually exclusive, and in fact are significantly more powerful when combined. This is why people still perform Shakespeare.

Like, if this game were the same, except it tried to entertain you, wouldn't you enjoy it more?
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Captain_404
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2009, 08:08:19 PM »

The best art is entertaining. Maybe not for everybody, but for somebody at least. I'm of the opinion that art and entertainment are not mutually exclusive, and in fact are significantly more powerful when combined. This is why people still perform Shakespeare.

Macbeth: because watching people murder other people and then descend into madness is just so much fun!

Let's move beyond sarcasm though. I believe - and I wouldn't be surprised if you agreed with this - that art should be able to encompass a wide range of emotions and that some pieces truly need to never be entertaining. What if Poe's "The Telltale Heart" stopped mid-narrative to insert a knock-knock joke section (much like Macbeth perhaps)? Arguably, this would ruin the narrative flow, destroying all sense of drama up to that point, and perhaps breaking the momentum in a way from which the story could never recover. Simply put, "The Telltale Heart" is an uncomfortable read because it needs to be uncomfortable. Perhaps this fits under your definition of entertaining though.


In regards to the game, however, I feel a lot of this argument has stemmed from my earlier comment, which I want to make clear once more so it doesn't get lost in the noise.

I'm fine with games portraying meaning, even at the expense of "fun", but I feel this game's message is easily grasped while the gameplay mechanics are much harder to understand. Again, this draws the viewer's attention away from the meaning and toward the confusing gameplay. I think it could be more effective if the mechanics were simpler and more intuitive, thus allowing the player to focus more on the message. I certainly don't think it's a bad game, far from it, I see much potential here and I'd love to see that furthered, but I do think that the gameplay and the message distract from one another.


Furthermore, I've actually finished the game now and my original interpretation still stands. I think, unfortunately, it was a bit predictable given the title and tone of the game.
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