Thanks for the feedback everyone! I don't think I'm going to be developing this particular game any further, but I am definitely taking the lessons I'm learning to my upcoming projects.
I think of it like an exploration game, except instead of seeing an environment, you're seeing functionality (what things can you do with the environment). It's interesting to me until I see everything. In that vein, I would say the style of gameplay is worth pursuing as much as exploration games are.
This is really good to know. I was hoping more people would play it as a kind of relaxation game, but this type of play is looking way more common, and the two are definitely not at odds. One of the skills I want to get better at is making systems that interact with each other and build in complexity, a la blocks in Minecraft or the different objects in Super Mario World.
I feel it very enjoyable, mostly because I was looking for new kind of crazy interaction between objects such as use the lighter on the curtains, smoke several cigarets in the mouth, put my cellphone in the coffee maker, etc... However, when I realize it wasn't allowed by the game I came here to put some ideas.
And by the way, if you already don't know this, here is food for thought: Not game manifesto
Sorry to disappoint! I guess with a game like this it can be hard to tell which actions are going to get a response and which aren't.
I am very familiar with the notgames movement
although I don't tend to think of myself as being in their camp necessarily. I actually posted this on their forums, but the response hasn't been nearly as exciting
I've always been interested in games or not-games that allows us to have "fine" control over very specific things, like this or a more extreme example: Bennett Foddy's "QWOP"...
QWOP was definitely an inspiration, although I'm not huge on "mastery": there's a little bit of it in this game (smoking three cigarettes at once takes a bit of dexterity), but I like to keep the bulk of the interesting interactions at a low skill level, if I can (that's my goal anyway).
"Interconnected mini-games" is a good idea- even if they were on the same screen the systems could be complete within their own frame, but connect via key interactions.