Announcing my new game in-the-works: “Everything is going to be OK”

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This is post #1 of documenting the progress…

Ok! I’m here to announce my new in-the-works upcoming game: “Everything is going to be OK”
Although this is more or less of a working title. I don’t think this thing will have a title. That line is the first thing you see when the game opens, so that’s what I’m running with.

This is going to be an interactive zine. Along the lines of some post-it notes doodles I shared a while ago. Here are some examples if you don’t follow my Twitter:

The way it will function is that all the “pages” of the zine are scattered on a “desktop” that’s over your desktop. Kinda like your computer is hijacked by this strange thing.

The entire thing will not function under any definition. It plays, and functions, along its own terms. You have to get to know it, and take time to understand it. It’s the most non-game thing I’ve endeavored to make so far.
For this, I’ve reverted back to my original philosophy of “fuck games”.
To be honest, this is very liberating. Not thinking in terms of “game”. I mean, there was always that in the back of my mind, but here I’m really trying not to think in terms of mechanics, math, and loops, and all that stuff that’s become very restraining. I want this to exist on its own terms. Interactivity for everything will be that way. You have to get to know it. Maybe you’ll never really “get it” or completely “understand it”, and maybe that’s the point. I feel like sometimes the drive to understanding an interactive experience (like a game) is again a form of power fantasy, or control to exercise over it. A “player” has to always be in charge, and I want to not do that. I want the thing to be in charge of the player… or at best nothing to be in charge… it’s functioning and you are experiencing something outside of expectations… Ok, that’s a lot of currently hot-air because it’s not done yet.
Maybe I describe most all of my work, but I feel like I have always been too game-ish when making it. This did evolve out of an update for Tetrageddon. I decided to pursue it as it’s “own thing” so it’s more free of the expectations and rules I have.
I hope it’s going to be really good, and interesting, and fun, on a different level.

Ok, yeah. I was explaining what I have so far…

Each of these “pages” will be a little animation/area/world/story of their own. You click on one, and you experience it, and interact with it, and play with it. When you’re done with that page (or the page is done with you and kicks you out) you are off to the next, completely different thing.

When you boil it all down, I’m looking at about 43 different short-“games” (or interactive bits) I’m making for this. It’s very ambitious… but somehow I’ve managed to finish all my other ambitious things, so I’m hopeful about this one too. It might be my last game (with the way things presently are)… but I’ve said that to myself about all my games, and I manage to be lucky enough to be able to keep making them…
Oooph… Good lord, this depression bout… Sorry… I can do this!

Each of these stories/pages are more or less based on my personal experiences or outlooks… Oh… Yes! I see, I can play the autobiographical card now! HA!

I have now completed two of these pages. I absolutely love how it feels… or plays… So I’m confident that this is going to be amazing. What hesitations I did have about it are gone now. That’s great. It’s very weird, and broken, and distorted… I’d say alien like… Ok, I’m babbling. I’ve been meaning also to talk about some of the art direction.

The art direction:

The art style is intentionally degraded. The aim is to make it appear broken, over-compressed, and create some sense of uneasiness. The themes are very abstract parts of (like I mentioned) personal experiences. I feel like when you get personal, it’s most interesting and relatable to go in the surrealist direction. This is basically what most of my work is all about anyways– surrealism.
So in this case, the over compressed sense that everything has (even with the audio work) makes for something that always feels a little “on edge” (uneasiness)…

For all of this I am (again) making some of my own filters (or shaders? I think that’s what it’s called?). A lot of the artwork is run through some elaborate process to make it just the right kind of broken. If I don’t have the right kind of broken I build on it and make more ways to make it broken… I have some tools I made for myself… Kinda… Yes, ok, I think you can safely call them that. I’ve been meaning for a long time to clean those up and maybe release them, but that’s too much work… forget it. Yeah. They’re pretty messy.

So in the end, the entire thing is going to feel really broken and hopelessly optimistic. That’s sort of the theme in the stories. Horrible things happening to cute little things and they are so happy about that…

Ok. I hope to post more soon. I will be sharing the progress on Twitter. You can follow it there.

Some other work I released recently:

The Electric Love Bar:

“The Electric Love Bar simulates love from the internet masses. It provides a small bar with an array of social media functionality such as: hearts, likes, shares, and a livestream of virtual fans eagerly watching your every move and speculating in the chat.”

Hey! Cool news: it is on the always amazing Warpdoor, and PC Gamer’s Free games of the week

My most recent official game release has been F2OGGY (that multiplayer frog combat game). If you haven’t already, you can get it here.
Please try it.

I am planning on releasing another small thing, not yet announced or related to the project above, to keep up with an exciting release cycle! Stay tuned! Bye.

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  1. […] maker and web artist Nathalie Lawhead announced that she’s making an interactive zine earlier this week, under the working title “Everything is […]

  2. […] « Announcing my new game in-the-works: “Everything is going to be OK” […]

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