The Creative Process: How an “Art Game” is Born

Lewis and I came up with a great idea for an indie/art/socially conscious game that will impregnate the ENTIRE population of Ohio with our demon progeny. The thought process is undeniably magnificent, so we’re posting it here, unabridged.

It started last night at the Gamer’s Choice Awards, with a speech from a spokesperson from the White House about Michelle Obama’s “Apps for Healthy Kids” competition, which calls for game developers to create games that help kids make better decisions about eating and exercising.  If games like Enviro Bear 2000 and I Have Candy, Get in the Van have shown us anything, it’s that games can deliver profoundly meaningful messages through disciplined use of story-telling and creative gameplay mechanics, so Lewis and I were understandably excited to conceptualize our own entry for the competition.

This afternoon, we were treated to a lovely presentation on Art Games, in which an assortment of distinguished panelists discussed artistic use of style, gameplay limitations, and the pragmatic use of evil to create truly engaging gameplay experiences and break into the realm of art.  The examples were very inspiring, and although we left the panel without a clear view of what an art game actually is, we were determined that our next title should be one of them.

The real genius occurred after supper when, gorged on Indian food, we stopped short at a crosswalk for fear that our bloated bodies wouldn’t be able to cross the street without decorating the hood of some Californian hybrid-electric vehicle, splattering butter chicken and lamb curry all over the pavement.

So here it is:  A game in which children of all ages guide their avatar to consume vast amounts of coloured sauces and pastes, then attempt to cross a busy street.  When the inevitable occurs, the pavement is their canvas as true-to-life physics guides the “splash damage” into dynamically generated shapes on the street.  A Spore-like database will allow players to upload and share particular patterns that resemble famous people or geographical features.

Art!  Indie!  Socially conscious!  Pragmatic use of evil!  With any luck, this game will be the Uncharted 2 of the Independent Games Festival Awards 2010.

Posted in GDC
One comment on “The Creative Process: How an “Art Game” is Born
  1. Ben says:

    “The examples were very inspiring, and although we left the panel without a clear view of what an art game actually is, we were determined that our next title should be one of them.”

    This is full of awesome.

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