I Made a Game

I guess It’s a game. It’s not much of a game though. Anyways, it’s called A Garden Under a Red Sun. You can get it on itch.io. It looks like this.

I made it over 2 days, which is quite an accomplishment for myself. There’s an organization at my university, the Digital Arts Team, who posed a weekly design challenge. The prompt for the challenge was a color palette, and so I had to play with the lighting in to create this unlit game, so that I ended up with no shades or tones or whatever other colors that were not part of the palette.

Designing the game was a unique challenge. I only had a couple days, so I wanted to make something small, but wasn’t immediately boring or uninteresting from the get-go. No I cant’s say that, as a game, it’s fun, but there’s something more artistic about it. It isn’t a game, where you complete the objective and see the narrative through to the end. You walk around, pick up some rocks, and call it good.

Now I also learned something interesting, that didn’t pertain to making the game itself. What this was is the concept of Alt Games. As Zoe Quinn put it, it’s like Punk music for the indie game scene. There’s something meaning full in the Alt Game premise. No compromise for broader appeal. It’s like visual art. You don’t make a painting but sacrifice an aspect of it so that more people will like it. You make it to express your vision of the piece. It goes deeper than indie though, a term that becomes more and more meaningless as the indie scene becomes more commercial an less ‘indie’. It’s about expressing your full vision with whatever you have available, and to convey the message of the game.

Now I just starting looking into the Alt Game scene, so I’m no expert, not that someone could be an expert in what an alt game is, but I spoke to me. I don’t want to just make games for a living. I’m living to make games. It’s something I understand, and as a creative person, it’s the only way I know how to portray my artistic vision.

Making A Garden Under a Red Sun has been a more eye opening experience than I expected going in. I’m going to take something from this to put into Nongon as I continue to work on it. Although initially I was only making AGUARS as a study into this unlit art style in Unity, I’ve now gleaned something more artistic and conceptual that I will take with me into my next big project after Nongon.

I feel like I just rambled about some vague shit, but hopefully, if anyone reads this, I’ve planted a little seed in your brain, giving you a new perspective on games.

Some references for those looking to read a little more into alt games: