Like the title of this post says “These Walls You Have Built” is my first attempt at an art game and I’m not going to make any excuses for it.So there. I’ve made a few people play games like Passage, Marriage, and Stars Over Half Moon Bay and after getting blank looks, I felt kind of disappointed.
I don’t know, maybe it’s because we’ve been so used to playing and enjoying games just for fun that the thought of trying to get a ‘feeling’ out of it like we do with paintings, or music never occur to us at first.
Maybe that’s why art games like these need some sort of explanation just in case the player never gets past that first barrier. This is my explanation for this game, at least how I saw my game while I was making it.(But play the game first maybe you’ll figure it out it’s not that deep)
What this game is about
This game is about limitations. More importantly, its a game about self imposed limitations. If you’ve tried the game a few times you’ll learn that you can’t win it. There is no way to win the game while actually playing the game. Games need to have win conditions right?Well fuck that, the only way to win this game is not to play the game at all. The more you play this game the more you lose.
Read the walls. The walls have insults that hopefully makes you feel bad because you’ve heard people say things like that to you, or you’ve said to yourself.I wanted the game to make you feel bad, and feel stupid because you can’t win it. People and life make you feel stupid sometimes.
The doors is hope. False hope can make you stay in bad situations thinking that there is something more. Things like getting a promotion for example can make you stay in a job that you don’t like for example. People stay in bad relationships because of hope. While there is hope you stay and play the game.
The suicide note. Reading the suicide note tells you how to kill yourself. If the player follows it blindly, the player dies. The suicide note is about people following tried, and tested means. Its about not exploring your options and taking what is in front of you immediately.
Sometimes it’s hard to do things because we already assume that our situation is already final. We’ve already built the ‘walls’ that currently keep us in place because of bad decisions and stupidity.
Maybe all we need is a little shift in perspective.