april showers

by | Dec 7, 2016 | Artwork #4: Experience


first page of spring

first page of spring


Artist’s Statement:

This game was the culmination of a lot of things. I think it has been in me for a very long time, but this class gave me the means and the confidence and the drive to create it.

Unavoidably, I was inspired by Porpentine Charity Heartscape – she has written so much interactive fiction that has changed my life and the way I view games in general. In particular, I had in mind “Their Angelical Understanding”. When I first played through it, I almost had a panic attack, because though the experiences were not mine, would never be mine, I felt the depth of the person behind the words and saw some of me in them as well. I wanted to make something like that. Another outside influence would have to be “Queers in Love at the End of the World” by Anna Anthropy, an interactive fiction game that lasts only ten seconds. It really overwhelmed me with a sense of possibility. Though I did not want something limited by time, I wanted something that could seem almost endless in possibilities and always ongoing. april showers ended up having 40 different ending cards.

From class though, I was greatly inspired by, as has held true ever since the first “unit”, Fluxus – and Yoko Ono in particular. The idea of art as an experience and experience as art really resonated with me. april showers turns my experiences into a game and hopefully what could be considered art. The pieces within Grapefruit felt deeply personal and sometimes almost nonsensical, which is, honestly, a style I love, like a secret you can only think you understand. Some of them also felt deeply cathartic, and I think catharsis through creation can be the cause behind a lot of great things. Making my own game certainly was cathartic in a lot of ways. There were also a lot of Dada works that inspired me – the aesthetic just did something for me. I think the sort of collage feel of many of the works definitely made me want to put together a narrative made out of scrambled bits and pieces. A word collage, I guess!

Reading through Schrank’s book, though I don’t think it did all that much to the development of my game, did help me focus my thoughts. Though obviously not a perfect structure, I concluded where my game lay on the graph and also where I wanted it to lay, which definitely affected my thought process for the rest of the writing. I knew that due to my own personal tastes, I would end up with a game that would be considered by the general populace as “radical”, but I definitely wanted to make a reflexive game with what could be interpreted as political undertones.

This class inspired me in a lot of ways. I’ve always loved games, but just getting the chance to talk about them more and think about them more and interact with people about the design of them more motivated me to push myself even further. This semester, I’ve played a lot of games off of itch.io. Some of them weren’t that great, some of them were practically unheard of even by indie fans, some of them satisfied an itch inside of me that I didn’t know was there. I spent a lot more time going through interactive fiction lists and the archive, and that especially gave me an idea of what exactly I wanted out of a twine game, an interactive fiction experience.

All I really want my style to be is to be creating games with a lot of heart in them, which I hope I have been achieving!