So the game I made with a Pillow Simulator on Twine. In the game, the player has died and they answer a few questions. The questions don’t do much except give me insight about how what would the player miss besides material objects without outright stating what or who they would miss. I added this because this a reincarnation game and these games are not
And then they become a pillow and live out their lives as a pillow. A pillow has no agency or can do anything so the game is rather linear and the player’s input doesn’t really change anything. The player as a pillow never have any actions and rather observe events around them and to them. However games are known to have choice and so I put in a wish mechanic to give players a sort of ‘choice’. The wish mechanic doesn’t do anything except allow the player to choose an ‘option’ and develop their opinions on the events happening around them or to them since there’s no reason for the player to care because… they are a pillow. Change can’t happen with out external forces.
The inspiration for this is from Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit and from her series of talks such as “Stone Talk”, “Star Talk”, and “Line Talk”. She writes about what the objects are in simple statements and the reader is only being told what the object is without a sense that they can object. It’s from a 3rd person perspective and I wanted to change it into 1st person because inanimate objects have such mundane life and exploring it interested me.
An example of this in my game is the statement, “A pillow can’t breathe”. But inside the pillow is a human soul and there’s a part where they try to breathe. It doesn’t work, but they compromise with feeling the air in-between their fibers.
The original idea for the game was to have a questionnaire and then the player will become one of three inanimate objects and a small vignette will play. However as I was writing the pillow route, I got more invested into it and realized a week later that doing three in the same scale in the time frame wasn’t possible. So I devoted my time to the pillow route and got rid of the other options and questionnaire.
The first person who playtested was rather taken back by how much was written and how realistic it was. They were expecting more of a humorous tone since the concept of the game is the player died and has turned into a pillow. Part of them thinking that, besides the ridiculous concept, is because I called the game a Pillow Simulator so one of my notes became to rename the project.
There were a fair amount of confusion with the things I was describing such as the plastic carry-on a pillow comes with or the florescent lighting through the bag. A lot of the players were confused with the ball of light in the beginning and so I had to put in the beginning that the player has died. I didn’t want to remove those parts because that is part of being a pillow, waiting to be bought so I added more reveal and realization when the player realizes they’re a pillow after they’ve been bought and taken out of their plastic prison.
I considered adding the sardonic tone and questionnaire from my 2nd Artwork. However one of my players pointed out that the tone of game isn’t sardonic and that adding the questionnaire might make others players think it’ll be funny instead of being contemplative and semi-realistic.
Another big change I made was splitting the descriptions and events more. Because a lot of the time it would be a giant block of text and one of the player would lose their place and zone out while reading the game.
Other changes were the tense changing a lot even in the same page along with a lot of typos.