For my final project, I knew what topic I wanted to do. Something that’s consistently been on my mind since I started college – monotony. It’s honestly my greatest fear – ending up in a cycle of just boring-ness every day. I don’t want to go to a dead-end job from 9-5 doing something completely unrelated to what I want to do just to go back and do it the next day. Therefore, I wanted to make a game based around the concept of “breaking the cycle.”
I found inspiration in several places, but mainly three. The first was a fellow classmate’s project, Kieran Sheldon’s “Fathom Society” ARG. In it, Miriam speaks of questioning the world around you, of poking holes in the universe, and of finding new realities. This tied in very well with my theme, as I wanted to experiment with finding new realities instead of consistently seeing the same one. The second was an ARG we learned about in class, the Jejune Institute ARG. In it, once again, we see a high focus on odd occurrences and off seeing the world around us in a different light. I wanted to channel the feelings of mystery and wonder it gave its participants into my own game. In it, the lines between reality and fiction are often blurred, so I wanted to create a game that distinctly makes the character wonder if what they see is real. The third main inspiration was a game titled “Every Day the Same Dream,” a small game based around the exact same fear I have in the future. In it, a man wakes up, goes to work in a cubicle like all the other wage slaves around him, goes home, and repeats. If you go far enough, you can make it on the roof, where you’re prompted with “Jump.” However, doing so puts you right back where you were, implying a cyclical hell. My desire to avoid this is what prompted me to try and make something that does so, and breaks that cycle. I also took inspiration from random other sources for various aspects of the game, such as Sword Art Online and Divergent.
As for the game’s medium, I eventually settled on making a Minecraft adventure map. I did this because I believe the game’s aim cannot be expressed well as a tabletop game, and because I don’t have the coding or artistic skill to make the game work in a traditional, coding based environment. Therefore, I chose something I do know how to work in well, Minecraft. It took a lot of Command Blocks and Redstone, but it serves its purpose well, at least I believe.
The game acts as an unofficial sequel of sorts to Kieran’s ARG. It takes place long after the events of our class, and you learn what has happened in the meantime, as well as the origins of Miriam and the Fathom Society.
I’ve linked a video of the map being played, as the world file is too big for WordPress.