games and places



I haven't written here much since Sophie and I started Matheson Marcault in June - we have an ACTUAL COMPANY now, so when I do physical games or commissions or curate events, it's with Sophie as part of Matheson Marcault. (Which is AMAZING, by the way, I definitely recommend starting a company with Sophie).

But I'm still very, very slowly working away at this "learning to make entirely digital games on my own" lark. Last year I tried Twine and Puzzlescript. This year I was planning to work my way through some of the other game-making tools for non-programmers - but then Terry started writing a tutorial and a beginners' programming library for Haxe, so I figured I'd just try those. (The tutorial's not out yet but it's pretty great.)

Which brings us to: Artners! Artners is a collaborative art-making game for one or two players. It springs from a few different motivations:

  • I wanted to make a digital game that wasn't dependent on writing. Last year's games, How To Be A Blackbird and Pornography for Beginners, are at least 50% delivery mechanisms for sentences, and I felt like a change. 
  • But steady on: I definitely didn't want to deal with, like, collision detection or anything. 
  • Also, I was really, really into Ian MacLarty's Action Painting Pro, which I just played and played and played to a frankly unuseful degree. "Look, I made a picture!" I'd proudly say to my housemates, showing them orange scrawls on a screen while they nodded for the tenth time that evening. "One more action painting before bed," I'd whisper to myself at one in the morning. It seemed like creating an art-making game might help to exorcise that. (It worked! I'm now down to one or two Action Paintings a week.)

Now that I've written this all down, it also occurs to me that making a game about collaborative art-making at the same time as I was starting a company with a friend in order to make art collaboratively is a perhaps disappointingly literal response to my life, but there you go.

Anyway, this whole programming thing is pretty time-consuming, but as hobbies go it's not bad so far. Not as good as gin. About as good as baking.

Holly Gramazio2 Comments