Master Project – Faith

sisyphus

So, I just began one week ago a Master in Game Design at the Zürich University of Art. We are 6 students in the 1. Semester and there are also 5 students in the 3. Semester, with also 40 students Design Master Students. The group atmosphere is really great, because we have different courses in common.

Yesterday, we had the task to present our Master Project idea to the teachers and to the other students in Game Design. So here is my project:

I want to do a game about Faith. Let’s first define it. Faith is the conviction of a belief. As simple as that. It can do on believing that your train will arrive at the same hour than written on the timetable or to believe in the existence of a (or several) god(s). For example, in Christianity, the base of faith is the Apostles’ Creed (a good name for a Assassins’ Creed mobile clone). What is interesting to see is that there’s no mention of creationism, homosexuality and abortion in the Apostles’ Creed nor any mention of the Bible.

So, I’m between two possibilities: Faith as a mechanic or Faith as a Theme or both.

On the mechanic, the first puzzle I have is this one:

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The idea is to play with the expectations and the normal reaction of a player. It is very similar to game like Antichamber or Stanley Parable. Also, Sisyphus’ Myth (cf first image) can also be an analogy to what the player are doing in video games in general. In game, it is more fulfilling to achieve a small challenge, like Sisyphus pushing his rock.

On the theme side, I’m orbiting around the different connotations of Faith: Expectations, Trust, Meaning and Religion. Of course, it is just the beginning of the Master Project so my idea are not very clear on how I want to dive into the subject.

 

To come back on my presentation, the jury’s questions were more about clarification of the subject. I answered quite frankly, I’m diving into the subject so I don’t clearly know everything. Also, a member of the jury asked me this question: “Why did you choose this subject? Are you in a personal crisis?”. To put it in context, the student before me presented his Master Project idea about sex. No one asked if he had sexual perversion or sexual problems. I found very unprofessional, as it implicitly says: “This idea is so ridiculous, that you probably have personal problems.”

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Nordic Game Jam

Nordic Game Jam is the biggest local game jam in the world. It happened in Copenhagen, Denmark.  731 game developers went to make a game in 48 hours.

I went there without expecting something, just meet people and make games. I found a couch-surfing by Mike, one of the organizers of the jam.

I visited the city the Thursday afternoon. It was a bit cold, but not as cold as Switzerland with the wind. I went up in the Observatory to have a sky-view of the city. What I found was out of place was the big pipes of the industry building not very far from the center. I then went to the little mermaid, near the 16th fortress. We don’t have such building in Switzerland so it was nice to find this.

Finally for Thursday, I went to Christina, because the Pre-Jam Party occurred there. You could smell the cannabis, but that’s the purpose of the area. At the party, I met Wiktor, a polish 3d artist from Poznan. Their delegation came with bus, ferry and bus. They even did a little jam during the ferry travel, with “Pirate” as a theme. I also met Phillipp, a Danish programmer and Richard, an Australian organizer. I’m not much a party guy, but it was to meet all those new people.

Friday was the talks day. I followed the one of Chris McEntee, from Ubisoft Montpellier, talking about difficulty in game. I was excited by the talk of James Portnow and he delivered. He asked why we were doing game, with inspiration and all.

Finally, the theme was revealed and it was obvious. Then began the group forming process, where everyone just talked and all. I joined a group with Veronyka and Andreas. We discussed ideas of a game until late and I went alone on a wash machine maze game. That was my first mistake of the week-end, because as I had missed my last bus, I was all alone with my game idea. I should have joined an other team of programmers/game designers to play a bit with the new technology available.

On Saturday I did two mini-games, Bubblevious and Wash Machine Simulator. I was a bit depress, because I was alone doing my game, though Veronyka and Andreas gave me the assets.

On Sunday, I presented my two games. People were just great. I mean everyone, even the shittiest game had some humor in it. People laughed at my presentation, so it was not that bad.

I then took the plane back at Copenhagen to go back at Geneva. I was not in the finalist (hopefully), but next year, if I have the money to go back, I should stay and leave on Monday. Arriving at the gate, I realize that I forgot my AC Adapter at the presentation. I went really mad. I guess I have to go back next year.

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