Welcome to the Electron Dance Advent calendar. Each day will bring another post from the archives.
Have you read Into the Black posted on 30 January 2013?
From the smallest of acorns… I had been trying to keep up with the intense output from Terry Cavanagh’s Free Indie Games site. It proved too much in the end but one of the games I loved the look of was a 7FPS contest game called Obsolete. It was okay, nothing special in the game department, but then I decided absent-mindedly to wander out of the core game area… and Obsolete did not stop me. I found I could keep going and had this terrifying experience of being lost in the dark.
When I remade Into the Black as a film, I discovered I was unhappy with some of the descriptions used on the page, sounding to me like they all I could come up with given personal deadlines. And so I feel the film is far more representative of what the essay should have been than of what it was.
But the original is still here, intact and unchanged. Go read it?
PostScript: In my head, translating the journey “into the black” from word to screen sounded easy, but I tore my hair out over this. In real-time, the journey is very slow so requires careful editing to keep it watchable but also preserve a sense of narrative flow. Further, choose the wrong direction and the journey ends in darkness pretty quickly – I had to find exactly the same route as that intimated in the original text!
From the comments:
- ShaunCG: “The counterargument can be made that with games such as Far Cry 3, no matter what you might find within that world it is always only a framework for the core mechanical experience”
- Steerpike: “But I admit, there are times when I look at something linear and find great comfort there.”
- Fernando’s comment shocks me: “So this whole thing is like Chekhov’s Gun.” This is precisely the argument I made in Chekhov’s Collectible… two years later. GAHHHH! Did I remember Fernando’s argument all that time but fail to recall the source of it? I’m sorry for not acknowledging you, Fernando!
- Amanda Lange: “When I first read this article, I was annoyed a little.”