Last weekend I took part in Ludum Dare once again. I ended up creating a short little experimental storytelling game called “The Invention of Colour”. The entire thing (art, code, music) was created in under 48 hours.
You can find out more about the game here (incl. a video): The Invention of Colour
Walking into the competition I had one goal in mind: Create something that has a dense, expressive mood and portraits a distinct character to the player. I wanted the player to walk away from the game feeling like he actually got to know the main character’s emotional world by just listening to him for 2 minutes.
I personally find the transfer of emotional concepts to be one of the most challenging for a game designer. Quite often realism does not translate to something that’s emotionally impacting. The current trend seems to be toward hyper-realism. But to be honest I was a lot more emotionally involved in some of the classic games of the 8bit & 16bit era. There’s a huge potential when we leave gaps for the player to imagine things.
What is your experience with this? How can we as game designers engage players more on an emotional level? Would love to hear your thoughts.