Game Jam Winner Spotlight: A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle DECODED


from the gaming-like-it’s-1926 dept

We’re nearing the tip of our sequence of posts about the winners of the fourth annual public area sport jam, Gaming Like It’s 1926. To date, we’ve checked out The Wall Throughout The River, The Obstruction Methodology, Dreaming The Cave, and Mr. High Hat Doesn’t Give A Rattling! At present, we transfer on to the winner of the Greatest Digital Recreation class: A Drunk Man Seems on the Thistle DECODED by Anna Wu.

All through these jams, we’ve seen so many alternative methods of using public area works. There are direct variations (with various ranges of parody and commentary), remixes of particular person parts, video games designed to foster a deeper understanding of the unique work within the gamers, and extra. However there’s additionally one very direct and private strategy that may be extraordinarily efficient within the palms of an excellent sport designer: telling the story of your individual engagement with a piece. Anna Wu (a.okay.a. LadyOrTheTiger) does precisely that in A Drunk Man Seems on the Thistle DECODED, a simple interactive story inbuilt Twine that captivates the participant with its subtlety and ease.

Because the title suggests, the sport is about “decoding” Hugh MacDiarmid’s 1926 poem written within the susceptible Scots language. The title caught the designer’s eye whereas perusing lists of 1926 works for sport inspiration, however preliminary investigation revealed that it could be no straightforward learn: although a sister language to English and stuffed with recognizable phrases with meanings that may be intuited, Scots continues to be very a lot a international language to English audio system, and never one readily translated with Google or different instruments. However moderately than transfer on to different supply works, Anna determined to make a sport about the method of understanding this intriguing poem, or at the very least its first few verses.

I gained’t spoil the small print of the story, which begins with some self-interrogation concerning the causes for eager to discover the poem after which strikes by way of the troublesome steps of making an attempt to take action. It’s principally instructed in textual content, however makes wonderful use of audio and visuals that elevate it, in addition to some fundamental interactivity that has the participant revealing the definitions of particular person phrases simply as Anna did utilizing a translation dictionary.

By the tip, you’ll be stunned simply how immersed you might be in what began out as a quite simple and considerably arbitrary story. The sport showcases many issues: the artistic potential of pacing and construction in an interactive story, the best way moments of interactive freedom can subtly improve a linear narrative, and naturally the superbly recursive nature of artwork and tradition, the place one’s engagement with an outdated story can grow to be a brand new story of its personal which additionally breathes new life into the unique and encourages gamers to expertise it for themselves. It’s additionally an instance of one of many causes we love these sport jams, because it was the seek for eligible public area materials for the jam that not solely impressed this sport however impressed Anna’s curiosity the poem within the first place! For all these causes, however above all as a result of it’s a narrative expertise that merely succeeds in drawing the participant in, A Drunk Man Seems on the Thistle DECODED is that this 12 months’s Greatest Digital Recreation.

Congratulations to Anna Wu for the win! You will get every little thing you should play A Drunk Man Seems on the Thistle DECODED from its web page on Itch, plus don’t neglect to take a look at the opposite winners in addition to the various nice entries that didn’t fairly make the lower! We’ll be again subsequent week with the sixth and last winner highlight.

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