Over the weekend I had the privilege of talking about the issue of Authorial Intent vs Player Intent on an awesome panel at IndieCade 2015. On the panel with me were Eddo Stern whose work is about agency and narratives of oppression and control within games, and Nicky Case, who has done some really creative work in using systems to demonstrate personal narratives and ideas about social norms, behavior and even brain chemistry!
As I mentioned in my SIGGRAPH post, Luna is a narrative game, which means we will not reveal so much about the story in order to avoid spoiling it upon release. However, we have been speaking more lately about the higher-order goals of the game - which include building a space for contemplative play.
In my brief talk, I spoke about how players should be rewarded for looking - not for finding. I talked a bit about how a lot of what we are working on is related to creating the world in such a way that players are in sync with its rhythms. Encouraging players to explore and look and see what happens - instead of constantly clicking to get a reaction, or see what they will be rewarded for. It's a challenge to build a slow, beautiful space that blossoms as you spend time with it... but that's what we're hoping to do.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend - from fellow contemplative games like Walden to Akira's own "...&maybetheywontkillyou", the show presented a great mix of independent, artistic games, and was inspiring as always. Thanks to John Sharp, Richard Lemarchand, Cara Ellison and all the organizers and sponsors who make this lovely festival possible!