Collaborating with the audience (With Those We Love Alive)

(This isn’t a review post, which is why I didn’t put it under IFComp 2014.)

I was really fascinated by the drawing component of “With Those We Love Alive”. This game operated in an unusual design space where the player is invited to create something themselves that isn’t constrained within game mechanics, while still having that act of creation be innately part of the game. It feels like the experience is collaborative to me, rather than being strictly “playing a game”.

I wrote a full blog post about this ( … -audience/), but I actually wanted to come here with a question.

Can anyone think of other games in that same space? The only other one I could think of was Elegy for a Dead World (cited in the post above), and that game doesn’t even exist yet. I feel like there must be others, but I don’t know what they are.

Hate Plus is the only one that comes to mind at the moment. Here’s an article about the collaborative side: Video Game Asks Players To Bake Real Cakes For Virtual Girlfriends.

Pippin Barr’s Art Game, perhaps? (You may remember Pippin Barr from Kicker a few IFComps back.)

Hate Plus seems like a perfect example! (I haven’t played either of those yet, I should really get on it.)

Art Game is interesting as well, but I don’t think it’s quite what I was thinking of, unless I didn’t make it far in enough. I was building Tetris sculptures, and that still seems confined within the game’s mechanics.

Yeah, you’re definitely doing stuff within prescribed mechanics there. I was thinking that your outcomes are freeform, and it’s like Elegy where the stuff you’re doing also seems to be within prescribed mechanics rather than offline – typing – but perhaps typing is more freeform than the constrained mechanisms in Art Game. Also I thought that your artworks in Art Game would be shared but they aren’t, alas, they’re gone forever unless you screenshot them.

Two typey-sharey things I can think of, neither of them apparently active anymore, are Zero Hour and We The Giants.

Here’s what I can find of Zero Hour:

You got the initial prompt at the top and a text box. When you typed something in it took you to that screen, showing you what you and everyone else had typed.

We the Giants is maybe best explained here:

You could only play it once. You controlled a little blocky creature that could move and jump. When you wanted to you could “sacrifice” yourself, whereupon you typed a message and your creature froze into place – becoming part of the landscape other players could navigate (in fact the entirely of the landscape). There were stars at the top but I’m not sure reaching them did anything. Your sacrifice messages went to a Twitter channel.

Something from my IFideas.txt: “The player has to fabricate their own feelie, from instructions given as the game progresses. Something about the emergent condition of the physical object contains an answer to an in-game puzzle.”

My (possibly incorrect? I haven’t played it) understanding is that there’s something sort of like this in Heavy Rain, which comes packaged with a sheet of origami paper and instructions for folding an origami bird; when the paper is folded properly, a puzzle-relevant phone number or doodle or something comes into being where the paper edges meet.But I want to do that with just stuff players can be reasonably expected to have in their homes already. I haven’t made much progress on this one, unfortunately.

While I referenced GrailQuest 4 in my review ( … ove-alive/), GrailQuest 1 from 1984 asks that the player write a poem for the Poetic Fiend, giving a blank page for the purpose (check out section 87). … f_Darkness

I love this idea.

After playing “With Those We Love Alive”, I thought “Wow, I want to do something like that, but I can’t think of anything that wouldn’t feel like copycatting.” Now people have contributed so many other, varied examples that I’m having the opposite problem - “Stop… no time… finish Ectocomp game, work at day job, be good!”

I was aiming for something like this with Barbetween, though unlike the other works mentioned here it contains barely much more than that bit.

Shout-out to Seltani for making that possible, though… I would love to see more collaborative work based on that platform.