1. Hi there! What's your name? Want to introduce yourself?
My name's Kyle, and I'm not a cop.
More seriously, I'm a games hobbiest. I saw this jam advertised on the Itch.io front page, thought "what could possibly go wrong?", and signed up. God help me.
2. Did you participate in the last jam we held? If so, what do you plan on doing better this time? If not, what's your reason for joining?
Never done a jam before. I joined because I want to make a game, and I don't know how else it's gonna happen. I'm pretty sure this jam will end with me setting myself on fire, but YOLO!
3. What games are your favorites? Did any of them inspire you, or made you want to make your own?
The problem with finding favorite games is that they cost money, and I've never had a lot of that. Most of my favorite games are hand-me-downs that I never had a choice of playing, good or bad. With that in mind, here's my picks:
A decent shooter, it does the job; nothing more, nothing less. What I remember fondly is the Mapmaker. That tool tricked kid me into learning programming. Well, more like learning programming concepts, but it did the job. In a way, Timesplitters 2 was how I made my first "games".
Another decent-ish shooter that I don't care for much these days, but it included some handy tools for creating maps. If those tools weren't there, I'm not sure who I'd be today.
Pokemon XD: Gales of Darkness
A favorite I hold close to my heart, this game showed me the power of innovation in a series that was stagnating at the time. There's plenty of tropes and technique in this I'd like to steal one day (creature personalities defined by animations, a battle system tweaked to encourage emergent combos and strategies, battle cinematography including dolly cams, aerial shots and more that emulated sports events, and so much more) But most importantly, it was a game that made it fun to be the good guy. You were a Lawful Good protagonist, and it was fun! That might not mean a lot, but it's something I feel is greatly lacking in modern gaming.
A game I haven't played cough money cough, but it's a clear inspiration. Pathologic drives everyone that plays it insane (not a joke; check out Pathologistics to watch it happen). It's a narrative masterpiece I hope to emulate, not necessarily in tone, but in technique. What beliefs can I impose on players, and can I impose these beliefs without them ever knowing it's happening? If I show them how they were manipulated, would they believe me? If Pathologic is anything to go by, I'm not sure I want the answers.
RPG Shooter: Starwish
A fantastic shoot-em-up with engaging narrative, created by only one person, distributed for free. I'm probably looking at it with rose colored glasses, but regardless, the very idea that one person could make a good game is inspiring. Starwish being free probably helped.
There's probably more inspirations, but I'll move on.
4. Do you have experience with game development? What did you do/with what engine?
No what am I doing here HELP
5. Tell us about something you're passionate about!
Apart from games, you mean?
I'm really into music. And by music, I mean I listen to silly love songs, death metal, and everything in between. I believe videogame music is in a ghetto of sorts, and it's partly of it's own volition. How many games have vocals? When was the last time you played a game and thought "Wow, that instrumentalist is really skilled"? Listen to an instrumental band, then listen to a video game track, and tell me there isn't a quality difference. Granted, I'm oversimplifying things; Pokemon XD: Gales of Darkness has a killer bass riff, Halo has that distintive guitar triplet, etc. But even games that have "good" soundtracks use musical genres that don't have much appeal otherwise. Skyrim has some good music, but when was the last time you heard a classical band? How many chiptune fans aren't gamers? I want to see a game with music that appeals to more than just gamer demographics.
I'm also a firm believer in games as edutainment (even if they're not trying to be or don't know what they're talking about. See everyone that thinks they know how the military works after playing Call of Duty, or that they know how a car handles after playing Forza). I believe games have a responsibilty to represent their subject matters truthfully, even if it isn't fun, because someone's going to believe your game is "realistic". That means, when you sprint in a shooter with your finger on the trigger and your gun pointed at your foot, I want the inevitable to happen. That means, when you tried and take on an army single-handedly, you die. I don't mind a power fantasy, but no amount of power should let you be a GTA protagonist and still have fun. Okay, you can try being an asshole, but it shouldn't be fun. Because that's not how life works, no matter what games teach us.
I also want games to be fun. I know, not all games need to be fun, and I understand that. But I believe fun games are a million times more persuasive. It's so much easier to accept a shitty message if it's delivered in a fun format. It creates the argument (intentionally or not) "Okay, this might be morally wrong, but it's fun, so it doesn't matter." And then you're tempted to stop being skeptical of what the game's trying to say, because if you did, you can't have fun anymore. No one should have to choose between being a good person and having fun, and so I want to make games where being good is fun.
Looking back, I realised I just talked about games the entire time. I apologize for the redundancy, but I'm keeping it this in, because damn do I love games.
6. What are your goals for this game jam?
I put so much effort into this forum post because I'm trying to figure out what I want to make. I have beliefs and artistic ideas I really want to fulfill, but I don't have the technical knowledge to make it happen. I don't know how to use any game engines and I don't know much programming. If I can get those skills so I can work on what I'm passionate about, then I'll be happy. Now, how that's going to happen...oh god NO I'M NOT HAVING A PANIC ATTACK WHY DO YOU ASK