I don't want to be an asshole or anything but this is less than a game. It has no point, it has no story, the controls are MEH so.. overall I wouldn't really pay a single cent for this. If I want to speak to people I go chat online. There is no point in all of it. I went through multiple times, there is nothing. Some of those "drones" come, the radio is pointless, the stupid fake ending is pointless (you walk off the screen and fall into water and drown), there is no point for the grave, the big towering building (?), nothing. Also I was wondering if I would have just kept myself in place for an enternity by paddling backwards (which is a PAIN) until I get like 20-ish boxes (floppies?) if that changes anything, but I just didn't have the motivation whatsoever. That is the most dangerous thing in a game - when you have no motivation to even try something in it. I was interested in this but it was so much of a disappointment that I hardly find the words to describe it. And then others just sing odes of it like it's the next greatest thing. Yes, atmosphere is there but that is it! There is no graphics, no story, no actual gameplay elements, nothing! Seriously?!
why are you being an *arsehole then... if you "dont want to be an asshole"
I actually spent a lot of time thinking about this. While I understand your frustration, I believe it's related to a mayor problem that videogames as a genre are facing today: there is clearly a breach between two different conceptions of videogames.
What you're asking for, probably, won't be easily found on Itch.io, a community for people that abide to different ideas of what a videogame should be.
That being said, a game, in it's most traditional sense, has some clear characteristics down to it's core: rules, a condition of winning, and one of losing. (in between, and particularly, in videogames, you could think of gameplay, graphics, etc).
The main issue, I think, is that we are using the same word for two very different things. The Things We Lost in The Flood, as most games on Itch, is meant to be highly discursive, and that is reflected on all of it's aspects. You are asking for a different kind of media; one, that, sadly, is understandably linked to the one that is mostly featured here. My hope for the future is that these aspiring new media shall be analized for what it is, and not for what it "should" be, given that, obviously, it's roots are buried in the notion of traditional "videogames" (and, more importantly, "games").
I try to avoid justifying myself, but this is a great take - and far more eloquent than I could ever put it.
I'm not precious over the nomenclature. If this doesn't tick all the boxes to qualify it as a "game", then so be it.
It is however, something. It exists.
Thanks a lot! And I completely agree. Videogames as art, as any form of reaching for meaning, thought and knowledge, should be enough to justify itself.
I loved The Things We Lost In The Flood, and I think it serves as a perfect example of what games can and should be: the best representation of meaning, given shape in the digital era. I will be checking out your future works!
That very same people that you say can't imagine anything "beyond a game in it's most primitive, literal form" are proof of this phenomena. There is a thing such as "two different conceptions, and comments like the one we have seen here are proof of that; it is observable. I would say that what doesn't exist is not "two conceptions", but two concepts. A concept, of course, makes the mind instantly think of structures and specifiicity, that is why I used "conceptions", to be a little more vague, because, of course, attempting to put every possible manifestation of videogames into two bags it's restrictive.
That being said, it's impossible not to notice some kind of divide. The very fact that the syntagma "indie game" exists, implies the logical fact that there is such a thing as "indie games" and, on the other side, "not-indie games". I don't, obviously, identify either one with a more "discursive" aspect just like that, but I think that indie games tend to gravitate towards that notions even more (with that I mean, a stronger emphasis on a given concept, a discourse, than on any other possible element).
My idea, simply put, is that people that make indie games generally try to make games that means something, that reveal aspects of ourselves (the subject) and the world that makes both feel renewed. I'm not trying to diminish any possible manifestation of art in videogames; i'm simply celebrating all of it's vast array of posibilities (triple A games of course can also do that, but I don't think it's the case the majority of times, and that is why I work with generalisations and not absolutes).
Basically everyone is right in a way. I was expecting this to be more... Contenty? Still, it started as a game and played out as a game but then it didn't go nowhere. Probably this is the main reason I had that opinion. As the Oracle said: Everything that has a beginning, has an end. Now this game didn't have the literal end one would expect. If I sounded "salty" it's because it was so great until I met the non-existent "end".