Letters, Words, Sentences, Mad Men & the Missing Monkey. #Extralives #InsideGames @iainsimons

Okay, it’s not really a monkey I’m missing, that’s just a nod to HelloGames’ issue with getting Joe Danger funded (http://www.next-gen.biz/blogs/monkey-business). It’s more the fact that something quite large has been missing throughout this project so far, well publicly at least, and that’s writing about the actual game I’m going to develop. For the past few weeks I’ve wrestled with including it as a main thread. I’m still not sure but I’m going to decide over the next few days.

 
During which I’ll be a little quiet as the above reading material has just turned up. One of which, Inside Games, is by GameCity’s Iain Simons who I’m meeting next week; I think I’ll ask him to sign it =p So I’m going to turn things of an electronic nature off for a while and hopefully some bit of my brain will decide whether to document all the design decisions in the open. I actually think it’s interesting to do so, but perhaps not until the end as the decisions would appear to have more context when seen with the final result. Plus I wont be dissuaded off my decisions by anyone mid-process.
 
On the subject of books (slight digression here, click away if you like), like the previous thoughts on packaging, physical books have an incredibly high value for me. Their eBook counterparts not so much. Try this experiment, get a favourite book from your bookshelf. Now set fire to it. You can’t can you? There’s something oddly immoral about this. I bet if it was a pdf or an SD card you could without much hesitation (aside from the absurdity of doing this because some nutter with a blog asked you to). The net result is the same, you’re just losing a bunch of characters arranged as words and sentences. The difference is that an image of the physical copy also resides in your memory and it’s physically attached to you, as something real, in four dimensions. 
 
I remember coming to the end of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as I sat in a bath in an old Victorian Semi in Clapham. I remember it because the ending made me cry and I can vividly recall a tear falling onto the last page (I know too mawkish). I think of that when walk past the bookshelf and see it. I feel the same way about my boxed copy of Pacman for the Atari 2600 and the Christmas I received it in 1982. It didn’t make me cry, though looking back on that version it bloody should have, but it encapsulates that whole Christmas in its freyed little yellow box. Grandparents long since passed, transient crushes on girls, soaps with Dangermouse on them, jumpers for goalposts etc 😉 there’s a whole lost world in that damn box. This is a tiny reveal actually as to where this game design is heading…
 
I suppose it’s no surprise to declare now that one of my favourite books is Flaubert’s Sentimental Education. I’m such a sucker for nostalgia, like Don Draper relays in the final episode of Mad Men’s first season, “it’s delicate, but potent..”:
 

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