A downloadable game

Adventure Manifesto

I want games that are an Adventure. 

  • Characterized primarily by monotony and discomfort.
  • A journey with many branching, twisting paths 
  • No guarantee of a satisfying or even technically complete ending
  • A reward schedule that is unkind and sporadic.
  • Hundreds if not millions of waterfalls with no hidden caves.
  • Secrets that cannot be found
  • Unapologetically soft-lockable.
  • Keys that open no doors
  • Doors with no keys
  • Objects with no actions
  • Quests that lead nowhere
  • Landscape 
  • Struggle
  • Disappointment

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An Adventure requires certain components. Some kind of landscape to traverse. Some kind of destination. Some kind of vague expectation for intangible benefits or personal growth. Some kind of vaguely difficult activity to give the other parts meaning.

I am often struck by how similar the world can look. You can bike or walk all day and the trees and the plants and buildings might all look the same. Wildlife is out there but you might not see it. Strange and interesting things are buried but you might not find them.  

Nothing is guaranteed in a good Adventure. The goal is to seek, not to find.

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For some period of time I worked manual labor jobs. I worked as a bicycle courier for 5+ years, and as a mover for about six months. 

I enjoyed these jobs. Every day was a fresh pile of packages, boxes, envelopes and carpet samples, subtly different from the day before but not enough to matter. True drudgery.

The real joy in these jobs was the few moments that you could steal for yourself in between doing other things.  A five minute coffee break outside on a cold rainy day. A few extra moments to stare out the window, etc. The world is a beautiful place, but it takes a very specific mental state to really appreciate it. 

One way to boost the appeal of these moments, is to increase the difference between the peaks and the valleys of  experience. Ultimately these jobs became machines that generated contrast. A simulated or forced Adventure every day.

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These days I am an office drone and my day to day is much less exciting. I still experience frustration and discomfort at my job, but it can't antagonize me in the way that labor can. 

Now I am forced to artificially schedule activities like biking and camping to try and find those feelings again. It is not quite the same, but most days life is kind of pleasant in a boring way.

I think this relates very directly to coziness. I want to make games that feel cozy, but the kind of cozy you get standing under an awning in a rainstorm, or camping in a tent in below freezing weather. Games where there is no real guarantee of satisfaction or reward. Just an experience to be journeyed through.

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StatusReleased
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(5)
AuthorMatthewLacker

Comments

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(+1)

love this + i hope ur cozy in the specific ways u want to be many many times in ur life

(+1)

i forgot to say but i really like this and like where its coming from in your life, also i can kinda see how it ties into the games of yours ive seen!

Thank you, I really appreciate it!