Nov 9 Idea Dump

I'm going to go bonka-donkers if I don't immediately dump every single side project idea I have onto a single page. At the least, I can come back to these later. Or maybe someone else can raise my idea-children, because I am a criminally neglectful idea-parent and someone should call the idea-Child-Protective-Services on me.

Furthermore, by putting all of this into one page, I can finally see some personal trends. See how I've evolved, and what I have yet to improve.


Traditional Videogames

  • MEM_ALLOC: You play as a robot's memory. A robot with robo-Alzeimher's. The robot's going about their own business, and you have to record and retrieve memories, or they'll stumble to remember basic conversation info, or that appointment, or their lover's name.
  • Hacker House: The internet of things meets the sims. You play as a house's AI, which can control lights, doors, appliances, and other devices. Your choices affect the drama-filled lives of your residents.
  • Riot Cop Selfies: How you frame the story will change the story. A photojournalism game that's also all tied up with issues about police, especially police brutality and militarization. (The Atlantic)
  • Distraction Device: A whole bunch of mini-games in fragments all across the screen. Telling a story of some peep who's drowning in the distractions our always-on, always-connected world throws at us. Or something.
  • Poker Face: Conversation Card Game. Before each conversation with a friend/lover/colleague/stranger, you get to arrange "conversation playing cards" which indirectly influence the conversation that unfolds. A mechanical metaphor for privacy, the secrets we reveal, and the multiple selves we act.
  • Abstract Murder: A chess game where every chess piece has a name, a backstory, fears and hopes and dreams... and beg for their lives. With references to drones, collateral damage, and all the evils we willingly commit because it's so abstract. Based off Kurt Vonnegut's short story All The King's Horses.
  • Choose Your Own Manventure: A choose-your-own-adventure game with three extra mechanics. 1) A MANual with 10 Man Rules you have to check often. 2) A Manliness bar, which is affected by whether you abide/break the Man Rules. 3) A physical/mental Health bar, which is often at odds with the Manliness bar. The moral is masculinity as a gender role hurts you and others around you, quit it.
  • Echo: A conversation game where your only dialogue choices are lines the other person has already said. Maybe you're a therapist that's encouraging the most literal version of introspection, who knows.

Trends: Goddamn awesome that ALL of these explore some mix between gameplay and narrative. It's amazing how in a half year, we've learnt so much about our craft that it's just OBVIOUS to us how to mix 'em. I think.


Interactive Nonfiction

  • Crossdressing is a Drag: A dress-up game combined with a personal story about crossdressing, queerness, and gender identity. Includes a naked doll of me, because I'm an exhibitionist pervert. (Blog Post)
  • Objective Subjective Reviews: Kind of a dig at the idea of "objective reviews", especially within the games community. Basically the game asks you your tastes, your interests, and tailors the review and other possible recommendations to you. Seems like a good idea in its own right, gimmick aside?
  • Mindful Violence: A call for us to realize that media violence is currently harmful, but with the right touch, we can make media violence benefit society. (e.g. the Burning Girl picture was super violent, and it helped end the Vietnam War. That's powerful.) Also, a personal story about how we were violently disciplined in Singapore, a rant about our fucked-up good-vs-evil revenge culture, and a playable model of how people learn.
  • A Game About Game Design: Exactly what the title says. How systems can tell stories, set the mood, send a message, and help us holistically think about the world, or something. Scott McCloud's a huge influence here, obviously. (Blog Post)
  • Medium Is The Message minigame: You get to arrange a TV show's plot points, and the goal is to get an audience member through a few episodes. But! The episodic nature and the ad-insertion locations force the only solution to be fake-high-drama with every episode hitting the reset-button. (Also, other minigames showing The Medium Is The Message? Like advertising?)

Trends: Again, so awesome that procedural rhetoric comes naturally to us now. We have to share that knowledge with Game About Game Design. Or maybe we're waaaaay overestimating our knowledge. Who knows. I think it'd still be an interesting discussing point.


Activism

  • The Public Domain Bundle: Wouldn't this be so cool, with Humble Bundle & EFF & CC & Jason Rohrer & Nina Paley alllllllll of us together? Nina's already agreed... I just... haven't done SHIT on it. (tweet)
  • Peer-to-Peer Privacy: If we're all watching each other already, why not watch out for others watching each other? Or, uh... "Friends don't let friends get doxxed". Hm. Just, whatever, a grassroots movement to get people to check their friends' info security?
  • Public Domain Playables Patreon: I've done a lot of crowdfunding/public-domain stuff in the past, trying to find the best way to fund open works. (I've come to the conclusion that there is no BEST way, same with how there's no best way to sell scarce things. Doesn't really matter.) This Patreon would make me a PUBLIC WORKER - every month I list a few prototypes, and backers vote on what I make. Also, it's more like a subscription and they get access to all behind-the-scenes stuffs?
  • Lean Out: Collaborating with Elissa Shevinsky on a feminism-in-tech anthology! This is more than idea, it's already happening.

Trends: Alright. THIS is the weakest section. Okay, I mean I guess many of the above game projects have a mix of message-sending and activism, too. (Mindful Violence, Manventure, and Riot Cop Selfies especially) But I'd like more stuff that directly helps people, like the financial support that PDJam & Open Bundle gave, or the private help we did as part of P2P Privacy. And remember, avoid our previous trap of thinking world problems MUST be solved with new tech. Usually art/culture/economics/social consciousness work better. More stuff with decentralization, please?


Other Technologies

  • VR Comic: You can't infinitely scroll vertically in VR, but because you can spin (with Gear VR or Google Cardboard) you can scroll horizontally, infinitely. As you spin around, the panels behind you change. Make an Ancient Egypt comic using this? (coz Ancient Egypt is well known for its looooooooong spiral murals) (Prototype)
  • VR Blair Witch Project: A VR game based off the fact you control the camera. Is part of the Found Footage genre. Film's story changes depending what you look at, or don't, or how shoddy your camerawork is. I'm thinking The Big Monster should be a "The Audience" you're not allowed to turn around and look at, no matter how loud they're laughing...
  • Haptics: Haptic devices seem like they could be the promise of "ambient information" that Google Glass never delivered. How would I design communications/UI for this? (Also, GPS + two haptic devices = nipple navigator?)
  • In-Twitter Games: So, it's technically possible to embed HTML5 games into Twitter. It's just against the ToS. But I could do it with an alternate account, just in case, and see how it plays out. Fuck you, Twitter.
  • COS2014 Engine: A web-based visual editor to create web-based interactive fiction like COS2014. Use coffeescript for easier programming? Maybe this could be what Craftyy was supposed to be, but failed?
  • Reverse Tamagotchi: Basically a fancy version of The Flow Test, but with a reverse digital-pet gimmick. Or hinting at dom/sub relationships. (Blog Post)
  • Twitter One-Button Block: I don't know how to do this but it would really be nice, wouldn't it. Again, fuck you Twitter.

Trends: Mobile VR seems like such a ripe new input system. What would the mobile web look like, Mozilla asks? Also, again... more stuff with decentralization, please?