I made a game for Rising Sea Game Jam

But you can’t play it yet, ‘coz it will be released as part of an album. And also because of self-isolation, social distancing, and the whole world being told to wash their hands while singing to Happy Birthday.

The theme for the game jam is “Woven”, what is so interesting about this game jam is it’s a collaboration between Southeast Asian game developers.

It starts off with an audio jam by musicians in Malaysia and Singapore, then it gets passed to us (Philippines) to make games that are inspired and driven by the music.

All the music are amazing, it was really hard to choose.

But I eventually settled on music by Kian, because he had a different track for each player and his idea is “Two characters influence the Base music differently, changing the weave of the music. Together they make a whole piece.” And I really liked that.

Having that as a jumping off point, I settled on a 2 player game, whose actions in the game will influence the music. And with the theme “Woven”, I want to really drill into the idea that it’s 2 people weaving together.

2 people intertwined, and what other game forces people to twist around each other? Twister. It’s twister. And a variation of the game that I found is Keyboard Twister (https://papercookies.itch.io/keyboard-twister), and it’s a whole lot of fun.

Also circling back to my research project, and how I want to make games for mental health. I remember in Jane McGonigal’s she wrote about one of her game projects and how she tried to incorporate physical touch, because it increases social resilience:

Jane explains, “Physical touch increases the level of oxytocin in the bloodstream, which primes us to like and want to help one another… and gratitude improves our positive mindset”.

https://www.hotdoc.com.au/practices/blog/gamifying-rehabilitation/

(Also for extra kilig factor!)

So this is what I came up with. Since I am in self-isolation, I’m testing my game by myself (again, harking back to my opening statement, this is probably not the time to play this game).

Thematically, I wanted to incorporate Southeast Asian weaving. I did a bit of reading about weaving patterns and motifs and found that:

“As design formats are either borrowed or independently developed and elaborated throughout the archipelago, they take on new meanings. Valid parallels between the designs used in a culture and other characteristics of that culture may be identified, but design elements and design formats are adopted by people of different cultures in other regions – where they may be reinterpreted or lose their meaningfulness entirely” (1991:34)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330260207_Weaving_traditions_from_Island_Southeast_Asia_Historical_context_and_ethnobotanical_knowledge

Also:

Motifs may be received in dreams, and through other forms of contact with the spirit world. Specific motifs are believed to activate powerful forces, hence causing sickness and even death. Thus, special norms must be fallowed before introducing novices to the weaving of ‘prohibited’ patterns.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330260207_Weaving_traditions_from_Island_Southeast_Asia_Historical_context_and_ethnobotanical_knowledge

Luckily for this game, I was introduced to Apol Sta Maria, who made the lovely art and patterns. And came up with the title.

Apol made 80 different patterns, which I incorporated into 40 levels (I don’t think I’ve ever made any game with that many levels, especially not for a game jam).

And after this, we pass of the games to Indonesia, who will make album art for the games.

I’ll keep you posted when the game is released.

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