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10 - Why we are making this game

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:52 am
by matt
EvilKingGumby felt that we didn't really cover why we are making the game well enough in the pitch video, so here's almost 18 minutes of me talking about it. :) It is my typical developer diary style, so there are plenty of tangents. :-P

Re: 10 - Why we are making this game

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:13 pm
by evilkinggumby
kool. that helps, though you are still being kind of vague. I was really hoping to hear you get to the brass tacks of your fears and what it really is about being an expectant father that you fear. Was there an incident that shook you to the core and scared you almost to tears? Has it been a challenge to your relationship at all? do you second guess yourself and your own mental quirks at times? do you spent hours at night pondering and hearing that cynical voice telling you the terrible "what if's" ? I don't expect you to reveal the game's plot or any of it's best kept secrets, but I am sure there's more to this than fears that you may lose the baby during the first trimester. whereas that is a true fear, after a certain point it is a lot less likely. So then, what got you scared? What really is itching in your psyche about the whole experience?

To give an example and share a bit, with our son, my wife already had a history of health issues, many potentially making it hard to carry. Several times she ended up with severe bleeding and we feared she was going to miscarry or there was a problem with the baby. each time we would have her checked and it was discovered it was just an issue where the lining of the uterus where the umbilical extends to the fetus sometimes can get a gap where blood pools to be transferred to the baby and if the baby moves or shifts you get this "tilted " effect that makes it easier for the blood to escape. It is a potentially serious, but not uncommon condition, and after a couple incidents my wife had to start taking meds to make sure her own body didn't start fighting off his blood with anti-bodies and vice versa.

Seeing your wife in this kind of state really rocks you at a core level that is hard to put to words, and exploring this kind of scare/fear is something that could be powerful and frightening in a game. I am curious what kinds of incidents might have had such an effect on you.

You can dance around the issue if you like, it is a deeply personal and potentially difficult thing to address. But since you are building a game tied so close to this, I'd hope you would work to get over such a hurdle and lay a lot out for people to try and understand, for your own sake, for the games sake, and for other people that are in, or approaching, this kind of life situation.

I dont' put this out there to be a jerk or call you a coward, but more of as a challenge to push you into pushing your own comfort levels a little farther. I still want to see this game really push what is possible and truly rock the player and make them think. If I was to make a game like this I would seek to build a strong sense of empathy for Angel, but even moreso for the baby, and then everytime the player was forced to try and keep Angel alive, to rescue the baby, or to push angel physically despite the risks because she'd die otherwise, they do so with a sense of deep regret and empathic fear/sadness/guilt/pain. Imagine what it would be like to have to escape a monster in the darkest parts of the jungle, carrying a baby well along, feeling the weight of the baby and the pull of that weight on your insides and your outsides. tight skin bruising as it is stretched, muscles straining, possible cramping because of it, trying not to jostle the baby, beginning to feel internal bleeding because you are running too fast for too long.. but knowing if you stop it could be your own and your babies life. How far will you push it? how long til you just give up and accept a horrible death?

I saw this a bitin NeN when we had to make the character walk over broken glass and seeing the bloody footprints and crunch it made.. i really hated but LOVED that detail, because I wanted to always avoid it.. but couldn't.. and it bothered me.

I know I've been a pain in yer butt lately. I offer my apologies for that, for what they're worth.

Whereas I will try not to mock or insult you going forward.. I will continue to press and push you any way I can. I missed my chance to assist with NeN so this time, I'm going to be a bit more involved (though I can't do much for beta testing, I don't think the tier i backed has it)

Re: 10 - Why we are making this game

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:31 pm
by matt
Well, the stuff that really scared me and my wife is personal, so I don't really want to go into specifics. While I am comfortable sharing a lot of personal things, my wife is a private person.

In my opinion, the specifics are less important because I think everyone has a different experience with pregnancy and child birth, but there are a lot of terrifying things about it. I don't want to make the game about just the scary aspects of pregnancy that I've endured. I don't want to limit it to just my experience. We also want to make the story more interesting than "woman has nightmares because she lost her pregnancy" since I think that is sort of the obvious narrative that would fit the game, which I think would make it ultimately less interesting.