Last May, I maybe started this game collective. There are a lot of reasons why I did that but they’re fit for another post. Now, a game collective isn’t one if we don’t at least make games for ourselves. So we did just that.
We were supposed to make a game about Jose Rizal to celebrate his 150th birth anniversary. I made a sorta game about his poem To The Flowers of Heidelberg.
I have never read Rizal’s novels beyond what was required in school, though I like his poems. Rizal originally wrote in Spanish and experts say we miss a lot of his wordplay by reading it in translated English. But I trust Nick Joaquin’s work and his version of the poem.
When I was a kid, the poem used to be about patriotic nostalgia, but now that I’m roughly at the same stage as Rizal when he wrote this its meaning got a little personal for me. This was written in the middle of Rizal’s intellectual growth in line with pursuing his passion. He and his “illustrado” friends are travelling in Europe, picking silly fights, fencing and modelling for paintings, along the way discovering the concepts of nationhood and freedom. 10 years later, he will be martyred for inspiring a revolution and attacking the Catholic church, his friends will die or be killed in the uprising, and his country will be sold to the Americans. In ten years, shit got totally real!
It would be cool to think that what I’m doing would be part of some revolution in the next decade and I hope no one gets killed (figuratively of course) because of it.
I tried to remove non-essential elements of gameplay knowing that it would only diminish the overall impact of the game. My goal wasn’t to make something addictive, though I could have tried that it wouldn’t feel right knowing the subject matter. I believe some games should only be played once and its abusive for games to force players to play far longer than they have to.
Thanks to the notgames community for the insights about the game.
[Sorry, the two people who read this blog, for my radio silence this past few weeks. I’ve been busy working on paid stuff, that I can’t actually show here. Anyway, I’ll post project updates soon.]