Tweet Tweet Go The Birds

Oh my. It appears as though while I wasn’t looking, a bunch of people went and blogged about Pigeons in the Park. First there was Greg Costikyan over at Play This Thing!, who’d written a lovely, analytical shpiel about Chivalry earlier; this time around, he’s just as analytical, which is exactly the kind of feedback a young and relatively inexperienced kid like me needs to get better at this art thing. Then, apparently as a result of said exposure, I found this one guy who’s apparently making a game very similar to my work in terms of design, except it’s about a young man whose father has cancer, or so I gather. In any case, I’ll be keeping an eye out for it. [1] And finally, it looks like Emily Short has given the game a looksie as well. This, I find very impressive in particular since, as I alluded earlier, it was her conversational IF work that played a big part in inspiring this game [2] in the first place.

All in all, I have to say I’m very, very flattered.

  1. He also points out the similarity between Pigeons and the start of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I should note that this was somewhat intentional; I had actually just been watching the latter when I was drawing the characters, so Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey were definitely in my head at the time.
  2. Or “conversation piece”, rather.
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2 Responses to Tweet Tweet Go The Birds

  1. Sweet mercy!

    After a second look at Chivalry Is Dead and reading some of your design ideas for it (,769) I suddenly feel several months behind the curve! My game (the cancer one) is using an affinity system as well (even uses the same word in code) that restricts what characters are able to say at any given time.
    My hopes in using it are to create a “believable” story. To me, adventure games don’t feel “real” because the developers try to give you as wide a spectrum of dialog choices in order to accomodate multiple player types. You end up with dialog choices like “I hate you!” and “I love you!” on the same screen. I can understand that this is desirable for many games where the projection of the player’s attitude should be strong, but I prefer games that assign me a character with some degree of personality, and I want to operate from within that character. Roleplaying, you might say, but not in the RPG sense. So, if the design works out, you won’t have characters saying mean things out of nowhere to people they love or silliness like that, unless it’s specifically called for.

    I’ve really enjoyed Chivalry Is Dead and Pigeons in the Park! It’s great to know that I’m not the only person to whom a puzzleless adventure game sounds very appealing!

  2. Thanks, Ben.

    And yes, I’m certainly guilty of the whole “I hate you!”/”I love you!” bipolarity in dialogue choices, but then, most of the stuff I’ve written so far involves the player character having never met any of the NPCs before, so greater player freedom actually works in this case. (Mind you, I share the same sentiment about “blank slates”; when Phlegmwad says he loves or hates someone, he does so in a characteristically Phlegmwad way. In other words, you are not Phlegmwad himself, but more like Phlegmwad’s conscience.) You, on the other hand, are writing characters who are already very emotionally invested in one another, so the approach you’re proposing makes a lot more sense. I’m really eager to see how it all turns out!