Glitch Feed

…more…now by bajaba
December 10, 2006, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Game design, Glitch Feed, Glitch Feed Game Development, Relevant Game Design


Relevant Game Design Episode 2

Instead of typical “power-ups” or items that unlock new and more difficult levels of a game, this game focuses on progressively stripping the player of their skills and modes of interaction.


You are visually, aurally, emotionally and intuitively hyper-aware of every trivial action in your world. And its going to kill you. Every one of the millions of passersby’s heartbeats weakens your own. Blinded by the entire light spectrum, the conundrum of everyday life threatens to deafen you. You no longer have control over you own waif-like feeble voice.

And then something happens. Something that causes everything you have always prayed for but have never quite contemplated to commence.

It snows.

Heartbeats slow to the same uniform march, noise is muted by the thick frozen blanket, painfully vivid colors are masked in white. You feel your senses blissfully dull one by one. The world is no longer harshly orgasmic, and the routes once apparent to only the hyper-aware are now closed. Cold logic is the only resource available.

While at first you enjoy the prospect a “normal” life, you suddenly lose an extra-sensory ability completely. Interaction becomes linearly more difficult – you’ll have to learn to rely on other senses in different ways. Until, that is, they too disappear.


You have left the bustling metropolis to escape the cocophony of human life. Whilst communing with the natural world, it starts to snow. You must find a way to return to a familiar place lest you are stranded in an internal black hole of nothingness.


Gameplay will rely heavily on environmental effects, such as sound amplification, color magnitude, physical changes etc. The player will have to hone those skills still available to them to navigate around the ever-changing map. Noticing patterns in sound, color, vibration, etc, the player will have to find their way to a place where they can exist comfortably (most probably a location with a fair amount of movement/sound/color) so that they don’t slip into sensory oblivion.

Fear of unexpectedly losing abilities will motivate the player to continue with the quest.

The level/map will eventually take away levels of sense from the player. The levels will become more simplified in design, but the puzzles more challenging, not only to complete, but to locate.

There will be no typical ‘weapons’ per say, but the player will have an ever-depleting arsenal of senses.


This game focuses on the loss of abilities and being cognizant of it. It capitalizes on the FEAR of not knowing when an ability will be lost. The player will have to use the lack of abilities to achieve ends before impossible.


6 Comments so far
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P master – I thought I’d just post this so that we were good on our word. Feel free to edit/add/etc!

Comment by bajaba

Nice, makes me shiver 😉
So the goal is to complete all the puzzles before you loose your senses? What do you ultimately achieve, or does the game always end in you loosing all your senses and you becoming nothing?
Would you be able to have multiple players (MMO?) to help you out?
Are other NPC’s dissapearing in the frost too, like there is a wider conspiracy?

Great work on the concept Stephanie!

Comment by mouseecstasy

whoa, my bad .. I didnt even see this go up!!

Comment by rooster

I think I could honestly just read your writing all day. I certainly have a much easier time envisioning your concept with such a tactile description.

I see the potential for so much depth in the concept! Surely, the balance between “ultra perceptive” and “dulling senses” and the desire to maintain equilibrium might be a difficult emotion to invoke within the player. Any ideas on how to get this across?

I find it intruiging that the struggle can go either way. If the senses are too acute, the player will wish to weaken them. Yet if the senses become too dull, the player might become desperate in their desire to regain some of their past strengths.

Situations might even require the utilization or deafening of certain senses in order to complete a certain goal.

I think this concept is honestly, beautiful.

Do you have any insight as to where you could take this? A story might you want to tell?

This has much more potential than a mini-game.

Comment by rooster

Hey all, thanks for the comments.

I set out developing a concept based on the feeling of helplessness. As such, I have not devoted too much thought to the actual end of the game, focusing more on the accute feelings of mounting powerlessness. I actually didn’t want this to be a multiplayer game, namely because the struggle with losing senses seems like a private battle of will. As of now, I don’t see this as an MMO. I wanted to come up with something that was actually plausable to execute with my experience sofar.

I am really enjoying comming up with a story to follow the concept – its challenging to let the gameplay take center stage, however. I haven’t come up with anything concrete as of yet, but hopefully the effemerial and abstract story will work itself out over break and cuppas.

Comment by bajaba

ooh, perty picture

Comment by rooster

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