I had an argument with myself.Posted: January 9, 2012
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m pursuing a project revolving around thecatamites’s Space Funeral, and I’m getting closer and closer to making some significant moves on it. Recently, I’ve been having conversations with my friend about what the game will mean in relation to Funeral and how the gameplay will affect that meaning. Here’s an unedited e-mail I sent to him in which I argue with myself over how we should handle the game’s difficulty. I dunno. I thought it might be significant or something.
Yeah, it seems that the big conversation is whether or not the game should be as easy as Funeral… Here’s my story, at least:
When I first played Funeral, I was enthralled just in general and personally wanted it to be “my kind of RPG,” which is something a little more extensive in its difficulty among other things. That’s why I wanted the game to be a little more difficult. But, at the same time, I’ve done soooo much research on thecatamites (the original developer) and his fans, and there are quite a few mentions of the ease of the game being a part of its charm. SO, the crappiness of some aspects of the game both contributes to its fan base as well as to its lack of an audience in some cases. I was personally intellectually provoked by the game, which is why I’m interested in recreating it for the purpose of expanding on a great series of themes introduced in the original. I haven’t seen this perspective much in my research of fans – the City of Forms and its story wasn’t a dealbreaker for most people, though it was for me. For most fans (and anti-fans, if that’s even a word), the game was either great because it was so horrible (the art, the gameplay, the cohesiveness of the story), or horrible because people weren’t looking for horrible.
I guess, then, my main focus in bringing Eulogy to life is capitalizing on an explanation behind the City of Forms, retaining Funeral’s crazy/bizarre environment and sense of humor (in the art, music, dialogue/text), and asserting “my kind of RPG.” Does gameplay necessarily have to be considered in regards to “charm” if those are my goals? In other words, would it be appropriate for Space Eulogy as a prequel to explain the City of Forms, be crazy, and be semi-traditional in it’s gameplay?
At the moment, I say yes. Regardless of Eulogy’s demographic, the game could still present a very similar atmosphere to Funeral, even if it were moderately difficult, more (but not fully) explanatory, and organized by me. I mean, one of the entire points of Space Eulogy itself is that it’s full of similarities and differences. I feel that that’s the thematic purpose of the game. It’s Stephen and Shultz and you and I and and Phillip and Ruth White and Firth and a Mome Beast.
And it’s a passion project, as well. No money will be made, and we’re doing it because we love it. I want you to have as much fun designing your side as I do mine. It’ll be “marketed,” because I’m not a believer in making things just for myself to look at, and I’d hope that people would enjoy it, but I wouldn’t be upset if it was a “failure” because it was too different from the original. That’s how Stephen did it. Future, more commercially-oriented stuff will be showcased to a different crowd anyways; I can’t see rep destruction coming out of a passion project created with inspiration from a passion project.
Whew. That being said, what do YOU want the battle system to be like? I’m leaning towards something not as easy as the original Pokemons, but not as difficult as DWIII – I personally want the difficulty very accessible and familiar, but I also want people to get pissed off at boss fights at times (which is something people are familiar with, actually) and see some things that they’ve never seen before (such as the Mystery command, the class choices, and having trouble deciphering some items’ functions via MYSTERY). It’s honestly much more about the atmosphere and the ideas, but mixing familiarity and uniqueness together in the battle system will encourage people to want to know where this atmosphere is leading them.
WHAT SAY YOU?