fizzhog's picture
Game File: 

Here's a tiny little game for you. Barely a game really. Bagatelle games are something that keep recurring in my thoughts about games. When I was a kid they were often given as stocking fillers at Christmas. And they were always disappointing, the bright colours promised more than the gameplay delivered. Originally I made something a bit more complex - it had scoring, multiple targets and the play area was double the size. But that wasn't what I wanted so I started again. I wanted something that was like a physical game you might make in a couple of hours out of bits and pieces you had lying around. I may even actually make some at some point. It's a personal game in an odd way; I've been thinking about childhood quite a lot because my mother died recently - which is why I've been away from game making and social media for a while - and I've been sorting through her possessions including things she'd kept from my childhood. So this is my return to game making and part of my response to a difficult few months.

Controls: space key to launch ball; z key to reset.

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Scroungin_4_Catsup's picture

I like that this doesn't

I like that this doesn't really have a goal because it invites the player to create their own; one of my favorite things to do was to lightly launch the ball so that it doesn't fully exit the plunger lane, pull the plunger all the way back as the ball is falling and then hit the ball full force. No idea if that makes sense. I also discovered that if you finesse the ball just so, it can bounce off the bottom right bumper and return to the plunger lane that way. Only managed to do that twice. Fun little toy. A neat option, if you ever consider revisiting this, would be to let the player drag the bumpers/pegs around to different locations. But I'm not sure how much that would mess with the physics.

Sorry to hear about your mother. The past few years I've had big losses myself so I understand the need to step away.

everythingstaken's picture


I have a strong memory of little toys like these that I'd get at Easter or whatever, I like the idea of making a bunch of simple little things of this nature. Sorry to hear about your mom

mkapolk's picture

This is such a lovely little

This is such a lovely little software item. It absolutely nails the feeling you describe- of being more of a thing to be fiddled with rather than a game with an explicit set of expectations built in, and I really enjoyed fiddling with it.

I played this just after Train Simulator, and trying to put together these cryptic thoughts about sentimentality... I think sometimes about the detritus from my own childhood, the cheap plastic toys and the endless, just endless volumes of knowledge about consumer content. There's a way sentimentality is portrayed in media, and especially mementos, and what objects in particular we keep around to remember. There are items that get portrayed in movies as being mementos- faded photos and clothes, a baseball bat, elemental items. If there are toys, maybe they're very generic plastic propeller planes, but I remember being so concerned about very specific brands, identities that were trying so hard to be specific and recognizable, different from everything else. I think of the difference in how Tolkein could write about pouring wine into a glass, but so much of the fantasy that follows has to pour Zamarokian Berry Wine into a Silsithar-carved Crystal Glass... That anxious push to constantly be distinct and marketable. Does that psychic poison fundamentally change how we reminisce? Does all that anxious specificity get eroded into something more elemental in memory? Or was the idea of the perfect, poignant moment picking through a box of picturesque artifacts always just an illusion of narrative?