Fictional Games

gisbrecht's picture
Fri, Jan 31 2020 04:00 PM
02/01/2020 - 12:00
05/01/2020 - 12:00

"If we could live on hopes and wishes, make movies at the speed of thought, all the movies that could have been, all the dreams that I could spin..."
-The Wizard of Speed and Time

This is a game jam about games that do not exist or currently do not exist. I strongly advise AGAINST making a work for this jam in a computer game engine. Writing will probably be the easiest way to express one's concept but images could also suffice. Take note that text files may not display properly in some operating systems, so consider a more robust alternative. This game jam is heavily inspired by The works of Jorge Luis Borges and Stanisław Lem, so feel free to peruse their fictions. Suzanne Treister has also made some beautiful fictional video game stills.

Here are some examples of a format one could create a fictional game in. It is by no means exhaustive and is not meant to be restrictive. Think of it merely as a starting point for your ideas.

A Design Document
A written work which overviews the scope of the game and how it could be structured. If so desired this work could be created at a later date (As Lem did with Golem XVI). One should Consider giving this document out to the commons, wondering if someone years from now would make a game from written instructions; as I remember some artist (who I cannot recall the name) that sold written descriptions of how to make the artwork that they created.

A Review
This could be in the vein of Stanisław Lem's multitude of fictional reviews. It could be like Big industry and gaming magazine reviews which focus mostly on the technical and aesthetic feel of a game. In simple terms, a buyer's guide. Or it could be a critical analysis of the game as in its narrative and ideological aspects? In simpler terms, it could be an interpretation of the work.

Artistic Mockups
Like Suzanne Triester, one could create artistic visions of a world which does not actually function as a game. An image that merely has the appearance of a game. Create fake graphical user interfaces with bizarre functions and the like. I suppose it could also be done in the musical manner. To create compositions which are evocative of a fictional game?

A Frame Story
Like Borges or Petscop, one could create a fictional work that accompanies a story as an important device. It could be the entirety of the subject as in petscop or perhaps more liberally as one focus of the work like in Borges case. It could be a haunted game yes, but I'm sure there are other scenarios that could be cooked up?

Thank you to all who may hypothetically participate in this jam.

[Images: Suzanne Treister, "Fate Worse Than Death", Cover of "A Perfect Vaccuum" by Stanisław Lem, Polybius Arcade machine photographed by DocAtRS]

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Games made for Fictional Games


TheCakeFlavor's picture

thimking of making a

thimking of making a interview with the developer about their upcoming game, that would be a cool premise

gisbrecht's picture

could this developer be...

could this developer be... BINKY Corp? (Don't interview a fictional version of me though that might be too weird )

Blueberry Soft's picture

Yeah, that's a cool

Yeah, that's a cool structure!

gisbrecht's picture

unofficially saying you can

unofficially saying you can work on the "games" now because i will be busy after two days or so here and i want to write >_> <_<


really want to make a Windows Multimedia Aesthetic mockup like lode runner 2 for this

OR an incredibly baroque mouse-driven UI like EYE OF THE BEHOLDER


gisbrecht's picture

I love maximalist user

I love maximalist user interfaces (System Shock)... go for either idea :D

gisbrecht's picture

starts in like a day or so!

Rev up your engines! err... not game engines.

CharlieVermin's picture

I have a few design docs

I have a few design docs that could make a good entry right away... but that would mean coming to terms with the fact that I totally wasn't going to make those things. Troubling!