Critique Reflection

My current goal is to see what, if anything, was successful (evocative, holds attention, leaves a lasting impression) about this particular configuration of connecting devices to the API of my game Grotto.

Cohort reactions were mixed/negative and provided a good range of people’s reactions based on their level of interest and engagement. People who knew me better and already had some transparency into the project seemed to have more engagement with the piece. Overall, it seemed that the reactions were negative/disinterested enough that I wouldn’t present this configuration again without substantial reconfigurations. I also found myself unable to let the piece stand on its own without talking about it. I think a successful version of this installation wouldn’t require any background or would only be a performance where I talk about it, which is less interesting to me, since the primary feeling I am trying to capture is an encounter with a mysterious, large uncaring space, which is my experience of a childhood encounter with dungeon videogames which carries into my attempt to use dungeon videogames as a proxy for history.

Some actionable changes-

  • Work on adding a minimap that visualizes a handful of immediate room connections (Ariel)
  • Visually leave traversed doors open, the way that they are marked in the actual game
  • More powerful stage lights when in a space where they won’t interfere with other work (Ariel)
  • Remember the players orientation to the work, how am I positioning them? What memories might that retrieve? The feeling of discovery connects all three of my DMA installations (Eunice)
  • Bugfix pass for errors with repeat kneels/combination unlocks. New wiring for small rotary encoders (wires are heavy, encoders aren’t secure & left encoder has broken twice)

Questions- The visual language of the symbolic 3d environment didn’t seem to have any supporters, but I still feel that the full 2d game doesn’t work in an installation space and that there are a lot of opportunities for interesting physical interactions through the API that provide a shorter duration “keyhole” view into the full game as it develops. What does an ideal set of objects/interactions look like? I want to recall the interactions between early boxed videogames and their “feelies” (maps, manuals, props, copy protection cyphers). How do we help people that have no knowledge or interest in these sorts of things still have some access to them?