Of Cliques and Conspiracies
I always come into these sorts of things at least five minutes late. Apparently, there’s been a thing going on about the “indie bubble" and "developer cliques" and issues related to that. I can’t offer much perspective on the former; I’ve barely gotten into this and, for now, would rather focus on learning how to make games instead of what comes after. But I do know some things about human nature. From that, I can speak on the latter.
I don’t think there’s any Big Name Indie Club or whatever trying to keep newbies down. I don’t think so because that’s silly. I do, however, recognize that having the right connections can offer certain advantages not available to those who don’t.
Think of it this way: in general, people prioritize the wants and needs of people they already know over those of strangers. So, if you’re a developer who has famous(ish) developer friends, the odds that they’ll give you in-depth advice or help promote your work are much better than for anyone who’s not part of that group. Same goes for developers with game journalist friends.
The saying “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know” exists for a reason.
Also, once folks reach a certain point, there are bound to be some people who only want to get friendly with them for the sake of promoting themselves. Consciously or otherwise, this could make the established group wary of letting in strangers. Especially strangers who make their motives painfully obvious or fanboy/fangirl too much.
Then, there’s the simple fact not everyone is outgoing. Even some with well-known names may need time to get used new people and just feel more comfortable sticking with who they know.
Put it all together and, from the outside, it looks like a cliquish conspiracy. On the inside, it’s just friends helping friends, same as most friends do.
I wonder sometimes where this will leave me. I don’t do “fitting in groups” very well, and (thanks to my fear of rejection) any friends I make tend to just show up instead of it happening through my making conscious connections. On the other hand, I recognize that I don’t have God-given right to anyone’s time, attention or friendship, which makes it easier for me not to rail against… well… reality.
Here’s hoping sheer dumb luck will be on my side.
Short version: I’m moving all my game stuff — dev blog entries, concept art, whatever — to this site. The personal stuff will stay here.
Long Version: For a while, I’ve been balancing a couple of different things on this site: my game projects and a personal blog. Lately, as my games become more “game-like” and less like diary entries, I’ve been feeling the need for separation. That’ll probably be even more than case once I finish my first non-Twine game.
I figured I’d best take care of it now, before things get more unwieldy. Over the next few days, I’ll be moving all my game dev type posts and pages to the new site and deleting them from here. (I’ll still keep links to my newest games in the sidebar, though.) The new site also has its own twitter, so anyone who just wants game info won’t have to sort through personal updates. People who follow my personal Twitter may wish to follow it, too, to make keeping up with my game updates easier. I’m also thinking of deleting the Pixie’s Sketchbook Facebook page and just posting this site’s updates to my personal account since more people are there, anyway. :p
So, if things start disappearing, don’t worry. They’ve probably just been moved here.
Just in time for Halloween, I’ve got a new Twine game for you. This one is *GASP!* erotic horror. The rest (assuming you’re of age to see such things) you’ll have to discover on your own.
Play the game here.
[Note: I talk fairly frankly here about kinky things.]
There’s a specific desire I have. I want to feel wanted. Wanted without pretense or shame in the purest, filthiest sense by someone for whom I feel the same. Looks are helpful as far as that goes, but the right words spoken at the right time have been known to make me quiver.
In one word, I’m seeking Intensity. In two words, I’m looking for Intensity and Passion. As nice as hearts and flowers are, I need that white-hot fire. I’m sure it sounds greedy and awful to some, but for me, just love isn’t enough. And if someone can give me Lust + Love, I’ll give them everything.
There’s a certain route to this—to finding that exquisite sensation of being pure desire—that’s worked for me before. The question is if it’s still necessary for getting me there again.
This “something” was a D/s relationship (Dominance and Submission), and it brought feelings out of me I never knew I had. I willingly—very willingly—became this person’s sexual property. When it was time to for us play, I always addressed him as Sir.
I felt like the world’s most treasured possession, this naughty little sex goddess bound with a magic chain. I was thrilled to have someone want me so much they choose to declare “That’s Mine”… with something a bit sexier than, say, a wedding ring. Also, it was ecstasy having someone hold me in such sexual thrall that my will was no longer my own, and knowing my obedience gave pleasure to us both.
Then, there was the intimacy of how we both understood exactly what I’d surrendered and the safe, comforting aspect of feeling I could trust him with that. Knowing that though I belonged to this person, he would never purposely harm me or force me into anything I truly didn’t want. Moreover, there was a certain freedom in not having to ask where I stood or what I had to do—and the freedom to test my limits since “it wasn’t my idea.”
I’d like having something similar to that again. But since it could only work with someone I already like/trust/want/mutually respect (and ideally, this unique person would also be my partner), I doubt dropping in on a play party or a fetish club would be productive for me. I’m sure I could find someone who would like to play with me. But the odds of getting what I want most from a stranger are relatively low.
The best case would be meeting someone by chance who I later learned just happened to share my interests—or that they probably share my interests, but haven’t explored them yet. Once again, I need the chance to like and trust them first. Though I felt a spark right away, that last person got my attention with humor, kindness and charm, not by assuming right off the bat I should totally fall at his feet.
I know it’s not impossible because I kinda-sorta got close, and that “close” materialized when I wasn’t looking for it at all. If Close exists, I’m sure Perfect Match (or at least Best Match for Me) must be out there somewhere. So, I’ll put my thoughts out there and see what happens next.
But ultimately, it’s more about the feelings than the trappings. Mutual passion. That wonderful sense of being so very desired. And, of course, the absolute trust required to make it work, plus the protected/cared for feeling of knowing that it’s safe to trust someone that much. Which is why I question how much I need the trappings now.
I don’t need a master or mistress so much as someone who wants and appreciates me and shows it so unmistakably I can’t help but give back tenfold. But I’d definitely like someone who’s eager to explore.
And hopefully, once they saw my response, they’d come to enjoy my kinks.
Eden began with a simple idea: the player sets out to rescue a beautiful alien and the two might fall in love. Then I started wondering, “What gender should Eden be? And what about the player?” At first, I wanted to make Eden male just because it’s so unusual for a game like that, though I wasn’t sure what gender to assign the player. Then, I thought that Eden should be left un-gendered just because the idea seemed neat. As for the player, they could choose.
Then, there’s the mechanic that I actually used: while there IS a way to “choose” Eden’s gender, it’s usually random—and said gender isn’t revealed until, at the earliest, halfway through the game. After that, the player can decide how/if Eden’s gender affects their feelings for this blindingly beautiful person.
I think that makes a nice follow-up coming after the relative hopelessness of What’s in a Name. That game/story was about a time when I felt like my bisexuality was shameful, something I needed to hide or get rid of in order to fit in. In Eden, bisexuality is 1)your potential love interest’s nature (your gender doesn’t matter to Eden as long as your in-game good karma is higher than the bad) and 2)potentially rewarding. Not only can it make the path to romance easier; it can even earn you an achievement.
The funny thing is I don’t remember specifically setting out to make a “Bi Is Beautiful” game. It just sort of happened while I was working out the details, trying to sort out what would make the most interesting story and add the most fun.
That’s how 90% of the game happened, honestly. But that’s a topic for another post.
I’ve got a new game for ya, very different from the first two — and the most truly “game-like” game that I’ve made so far. It’s called Eden. You can play it here.
It’s sort of part RPG, part action game, and part dating sim, and it was created in Twine. Since there are a lot–and I mean, for me, a LOT–of different variables interacting in this thing, there may be some bugs I missed. If the game throws any errors/blank screens for you (or you simply have a question or comment about the game itself), please let me know.
[Full Article: New Game: Eden]
I used to see polyamory as something “bad” bisexuals do. Which is odd because I have no moral objection to it. As long as everyone is honest, everyone is getting the love/sex/fun they want out of the relationship, and no one is deceiving, pressuring, abusing or using anyone, there’s no problem I can see. And if someone’s not cut out for monogamy, how is this not better than vowing to have sex with only one person and then cheating on them or hurting them in other ways?
Anyway, I thought it was “bad” because that’s what I was told—and the thought of confirming a stereotype (i.e. OMG TEH SEX-CRAZY BISEXUALS!!1) was anathema to me. The weird part is there are also straight, gay and lesbian people involved in poly relationships, but folks don’t tend to go around using it as proof that straight people are sex fiends. Or even, in recent years, gays and lesbians. For some reason, though, if a bi person does it, that makes it super-awful and proof bi folks are terrible people.
Then, I made some friends/acquaintances in poly relationships. None are bad people as far as I see and some are incredibly sweet. Which got me to questioning, “Why is it so bad?” Which further made me wonder if under the right circumstances, it might even be good for me.
[Full Article: Pondering Polyamory]