What I was trying to do

I'm a fan of early 1980s arcade games and also narrative games, so (like a few other games I've created) I wanted to combine the two in this Rainbow Jam entry. I find doing that successfully very tricky - trying to keep the pace of an arcade game, whilst also giving players the opportunity to read the narrative. In this game players can generally hide in corners where they pick up the collectables that hold the memories and read them without risk of being caught by an opposition remna-bot character, so it's something I think I managed to achieve.

If you hadn't guessed, this is also a thinly veiled autobiographical piece as well about my experience of coming out as TQQ++ (or whatever!), how I'm trying to find my path and my experiences as snippets of memory. I still don't know which flag I'm sitting under, so wanted to make use of relevant flag colours and combined all the trans/nb/fluid/queer flags into one to make the maze walls.

The maze itself is divided up into themed network zones representing different communities, and memories in each zone reflect my experience.

Most people I think would agree that coming out to family and friends and finding your way once you're out can be difficult, and that is reflected it the snippets of memories I share. The subject can be hard-going, and I wanted to try and at least put a bit of lightness in the game as well.  Random comments uttered by  opposing remna-bots in the form of pseudo-gibberish gender related error messages was an attempt at that. Turning serious stuff into nonsense and jokes is how I get by and deal with things.

With all of my games I like to do things a bit differently - that often includes the scoring system, and how you win or lose. Everyone can finish this game, but the opposition remna-bots do have an impact on how many corrupt files you have at the end of it. 

It was my first attempt at creating a narrative in Pico-8 as well, which was tricky, as the screen size is only 128 by 128 pixels, and the font is tiny. I hope the messages made sense and they were readable too. I've learnt my lesson with these fonts and have already set up a bigger sprite based font for my next Pico-8 game.


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Sep 07, 2019

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