The game I posted last about, Ascension, was made by talented game author Jonathan Whiting.

I will ramble. Please forgive.

One day, on a whim, I contacted a few fellow game makers to see if they would be interested in taking part in a little experiment. Following up on my whims has been my modus operandi since I started making games, so this just seemed appropriate. A few caught on, and what we set out to do was make a game each, and then switch around the credits, so each of us would release a game that was not of our respective creation.

As me and the friends I contacted discussed the finer points, I got questioned as to why something like this could be a good idea, what I was trying to achieve. I truthfully responded that I was not trying to achieve anything, that this was just a game, something fun to try out, a bit of a silly prank. I never explained where the idea came from, though.

I have a hard time reconciling my selfish desires with my outlook on life. I believe that everyone and everything is just a part of a whole, and that any sense of self that we have is an illusion that is normally convenient to let us do the best we can, but, for our species, has gone out of control, and selfishness has become the norm. Copyright law is just one concrete expression of this selfishness, in the realms of culture and economics. This belief clashed with my need to become good at what I want to become good at, and be recognized for it as an individual, to be favored in some fashion. So, I guess I had this in mind when I became suddenly intrigued by the thought of having another person take the credit for a game I’d made.

The people who participated were Jonathan Whiting (a.k.a. MrPiglet), Michael Brough (a.k.a. brog), Noyb, and I. A theme was convened, ‘masquerade’, which seemed appropriate. The games are the following:

They were all released on December the 1st. During this last month or so I haven’t been in my best mind, so I didn’t concern myself as much with the outcome (or even the preparations) as I could have, but I believe that it was a positive experience for us all. From reading my fellow conspirators’ thoughts, I understand that they were not entirely comfortable throughout, and this mirrors my initial dilemma; I think that being aware of such unpleasant emotions results in a higher understanding of our self, so I’m not sorry for having sparked this charade. Me, I was surprised to find myself so anxious about what to do with the game I was to display, not because of the game itself, but because I had to consider the actual author’s feelings for their own game, their attachment to it, their willingness to place it in my hands. Even though it wasn’t my game, I made it a point to treat this one as I would any of my releases, but whatever I usually did with one, Jonathan might not have agreed. Frustratingly dealing with this dual standard (in my own mind, as he never argued) was the low point of the experience for me.

But now, game’s up.

Comments.

Jasper, on .

No way! Jonathan Whiting = Mr. Piglet? I never put the two together!

I’m curious as to what feelings it would have evoked to release them all anonymously instead. Perhaps an idea for a future experiment!

Nice writeup, it will be interesting to see what the public has to say.

agj, on .

Haha, an entirely different revelation for you. :)

A bundle of games released anonymously? Where do I sign up?

Jonathan Whiting (link), on .

Yes, I am the one and same. I largely gave up my alter ego a year ago, preferring to go by my real name.

With the benefit of hindsight a bundle of uncredited games, (maybe with an unmatched list of authors) might have been a more successful and no less interesting proposition.

Ah well, I’d certainly be up for doing something like this again sometime.