Tippety tappety went the programmer, staring at the screen. The tealy-orangey wash of the monitor lit his face, like a well-considered light source in front of his serious face. If this was a cool Hollywood movie, the code on the screen would have been somehow projected onto his serious face. But it wasn’t. It was reality. It was Dundee and this was the genesis of a game…
Tippety tap! His fingers, limber and lithe, like clever lizards which had learned to work collectively to write computer programmes, moved restlessly on the desk in front of him. ‘An idea’, he mused. ‘I need an idea. In a hit driven industry, you’re only ever as good as your last game,’ he pondered, and we need something interesting! Something new! Something SMASHING!’
Tippety Tappety! His fingers repeated their restless drumming. Like the clever lizards were a choreographed troop, executing a series of creative manoeuvres with military precision and zest . ‘The problem is,’ the programmer ruminated, ‘that it’s difficult to come up with truly new ideas. Many games,’ he cogitated, ‘are merely revisions or, evolutions, if you will, of existing game types or genres. Which, while not original, certainly has the benefit of more clearly delineating the overall structure of the resulting product.’
Tap, tap tap tap tap! The rhythm of the fingers changed. The clever lizards exchanging military drill for one lizard, expressing impatience while waiting for a lizard friend outside the lizard military academy, after he promised – promised – that he’d be there for 5… ‘The thing is,’ considered the programmer, ‘that’s it’s technically Steve’s turn in the coming-up-with-an-idea-for-a-new-game stakes.’ Which was all very fair and democratic. Everyone took their turn. Everyone contributed. Everyone got a chance to express their creativity in coming-up-with-an-idea-for-a-new-game. But there was a problem. Steve was a dick. His ideas were rubbish. Obviously nobody said anything. Because, well, how could one? Steve might cry. Best all round to push on and make the blasted game and then blame the market, or the players, or the lack of marketing support, or the fact that free-to-play was rubbish, or than another game came out at the same time.
Tappety, tappety, tappety! A three fingered canter of finger/lizards broke in upon the purposefully pondering programmer. ‘Flingzards!’ he thought, momentarily confusing himself with the unconsciously witty portmanteau. He stared at his newly christened flingzards as they drummed, cantered strolled and pattered between the sausage roll crumbs, spots of hot sauce, random Tangfastics, the single chopstick slowly being fashioned into a lightsabre with the steady application of felt-tip pen, and the keyboard, which arguably he should have been tapping on this entire time. ‘That’s it!’ he realised, ‘Tappety tapping! It’s a control system! We’ll make a game in which you control a horse with a random number of legs!’
The fingers were silenced as the programmer sat back, smiling quietly and staring at Steve’s desk, where he was sticking heavily-sugared Weetabix in his face and watching a documentary about the Bilderberg group.
‘Dick!’ he thought, reaching for the keyboard…
If this was an exciting novel about the creative process then this could be a highly fictionalised version of the genesis of Incandescence, the new game from Dundee’s Guerilla Tea. Sadly it’s not. It’s merely a laboured introduction to a news story on a web site covering the Scottish games industry and based in the harsh and unforgiving smash of daylight in which truth and reality are our companions.
Incandescence is a new game from Dundee’s Guerilla Tea in which the player must tippety tap two, three or four fingers in a regular rhythm on a mysterious crystalline shape. The longer you can maintain the rhythm, the more you score. The more you score, the more the crystal mutates and evolves and the most the almost organic soundtrack changes and adapts and changes.
It’s new and different. It’s what would have been called psychedelic in the sixties – and probably the seventies too. Because it’s kinda trippy man and probably a far better idea than a game in which you have a horse with a randomly generated number of legs…
The company worked with local audio genie, sound designer and composer Eden Morrison, who created the music for the game, which builds up semi-procedurally and adds 50% of the overall sensory input from the game.
You should download it and play it. Unless you’re Steve. Or a horse. Or have less than two fingers.
Incandescence (iOS) – FREE
Incandescence (Android) – FREE
Incandescence (Windows Phone 8) – FREE