Monday, 2 April 2012

April Fools Without the Fool

April Fools Day. A day filled with press releases and videos bringing dreadful (and sometimes hopeful) anouncements in the gaming technology industry. In a day full of fake announcements and practical jokes I executed the primary purpose of my platformer game.

Around the beginning of last summer I had been with my girlfriend for just over four years. We had just moved in together after we had spent the majority of those four years apart maintaining a long distance relationship due to attending different universities. I knew what I wanted and I knew I wanted to ask her that very special question in a special unique way. I wanted it to have my stamp of "geek" on it. I had some big ideas; many of which were out of my league of ability. So I settled on building a platformer and started some work on it in the summer. At the time of starting I didn't really know what I was going to do with the game, just that it would be involved in some way. PAX then came around and another developer had a similar idea. To be honest I was miffed. I no longer had that, what I considered, unique idea.

Months passed, and I had abandoned development on my platformer and was desperately trying to think of another idea that was equally "me". But for everything I came up with, it just wasn't as good as my original idea. In the end I decided to carry on developing the platformer, but I still didn't really have an idea of what I was going to do with it. The only thing I really knew I wanted to do was have the level that she would play spell out the question that was on my mind.

However, one day I thought of the old saying "It's not the destination that matters, but the journey" (I'm probably paraphrasing). Eureka! What if the end of the level isn't the question, but the level itself is. So I started work on building the items I needed to pull it off. I wanted sign posts that could say the words that I would inevitably mess up. I wanted collectables that represented key elements of our relationship. I wanted her to be in the game and for me to be there at the end. It was all in there, and I still got those words at the end that I knew had to be present all along...

Yesterday, she played this level. It was painful to watch if I'm honest because I didn't know how she would react to the game. It was positive and the response I receieved was what I was hoping for. For once there were no fools present on this day.

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