Monday, April 11, 2011

Secret mind-link discovered, part II: Sympathy for the Devil

Follows from here, quite intuitively.

When I found out about Camwhores and compared it with my own never developed idea for a game to be called "Amateur", I still wasn't sure that Elizabeth Shoemaker Sampat and I shared a secret mind-link or maybe deep soul-link across the Atlantic Ocean, no. Certainty struck me later, as I went through the games submitted to the two previous rounds of the Ronnies earlier this year — hyper-excited as I am currently about the contest — and discovered that in February she conceived They Became Flesh.
Holy cow shit!
My (3-4?) Italian readers are, I guess, already "in" on this: that Fallen Angels are a hot topic for me. For my (0-2?) non-Italian readers: a small-ish Game Chef-like contest was run last year on Italian gaming forum Gente Che Gioca and I entered a game called I reietti di Eden (roughly: The Outcasts from Eden, proper English title still to be determined though), which has since become my main "thing", the one "big project" I plan to devote lots of energy to. Preliminary playtests exposed large holes in the mechanics and now a major revision (probably in English, or also in English) is upcoming, any time soon — one of which I'm really proud of. Well, I reietti di Eden is about heroic people sorely resenting their ancestors' casting out of Paradise, counting Lucifer the Bringer of Light (aka Prometheus) and the proud Fallen as their best friends and preparing to finally strike back in retaliation against God and the Heavenly Host, so to set wrongs right at last and — maybe even — regain a liberated Eden and Heavens for themselves. In my game, both Mortals and Fallen Angels are available as playable character types and there are mechanics to determine if and when the Fallen, overwhelmed by their melancholic longing for those Heavens they cannot forget, withdraw from the Mortals' side of the fight.
They Became Flesh is about the Fallen wandering a young world, not long after a stern and unforgiving God cast them down from Heavens because they sided with sinful Adam and Eve and questioned Him: they fell from grace for daring to doubt. It's about them trying to fit in with humankind or finding a place of their own on Earth — or maybe having their former heavenly status restored. Unfinished as it is, please go read the most current draft available!
While mine is obviously a very different game from Elizabeth's, I can't help but feel a strong kinship with her vision. My focus may be on the heroes of a "rightful" war, on the End of Times rather than on a still young Earth, but still the Fallen Angels of They Became Flesh are very much the same as mine: melancholic and tragic, torn between their love for humankind and their memories of Heavens. Lucifer is depicted much the same way, as a tragic idealist and a sympathetic character (true is that Elizabeth's Lucifer is very emphatically not the Snake of Eden/Prometheus, contrary to mine, but I don't feel this to be overwhelmingly important). Sure, there are hugely important literary predecessors to such a vision, etc., but that's absolutely not the point.
I look at the two games and see that they complement each other like they were a pair, deeply personally felt facets to the same subject-matter. Both aren't "done" yet, but I now like to think that sooner or later they will be, and maybe - dare I immodestly hope - that mutual knowledge will make both of them considerably better.

P.S. readers who are not yet familiar with Elizabeth's major works (It's Complicated, Blowback) please check them out on her website.

No comments:

Post a Comment