Dream Ablare 1.0 postmortem
I adore the format of games of Belonging Outside Belonging a lot, and I have tinkered with it often in game jams because each one is an attempt to discover more of myself as a designer and as someone concerned with dramatic and IRL questions of marginalized community in hostile space. With each new attempt, I seem to discover something useful, mostly in terms of the hollow spaces of things I do not properly execute and how to revise or re-approach those missing pieces in a way that makes games better. I am still learning in terms of making things actually look beautiful, and that still requires some personal patience, but I think I am growing in terms of text, even when that growth means seeing when I still have more to do.
What Dream Ablare has done for me the most is help me more accurately witness how my attachment for speculative fiction frames for my last two games has actually been a handicap in terms of making games where every element is clear in terms of how they come into play and how players access them. Evokers' Pact, in hindsight, has a lot of those potential issues that I look forward to cleaning up in revision (once work slows down for a bit), and it was only in attempting to make something much more grounded that I discovered just how many options the game already has and how much more wisdom is required in order to add to or complicate those options in the ways that Evokers' Pact attempted to.
I also know that at some point I have to revisit all of these games in terms of making their means of play much more obvious in the document itself. Not every player just has enough spare coin to get the original Dream Askew/Dream Apart spreads in .pdf, let alone pay for my game on top of that, but in the event that someone just picks this game up, the goal should be that I explain myself solidly enough that all they need is the file in front of them to make sense of the game. I don't think I am there yet, and I still value doing jams like this as an opportunity to gain that kind of wisdom. I expect to make this already-pretty-thicc file much thiccer with that kind of groundwork very soon. (Again, once work slows down.)
Thank you, if you're reading this, for finding even the most minuscule value in this little game. I hope this game unravels something interesting. Be loud, fellow kids.
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