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stasis: an interactive haiku of isolation

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EDIT: Woah! Unexpected frontpage! Cheers!


A year has passed on earth since your navigation module fell apart. For you, it has been a few hours. You have been charging your hyperdrive and jumping randomly throughout space, hoping to find someone.


But space is vast.

Will you make your way home?

Would it even make a difference if you did?


stasis is solo effort, non-game made for Singleton Jam (the theme was: Isolation). Inspired by self-imposed quarantine due to COVID-19, it aims to invoke similar sensations in a person as those that quarantine espouses.


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This game reminds me of a story that appeared in the now long defunct Epic magazine. It was called Sole Survivor or Lone Survivor (I don't recall which), about a General McCork who commanded a colony ship containing the last of humanity after a global war destroyed Earth. McCork was left alone after his crew were wiped out by alien viruses and impact events. After a few years of isolation he could bear no more and pushed his ship to lightspeed thinking he would turn into energy and perish. Instead he ascended to the infinite and became immortal and alone. Cheered up enough?

This is really hard for me to rate.
On the one hand: it is a terrible game.
It works, but it isn't particularly fun.

But unlike most games: it is actually intended to not be fun.
It is intended to be more of a simulation, and that it achieves pretty darn well.

My first gripe is that the food thing seems to do nothing.
I can't tell in any way how badly I need to eat.
I have sound turned off on my computer, so I don't even get an indication that I ate.

Then again, the character in the story is going crazy,
so I guess that's not really important either.

My 2nd gripe is that you took the treadmill away so soon.
Maybe because I was starting to have fun on it? lol

Good job, I think you achieved what you set out to do.
On the other hand: I think it is more from an extrovert's viewpoint.
If you're going to send someone out into space alone: don't send an extrovert.
Send an introvert, that is more comfortable with long periods devoid of human contact.
As such: I think you missed the mark a bit on this one.

Then again: this was not really about going into space,
it was more about us being isolated, and how that feels.

So I come back you: good job, I think you accomplished it.

I see this more as an interactive art piece rather than a game and going by the description I guess that was the point! I only wish there were more things to interact with and that the things you did interact with are more thorough, rather than the food machine just making noise and perhaps the bed could provide a different quote or dream each time you use it. (think: clickers from Humongous Entertainment games to that effect)

Regardless I enjoyed the style of this piece and enjoyed what little interactivity of it I could get and the overall statement of isolation from it. I want to see more of these types of interactive non-games, really!

I don't really know about this one: I got kinda bored of it all. I know that's maybe the 'point' or something but it didn't really have any neat interactivity or compelling hook or...something. Like, for example, it talks about becoming friends with the food dispenser: that would be good if the food dispenser actually talked and we could actually conceivably have that reaction on our own in gameplay instead of just being told how to feel with nothing to back it up. I played until I started getting blank journal entries. There was a severe lack of haikus.

I haven't a clue what I'm meant to be doing. Perhaps that's the point, as in neither does the character know what they should be doing, but it feels like quite a stretch to compare cluelessness on how to play here to being isolated and purposeless. I can always stop playing the game and play a different game, I can't really do that with real life, that's what makes quarantine so difficult and something that doing a one for one mirror ultimately fails to capture.
An engaging experience can do so much more to explore an idea, whilst this just seems to make the quite obvious point that it's hard to find purpose in isolation without really conveying the emotional impact.

That or I'm missing something obvious. Still, nice style to it.