For the very first Indiepocalypse Double Feature I wanted to put the focus on 10 Mississippi by Karina Popp and Maps of the Known World by Joey Schutz, two games that use video and photography as an integral part of their gameplay and themeing rather than simply a graphical styling on top of a familiar gameplay structure.
10 Mississippi is a game that has you playing through an abstracted version of its author’s daily routine. Through simple keyboard presses you approximate shaving, commuting, eating, and all the other mundane, often intimate details of life. And intimacy is at the core of 10 Mississippi. This is a game not about discovering a person’s life but inhabiting it with the uncomfortable closeness that entails.
Conversely, Maps of the Known World views its life more from a distance. From the onset you are presented with distorted, almost visualizer-like video and a line of text. As you type out the text that appears on screen the image becomes clearer revealing the once unrecognizable visuals to actually be home videos taken by the developer Joey Schutz’s grandmother’s collection. What you find yourself in is a world of half recalled memories or stories told well after the fact. Either way, it’s a world you are not currently present in.
But those are mere snippets of my perspective on these games, I highly recommend you play these games yourself! My goal is not tell you what games you like or how to like them. I am simply pointing you towards games I like and saying “hey you outta play these games”.
I realized recently that I am lacking when it comes to my curation with Indiepocalypse. Not so much in terms of putting together collection of good games (the games are good) but more properly presenting them after they’ve been collected. I have long taken for granted that of course the games are good, so what I needed to specifically pitch people on is these games bundled up in the context of Indiepocalypse. (and to some extent that they are worth paying money for) But I don’t think this approach is the only one and is more one of trying to (unsuccessfully) fit the zine into commercial game model and mindset which doesn’t do the zine any favors at best and undercuts it at worst.
Going forward, I’m going to try and make to new writeups at least once a month to highlight the Indiepoclaypse catalog. First is a pairing of two games that I feel compliment each other whether it’s mechanically, thematically, or any other way I feel I can justify. That’s what this is. The second is a larger list of games that fit into a broader category. The first of those will be a timely list of Indiepocalypse contributors that are also IGF Nuovo nominees. I’ll be be posting these here as well as on my own site when I figure out where I want to put them. They’ll cross issues, make a good companion to the monthly 10 picks, and work towards better getting people to play these games I think people ought to play instead of trying to sell any individual issue of Indiepoclaypse.
I hope you enjoy it and it gets you to play more of these games. (many of which are free to play outside the zine issues through the devs own pages)
Future features (and the version of this on my site) will also not have these lengthy blog companions.