Rakk, Paper, Shotgun

The Infinite Ocean is on Rock, Paper, Shotgun! This is very awesome, and now I have yet another reason to be thankful to Terry Cavanagh.

Speaking of Terry, I’m also getting really heavily into my new draft of Nexus City, the RPG that we’re making together. The current draft (of the script) is still in that phase where it feels like an incredibly complicated puzzle, but I’m getting it under control. I can’t tell you just how excited I am about this project, so I’m very happy to be working and making progress.

I also forgot to mention that my Escapist article has been pushed back to the first issue of the new year. Not rejected or shredded, just bumped for reasons unrelated to its actual content or quality. It’s still going to appear, so there’s nothing to be too disappointed about.

I apologize for the random Borderlands reference in the title. I really need to find the time to write down why I’m so in love with that game.


  1. Theoharis


    I just finished playing the Infinite Ocean and I’d like to wholeheartedly thank you for this experience. Simply amazing…

    I wish all the best for all of your future endeavours.. Kalh synexeia! 🙂

  2. I just wanted to respond to this: “I’ve struggled with this, and have at times actually said way too much about what I was thinking. The danger, as I see it, is that if the writer talks too much about their intent, people will refrain from digging into the game and trying to figure out what it means. I very intentionally made a game that didn’t tell you what the truth was, but gave you a host of clues that could you lead you there; a game to pick apart and consider, to make you think.”

    There is always the argument that art should stand alone. If it requires some sort of explanation after the fact, then it is has failed in its task. That’s the kind of thing that often keeps an artist’s mouth closed, for it is an admission of failure.

    Of course, not always. There are always the DVD commentaries to service.

  3. I think it depends entirely on the situation. Sometimes commentary by the author can be very interesting and enlightening, especially to other creative people. But in a game that is specifically designed to raise questions that can only be answered by careful examination and thought, giving people clear answers diminishes the power of the game to provoke thought. The fact that people are wondering about the game when they’re done with it is not a sign of failure to me, it’s a sign of success; finishing the game is only meant to be the first step.

    What really seems like failure to me is if you finish a work of art and don’t need to think/talk about it.

  4. Hey Jonas, maybe I should be clearer – I don’t mean the absence of a clear answer is failure. David Lynch’s films always have me pondering for a good week/month/forever. I also played and enjoyed Time Fcuk which elucidated the response: what *was* that?

    Just from a purist point of view: If an artist *needs* to explain what their art means – well, that sort of undermines the intent, as if the art can’t properly exist beyond its creator.

    I’m not saying this is necessarily what I believe wholeheartedly 100% – although I do use this as a rule-of-thumb to make sure something is accessible to my “target audience” – just that it was another possible motivation to not explain everything away. At my writing group I will often surrender the intention of a story during the debrief to see if anyone picked up the subtext.

    I dug the meaning of The Infinite Ocean without a problem (I had a guess early into the game about the “who” and was right, although the “why” eluded me until the relevant clues fell into place near the end) and I liked the criss-cross nature of the narrative. I appreciate not having someone explain it all to me =)

    It is also rather annoying that I wrote an as-yet unfinished story which has much in common with The Infinite Ocean =) (although far from identical, to be fair)

  5. I get what you mean – I’ve argued at times that “if it could be said differently, why say it as art?” So, as with yourself, I’m mainly tempted to surrender the intention of the story to other creative people, and especially to see who picked up on aspects of the subtext. (How many people picked up on the potential meaning of “I AM” is something I wonder about.)

    As for having written a very similar but unfinished story… I had an even worse experience. When I saw the film Last Night (by Don McKellar), I was shocked to realize this was almost exactly a script I’d been wanting to write for years. Not only that, it was probably better than I could ever do it! I didn’t know how to feel. Then I cried like a baby because the movie was so damn good.

  6. I’m sorry to hear that, because I love that film! Saw it first time just a couple of years ago. At least you haven’t laid waste to my own magnum opus about AI, as we diverge in many ways, thank GOD. I can still be famous. Maybe.

    The Infinite Ocean is the kind of game I enjoy a lot more during the aftermath, when the experience is done and you’re working it over in your brain. Which is good really, because I played while I was half asleep (the only time I get to play anything these days is late at night).

  7. Oh, it’s fine, I absolutely bloody love that movie. Normally I’m always like “if I had made that movie, it would be so much better!” but Last Night is perfect as it is. One of my top three films of all time. Just shockingly, shockingly close to my original idea.

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