Saturday, June 21, 2014

Spirits of The Wild

This is the photo version of the game I made for Gamechef 2014, Spirits of The Wild.

It took me the whole week to make. I had to draw and cut out 10 cardboard stencils. Robert helped me get the cardboard from a dumpster and drew a lot of the stencils. Cutting them out with an x-acto knife was extremely time consuming. It's really difficult to get through both layers of cardboard quickly and precisely. After I was done I got two cans of glow in the dark spray paint (Glowz by Krylon) and went to the Olympia Train tunnel. The 10 different lines of the game are spread out fairly evenly down the entire length of the tunnel, along the south facing wall. A friend helped me hold the stencils and I sprayed. I forgot face masks so we were inhaling a lot of paint and fumes, especially when the wind in the tunnel died down. No fun.

Conceptually, here's how the project came about. The theme of Game Chef this year was "There is no book". I brainstormed a bunch of different approaches to this and one idea was to write the game on a wall as graffiti. As I thought about it, I thought it would be really cool to make a game that was basically two games. One game would be following the instructions of the game, but the other game would be finding the instructions themselves. After I settled on that, my original plan was to create a maze of graffiti messages in downtown Olympia with glow in the dark paint. The messages would be written in the alleyways around 4th ave, and each message would have an arrow leading towards the next one.

I ended up giving up on that idea at the last minute, mostly because I had run out of time and was preparing to do the graffiti on the weekend, when that area of downtown is super busy. The number of people around on weekends was part of the reason I wanted to do it there, for the visibility, but I didn't want to do it when they were around. Since I had never done anything like this before and since there would be so many people around and no other time to do it before the deadline, I felt like the chances of me getting caught and slapped with a fine I couldn't possibly afford were pretty high. Another option was to get permission from buildings, but that also seemed time consuming and somewhat unlikely.

So at the last minute I decided to switch to the train tunnel. The train tunnels have very low visibility, but that also made it much easier to do it whenever I wanted to. The train tunnels are already filled with graffiti anyways, so I figured that the police probably wouldn't even care if some guy did a little art project in there. If I didn't think that I wouldn't be posting this here, I would have had to use a pseudonym, So being able to take credit for the whole thing is an added bonus.