CGDC 2016 wind down

Questions and discussion on how to put Christ at the center of what we do.
User avatar
Exevalon
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 1:21 pm
Location: Richmond, Indiana
Area of Focus: Concept Art, Illustration, Graphic Design & Game Design
Occupation: Freelance Artist
Contact:

CGDC 2016 wind down

Postby Exevalon » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:48 pm

So, as the week of CGDC winds down and everyone goes back to their daily motions, what conversations have you or others around you struck up regarding CGDC in the future, regarding Christian games, marketing them, or perhaps other conversations some may have brought up?

Some of us who stayed behind at the beach house for the weekend had some good conversations. About the difficulty in marketing bible-based games for example when they are low-quality or just not fun. And where previous CGDCs were mostly about bible-based games and not other kinds, the more recent CGDCs have been about non-bible based games mostly, so it's like the balance has shifted. It's also hard to market some games which use alot of analogy and metaphors to a market which primarily wants bible-based games. What would be a way to work with this issue? I think parables are a good path to take as they provide flexibility with being creative and fun, while at the same time keeping true to the basic reading of the Scriptures.

Some other conversations were about moving forward with small groups, with accountability, and I see that steps are already being taken towards that. I'm really looking forward to how we all organize, work together, meet up, etc throughout the year up to next year's CGDC.


One thought opens a thousand eyes, one sun brings a thousand dawns.

WhiteFortress
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 1:49 pm
Location: WA
Area of Focus: General
Occupation: Internal Operations and Support Specialist
Contact:

Re: CGDC 2016 wind down

Postby WhiteFortress » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:47 pm

One thing that has stood out to me is the comment made that the final C may well better represent Community than Conference. It's an interesting thought to consider. I'd hardly where I am were it not for community moreso than the conference itself. That said however it is hard to imagine myself reaching my goals as a developer within this group alone. Anyone here hoping to market themselves and advance their work should be also looking elsewhere... and to be fair a number of us do. The community is amazing - we ought keep it what it is.... but I really think its just one of many venues to be considered as we persue game development. We talk about local groups, so many already exist outside the Christian circuit that can be of benefit as well. I know some of the comments made from the town hall panel were heartfelt calls to excellence. I hope there is enough grace to accept that as a group of developers we are no longer representative of our project alone but of the community as a whole as well. I would be amiss to say unpolished work or introductory projects be set aside. Its a vast spectrum we see here and a safe environnment to get and give critique and criticism.... I would encourage participation at any level. I think its wise to just know that the path of game dev goes well beyond this. I love what we've accompished as a whole and hope things continue to grow and get better in the year to come.


- Scott Bjerk

User avatar
Rhindon
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 9:21 pm
Location: Texas
Area of Focus: Video game design/development
Occupation: Sam's Club supervisor & Great American Cookies dough roller
Contact:

Re: CGDC 2016 wind down

Postby Rhindon » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:18 pm

A line of thought (and I've got a lengthy one) is that I think many - if not most of us - could benefit from is CS Lewis' approach to taking direct Biblical content and themes and re-introducing them on "neutral" ground. I say "neutral" - with quotation marks - because Lewis was not about to water down the Biblical message. Oh, no. He tackled them head-on. And for the familiar eye, it was no surprise that his characters were more-or-less Bible characters or distant offshoots of Biblical characters (ie: Aslan is Jesus, Edward is likened to Judas, Peter is...well, Peter, and so on...). Themes were given a fantasy make-over but remained true at heart.

Where most of Christian outreach and apologetics takes a fairly consistent approach, Lewis circled around the subject or theme he was drawing our attention to and invited us to look at the exact same subject from a different angle. We knew about which we were looking at, but not from the perspective he brought us to. (Even better, in many other occurrences, Lewis cleverly concealed what he was leading us to until the very last moment when we then learned that what we thought was a new thing was really something we were familiar with but had raised up walls to shield us from it.)

Analogy and parables are great tools! But Lewis used - particularly for the Narnia series - something he called "supposals". Suppose that which we're already aware of intimately (or, so we think...) was this way or was that thing. Suppose Jesus created another world alongside ours and in that world He was a lion. What might that world be like? What would happen there? Lewis doesn't attempt to create a utopia story where sin never happened. Indeed, it does, no thanks to Jadis' influence. Digory gives way to temptation and strikes the bell which awakens Jadis to begin with (representing when Eve and Adam sin against God). And on it goes. Instead of retelling a well-known story, Lewis tells a new story but allows us to examine it in a fresh context. We're asked to follow the story that's before us and to suspend our assumption that we know what's going to happen just because we might recognize the Biblical element.

In this style, as Christian game makers, we don't have to be burdened with making CHRISTIAN games, per se. Rather, we are free to tell God's story while also using His very creativity that He bestowed upon us. Why do we have to go on full-frontal (spiritual) attacks when we already know the world is on guard against anything obviously of God? Hey, personally, if I were to join the military, I'd want to be a sniper. Just sayin'...don't let 'em know you're coming. Their defenses will be that much lower.

I'll use a couple examples of games I have in mind...
The Adventures of Boi and Gurl
Two inseparable blobs - Boi and Gurl - find themselves on an adventure of a lifetime when Odi, an evil creature followed by his six henchmen (and women), set out to do their ugliest to destroy these two love bir---er, BLOBS. Love BLOBS. It will take the two of them making the most of their individual strengths AND their combined abilities to remain united and defeat Odi and his band of Viles.

The game scenario and story are both inspired by Ephesians 5. Husbands, love your wives, and wives, respect your husbands. Notice that Paul doesn't tell them both to love and respect each other? That's because women typically come from a LOVE mentality while men come from a RESPECT mentality. (I could easily get into "preacher mode" there, but, suffice to say, they're not the same.) So in my game, Boi and Gurl can do many of the same things, but one does it better than the other. But when you team them up, they can do even more than they can alone. Bring them together as "Two In One" or "One Blob" (Biblically: one flesh), and you have the makings of a very powerful entity. Yet, the player - particularly the very-anti-God player - need not be made aware that this is actually a game with strong Biblical references to marriage and how men and women are to relate to each other in marriage. And the villains? All personifications of antonyms of the Seven Fruits of the Spirit. Such as the leader, Odi, which is derived from the Latin (or is it Greek?) word for "hate". Hate being the antonym for Love.

PLUG
A scientist is hiding out in an abandoned apartment building is putting on the finishing touches of a new device when security agents of his former employer break into this room, steal his research, and knock him out cold. But not before his machine gets activated. Awakening inside a virtual city made of cityfied computer components, the scientist stumbles upon a USB "stick man" drone. The scientist, having no physical body (only a digital spirit of himself) finds he has no memory of who he is or how he got there. And the drone, dubbed PLUG because he can fasten upgrades to his hands and feet, has almost no personality to go with his hardware that is his body. Together they must uncover a sinister secret and stop it before it's too late. But that can only be done if our heroes can find the scientist's memories!

Much less a direct Biblical game veiled in what I hope to be a Mega Man-inspired game, the game will focus simply on the concept of how humanity is both material and immaterial - flesh and spirit together. The bodiless scientist and the person-less PLUG. PLUG cannot really accomplish much without the guidance and input from the scientist. And the scientist can't readily interact with the "physical"/digital world he's in without PLUG's ability to connect to different nodes and defeat baddies. The idea here is simply to examine a Biblical concept or worldview about the nature of humanity that's contrary to the popular material worldview which says there's no God.

There's no reason why we Christians cannot present obviously Christian games that don't use "camo" to veil the fact that we're presenting something "religious". Whether it's to offer Christians content that is less worrisome or to present non-Christians with a way to interact with the Bible in ways they probably never would, please, do so! We need games like that.

But if you're hope is to offer more subtle ways of sharing God or the Bible or Christian themes/concepts/principles to the world, we have - I suppose heh heh - a tool too under-utilized.


Xion Developers Group...sharing the Gospel one pixel at a time.

User avatar
Exevalon
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 1:21 pm
Location: Richmond, Indiana
Area of Focus: Concept Art, Illustration, Graphic Design & Game Design
Occupation: Freelance Artist
Contact:

Re: CGDC 2016 wind down

Postby Exevalon » Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:04 am

Rhindon - The idea of supposals is great! Even using a word like supposal, which is different from analogy and metaphor helps us realize and imagine common subjects from a different angle. Although I've never used that word for my own ideas, one phrase that has stayed with me since reading it from the famed graphic designer Paul Rand is that effective designs are those that take the familiar and make them unfamiliar. I think the same stands true with story writing and game design. I love your ideas with Adventures of Boi & Gurl and with PLUG. Especially PLUG since Sci-Fi is a big genre for me.

WhiteFortress - I like the idea of the C representing community, but Christian Game Developers Community sounds like something you are, rather than a place to go to once a year. I wonder if the conference itself can still be CGDC with C for conference, but a place like the Facebook page or this forum can be called CGDC and the C mean Community. I think its a good distinction to make. Logo wise, the last C can be a different color depending on whether the CGDC we are talking about is the conference or the community.

The idea that groups are available outside the Christian circuit is a valid one, and one we are called to. Having a local Christian group however provides a value not available outside of it. Its a safe place where like-minded people gathered together in one Spirit can grow and be strengthened as Christian game developers. I'd say it helps build us up to go out of one community into another. As a market, the Christian market is huge and I see a lot of potential. But if we want to reach those out of it, steps do need to be taken that require humbleness/innocence and sharpness/wisdom much like the Scriptural analogy of doves and snakes. I for one find that through the connections made at the CGDC, I will be able to meet and connect with others outside of the CGDC. I agree with your sentiments and I'm excited to see what the future holds.


One thought opens a thousand eyes, one sun brings a thousand dawns.


Return to “Faith & Game Integration Channel”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest