Are you buying family games this Christmas? We are. We bought a few favorites for the kids, but actually took them back in favor of the eVersions. This was a choice my wife made. That really surprised me. Let me just say in our family, she is not the gadget freak the rest of us…
It’s midnight on Saturday and we’ve spent the last three days at the 2010 Christian Game Developer’s Conference in Portland, OR. Once again I come home with a lot of things in my head that really span the gamut of available emotions. In many ways, Soma Games was born at the 2005 CGDC. And I’ve…
There is no way that any video game or series of video games can possibly tell the stories we want to tell at Soma Games.
Neither could a graphic novel,
…or a book,
…or a movie.
If ‘the medium is the message’ then we will only have told our stories properly when they are told across multiple media, each used in its proper place to express the proper part of a manifold expression of creativity that ought to transcend any single medium.
When Soma was first looking at the video game business about four years ago the biggest barrier to entry was cost and distribution. That may look like a subject-verb-mismatch but the two things are so intricately related that they might as well be seen as a single issue. Indie games cost less to make but had no realistic way to get to the public; to get out there you needed a big distribution channel, to get distributed you needed a publisher and to interest a publisher you needed to spend $500k or more.
But as I was coming to grips with this problem something new was just appearing on the scene – digital distribution.
This post is gonna be a little tricky. I just finished playing a new release called “Heaven” by Genesis Works. It’s a puzzle type game in the style of Myst that lets the player explore the Throne Room city described in Revelation.
Here’s why this is gonna be hard, Heaven sits firmly in the class of video games that I deliberately want to avoid with Soma Games and it steps into several of the traps that I think have plagued this niche from the get-go. That said, I think I can take a pretty good guess as to what drives the folks who made this game and I expect it’s good stuff – they take their faith seriously and were driven to bring something they are passionate about to the medium they are passionate about, I get that. So there is this balance I want to have of honestly reviewing a product that is now out in the public in an industry I aspire to contribute to without just taking pot-shots or tearing down people who I would probably enjoy hanging out with…not an easy line.