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thecatamites' text as texture

Started by droqen, September 20, 2021, 04:58:07 PM

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"Nobody reads the text in videogames!" said thecatamites (find talk/timestamp) link

text as texture.

I want plausible deniability, accidental reading, nonlinear exposure to writing, permission to miss and ignore details. text that goes by too quickly to be caught (enter the void credits sequence).


This is reading play. "What do i end up reading? what will i miss? what can i miss?"

This is writing play too. i don't know what pieces someone will read... i think writing is always like that, actually. you never know what phrase will snag any reader's attention. Reading is not a straight line, it's a jagged line with hills and valleys of attention and repetition.

am i the only one who goes back to a sentence i liked to reread it, or skips a word or sentence i think i might not understand if it's not particularly interesting or necessary?


JohnLee Cooper's
And Other Stories

* I find it stressful when I see a lot of text and assume I have to read it all. And Other Stories is the singular game that made me feel the most free to miss things; if something can break through that level of stress then I feel way better. I love the feeling.


This is all to say: of course I really truly want to make more games that exercise text as texture. Starseed Pilgrim does it. I think a lot of the text in YRKKEY'S PARADISE is a little too 'locky', although a lot of it is quite easy and unnecessary and incidental-skippable (my favourites are the NPCs in 2-1 who speak to you while you're using them to solve a little climbing puzzle). The text in HANDMADEDEATHLABYRINTH issue 0 is straight up too locky.


In MMORPGs, text and reading is one window of many. Chatting with friends happens alongside the action, not in its own game-locking mode. Dark Souls has a similar feeling: the game isn't waiting for me to finish reading; it's up to me to find a time to read when it's comfortable for me.


I could characterize this as "indifference" but I'd rather not.