I thought about a curious topic that playing this game on the day it came out made me think of, and that was the idea of why I’m such a completionist when it comes to fetch quests in games. Sure, part of it might be the rewards and also being able to look at an area and say that it’s complete, but I think a lot of it might be because of the fact that I personally find fetch quests to be quite fulfilling. The idea that I’m delivering something to a character who might need it, sometimes desperately, gives me a sense of joy at completing it, because I feel like I’m helping. It’s probably also the same idea behind why I tend to send cookies around every year at Christmas.
The funny thing about time, I think, is how our perception of it tends to change how we experience events. We get nervous and watch the clock when we’re excited or afraid of something that’s happening. We ask for five more minutes to sleep in and it seems like it either passes very quickly or very slowly, depending on how we’re feeling about getting up. The thing about time, however, is that its just…well, time. It’s inexorable, consistent, and doesn’t go any faster or slower than we basically think it does.
The saying “stop and smell the roses” or, its more popularized version in 80s movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” of taking the time to look around while you’re going through life, is an age-old piece of advice that I think has a lot of applicable meaning outside of just life as a whole. It can apply to a variety of experiences in life, such as going through school, getting involved in activities, meeting friends, building a successful career, and a bunch of other types of events. In all of these, what you learn during the journey and how you decide to experience it is said to be just as important as getting past that hump and moving on to the next thing.
One of the things that I think has left a lasting impression on me from playing the games in this project is how simplicity can serve as a means by which we express big and significant ideas, feelings, or messages. Because there have been parameters surrounding these games that don’t allow for much in terms of explicitly explaining how to do things or what the point of the game is (at least in-game), developers have been tasked with sending their intent through the game’s play, visuals, or sounds, and that’s exactly what happens here in terms of paying respects to someone the developer misses.
This game, which is about an national march celebrating Romania, spoke to me personally on a number of levels. I’m a former marching band geek, so I know what it’s like to have to march in a parade in perfect sync, and I used to do the rhythm game thing back in the day, so it was fun to have to enter in those inputs and remember those days I practiced on a well-worn DDR machine in an Asian market mall. In many ways, a rhythm game is exactly how you would have to depict being able to march in time, as the combination of the music, the playing, and the marching pace were all factors that combined into being able to do so in a performance setting and still look good and crisp doing so.
Procrastination as a monster is probably one of the most apt descriptions that I’d use as a way to show how there’s a constant struggle in order to try to get past it, though unlike the visual cue that this developer’s fun game takes with it in turning it into a shoot-em-up target I’d probably compare it more to a horror movie monster. Procrastination is the beast that lurks in the darkness, always seeming to manipulate and push you towards a bad end, and which, in rare occurrences, reveals itself and rears its ugly head in order to spook you into a haze of unproductive laziness.