Developer: Robbie Fraser
Launcher Quote: “Anniversary – 20th December 2013”
Very few of the games in the Meditation Games project are ones that seem to subvert expectations. A lot of what is communicated, both in the game or in the launcher quote, tends to be something of a “what you see is what you get” kind of a thing, with some games content to allow interpretation by the player, or which try to send messages that the player can agree or disagree with – but for the most part, they tend to be games that don’t make any drastic shifts that you aren’t expecting. It took to near the end of the project year, but this particular game ended that trend.
Watching what turned from what looked to be a heartwarming, loving experience into what appeared to be a sudden shift down into the depths of what the dev likely sees as one of their lowest points in being dumped on their anniversary was a bit surreal. I’m used to these kinds of things happening in games that I’ve played, where you have a sense of something that’s wrong but you’re not shown what that is until things progress a little bit. The simple and short presentation of the Meditation games means that if you’re going to put a twist into something, that you’re going to have to do it in a short amount of time and also make sure the player is sufficiently caught off guard for it to happen. There are games that have done this in the project, but none with the suddenness that this particular game does it with. But then, considering what happened to the developer, that may very well be the point, as it seemed to be pretty sudden, and pretty severe. Thankfully, it seems the developer is in a better place in this arena 5 years down the line, but it doesn’t make the memory of it be any more of a weight that literally seemed to drop the player, and them, into the depths.