2D or not 2D (I can’t be the first person to make that pun.)*

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*Originally titled “3D or not 3D”. The title was subsequently changed in late 2022 in favor of a better pun, though this new version arguably has no depth.

I would someday like to develop something in 3D. There is a lot of potential there for games that lean more towards simulation and reality than abstract gameplay. For right now, I really enjoy building around the limitations of 2D games, scratch, and my limited experience. I think that challenges and limitations, be it resources or technology constraints, whatever, can inspire some pretty neat ideas. Sometimes, unlimited time and resources can kill creativity. Jaws really works because the animatronic shark didn’t work as well as intended, so a lot of gratuitous shots had to be reimagined. What was left was much more suspenseful and led to an iconic movie. I doubt it would have been as well done if it had all gone as planned. The programming will take more time at the computer than the level design. Although, as I think about it, I’ve sent days thinking about the levels and gameplay. It’s been in the back of my mind ever since the course started. I’ve made one or two things in Scratch before, so I’m comfortable with the process and at least being able to find answers to questions when I have them. The actual build will take a lot of effort. I’m prepared to sink the rest of my time in because I really like the challenge and the concept that I have. The game I’m working on is for language students at a specific level. It’s not really adaptable for other disciplines but it could be adapted to other languages. It’s inspired by a couple of different things that I’ve all rolled into one experience. The narrative is baked loosely on Cyrano de Bergerac, but the gameplay concept is inspired by the Turing Test and the Chinese Room thought experiment. I think the intersection of those three things makes for an interesting area for play and learning.