I recently got a chance to bounce some questions off of the team that developed the first-person platformer puzzle game, Stream. Designer Simon Chauvin fielded the questions on behalf of the team and relayed the group’s sentiments back to me. I found Stream to be an interesting, stark, but visually compelling and a well designed short game. You can find my full review here.
It’s a brief interview that touches on some of the process behind designing the game and some of the history behind development.
What inspired the concept for the game?
Stream Team: This is difficult to say, I was the one bringing the concept to the team and I must say that I don’t really have an idea of where that comes from. At first, it was just the mechanic, I liked the idea of controlling the environment, I wanted to make the player feel like an alien in the world. He controls everything that surrounds him just like if he was an observer.
I’m not too familiar with ENJMIN — what can you tell us about the program?
ST: ENJMIN is a french public school of video game development, we are around fifty students in different majors (programming, game design, sound … Read More »
Alphaland is a minimalistic platformer by Jonas Kyratzes where players explore a hidden level inside of a game they’re tasked with testing by a developer friend. Alphaland starts as a simple platformer, but as you descend this odd, listless lost level the game tips over into a surreal experience that touches on themes of existentialism, personification, reification and death.
Stream is a first-person puzzle-platformer based on flow and environment manipulation through quasi-time control. You run and jump through black and white levels of increasing complexity, increasing the amount of manipulation over the moving elements in the environment as the puzzles become more intricate.
I found Stream by chance and my brief afternoon romp through its three short stages felt appropriately curious; the art direction in Stream is stark, all the rooms are made of black and white, thick edges, minimal gradient and strong shadows. The rooms are large, empty and mostly white through the first two stages. It feels eerily empty, still and quiet. Playing alone in my bedroom at 2:15 in the afternoon, the house quiet, I felt an odd compulsion to poke around this strange colorless world.
It’s not time control — it’s environment control
I think the team behind Stream used the terms “forward”, “rewind” and “pause” for simplicity — they’re recognizable words, but they also connote time control and that’s not what happens in Stream. In Stream most of the objections in a room will move and you have the ability to move them forward along their determined path, reverse that path or stop them entirely. An early example of … Read More »