Monday, 17 February 2014

The Siblings do: Flower!

by Thatgamecompany.

 'It's not quite reality because petals wouldn't be able to do that but it shows people can.' Phoebe (10 years old)

What is the Siblings do?
The Siblings do is a little exploration. I will be presenting three of my younger siblings aged 8, 10 and 11 with a variety of games for them to play and discuss, what they say about these games I will record and type up here. I will be questioning them to stimulate conversation but apart from that this is all them without prompt, originally this was just a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon with my brothers and sisters and it very much still is.

I should explain how this came about. I am the eldest of eight brothers and sisters and the youngest three are avid game players and have been most of their lives, as an 'in-training' game designer they are my perfect little play testing team and the first place I go with my ideas. Like most children their age they have fascinating and often fantastical ideas not yet stifled by age.

I had started to notice that despite their open minded nature to games they often played very specific types of game. When I asked my eight year old brother what he thought games must have in order to be fun he worryingly replied guns.So with this in mind I'm now starting The Siblings do!

Me 25 years old
Max 11 years old
Phoebe 10 years old
Callum 8 years old

What do you think this game is about?

11 Max. It's about how, like, one little petal can change the world.
10, Phoebe. It's about making things better.
8 Callum. It's about saving more flowers to make more flowers and then that makes it more beautiful.

How does the game make you feel.

Max. Relaxed, Instead of being there with a controller I felt in the game.
Callum. Upset.

(Interestingly whereas max and phoebe talked about how beautiful the game looked and felt Callum focused on the controls and became frustrated quickly, he continually mentioned his own experience in contrast to the others as if it were a competition)

What's your favourite bit of the game?

Phoebe. I like the colors, they're bright, not like brown and I like the sound too, like the grass rustling.
Max. I like how the sound makes me feel different.

Did you enjoy the game?
Callum. I liked it. It gets dark. I like how it's nice and the music, it goes with the the game, it goes with the game. I like it when it's dark, it shows out the plants a lot more better.

I asked why they thought in between the levels a city is shown and how this made them feel?

Phoebe. It's very busy, it makes me feel busy.
Max. It shows that were so packed and busy in our own things...
Phoebe. Yeah, that we don't notice, like, all the beautiful things.
Callum. She stole my answer, I was going to say that.

What do you think your character is doing within the game?
Phoebe making the world a better place.
Callum. (Sighs loudly) I was going to say that. I like the way as you get the petals the wheat it's growing on goes away, because it brings grass out, so it brings more flowers out, to make more beautiful fields.
Max. It's showing people that if you did something you can make nature a better place and like, not ruined by machines.
Phoebe. I think it's showing how people must help the flowers. Because people who cut down trees are ruining the environment. The world will be all dark.
Callum. And we'll all die. (Pause) because there's no oxygen.

Can you give it a score out of five and tell me why?

Phoebe 5/5 well, I think it's a five because it brings out your emotions and if you care for the environment..
Callum. Care for the world.
Phoebe, it's not quite reality because petals wouldn't be able to do that but it shows people can.
Max 5/5 it really brings out the emotion in you. It shows machinery can really hurt nature.
Sam. Did you learn anything from playing it?
Max. Even if your a small thing you can make a big difference.
Callum 3/5 because 5/5 is making it beautiful, but it's not always beautiful, sometimes it looks bad. I like it more beautiful as it could possibly be in the world. They've turned stuff evil.

Have any of your friends play this game.

Max. (Silence) shakes his head
Callum no
Phoebe no

Would you like to show your friends Flower?
Phoebe yes
Max yeah, I guess I would
Callum I would, I'd like to show girls, at my table, girls like flowers so they'll like it.

Why do you think you have machinery in the game that hurts you?

Callum (umm...)
Max because like, you need something against you.

Some sort of adversity?
Max yeah.

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