Arrow keys Move; kick marble
Shift (hold) Pick up marble
Z Throw marble (while holding Shift)
Enter Start game
Esc/ Alt + F4 Exit game
All characters, graphics, design and music – Matthew Sandstrom
Some sound effects were taken from the public domain, at http://www.freesound.org/
Made with The Games Factory 2 (http://www.clickteam.com/website/world/)
This is the first game I have made which uses what I will call a Poetic Mechanism; a device for communicating emotional ideas and concepts purely through the core mechanics of the game, with other aspects (graphics, music, prose, etc) taking a non-integral role in the way the Player understands the game. The aim is to put a video game in the position of an interactive work of art by using the code, the very programme, as its medium. In theory, a game could be made without sound, or graphics, except to show abstractly what it happening on the screen; and the Poetic Mechanism would still be able to communicate all its ideas uninhibited.
This game contains none of the following:
- High scores
Gameplay may last 10 to 20 minutes, or as long as the Player wants to keep playing. There are two possible endings. The game is based on personal experiences, but in no way intends to depict any real person.
[The rest of this statement contains some spoilers. The Player may prefer to play the game first and use this to reflect on your own experience.]
In Robot in a Box, the Poetic Mechanism consists of the props – the Box itself, and the marbles – and the way the Player interacts with these and with the other characters. The Player finds themselves trapped in the Box, and unable to communicate in any way with the other characters. The first part of the game will naturally become the Player exploring the environment and the other characters, while still trapped within the Box.
After the Player reaches the garden, they find a character who is able to communicate with them – by throwing a marble into the Box, rather than simply kicking a marble at it. When the Player is out of the Box, they can interact with all the other characters, and explore the subtle differences in programming between characters who seem at first to be generic copies. How the Player feels when interacting with these characters is part of the experiment I’m trying to conduct with this game.
If you have any questions about the game or anything else, please email me:
Matthew Sandstrom: firstname.lastname@example.org