The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 8

All versions of The Word Is Not The Thing are now available. I was able to get the Android version up but only used the emulator for testing. Maybe that will be okay. Maybe not.

I’ve been working on the book for The Word Is Not The Thing. It’s “a book about the game.” It’s intended to be part compendium and part the game itself, as far as it can be transferred onto a page. I think it’s possible to do this since Mavenmob games are designed to be played within a short timeframe. I also want to provide a non-traditional gamer audience with something to maybe bridge them into Mavenmob games. I also want to vary the discovery of the games outside just digital and this is a good way to get something physical out there. So, my recent learning about how to create and publish a book will definitely come in use for any future games I create.

For now, I’ve decided to go with a 5.5″x8.5″ final size book with perfect binding and to have the books printed and distributed through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service. I think I’m going to end up with 150 pages given how I’ve planned things out. As for the digital version, it will be free and available on Kindle, Itch.io and maybe Apple’s Books service.

Up next is finishing up the book, cleaning up little external things and moving forward in that direction for this game.

Get more frequent design insights, screenshots and more on mavenmob’s patreon blog. You can view it here: https://www.patreon.com/mavenmob/posts

The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 7

In working on the iOS/Mobile version for The Word Is Not The Thing I came across a Graphics.Blit issue with one of my plugins. After going through a few fixes I finally found the issue was with viewports and the RenderTexture not being cleared on one of my cameras even though the scene would switch. Since I wasn’t using the default viewport settings I solved it by updating my camera setup, but got carried away making small refinements. So I ended up created a new unity project of the game to gain more control over the mobile version while getting to learn some new things about Unity in terms of setting up for future projects.

I cleaned up some things as well as made it a much better experience overall. One of the things I think is cool is that when you zoom into a painting or a picture or the final boss, the word removal fills the entire screen. Plus I added some camera zooming into the nature scenes. There are no issues with the iOS version at this point, from what I can tell.

I’ve also decided to make a quick app preview. Nothing too fancy, just a video showing the game moving backwards from end to beginning. Up next is testing for Android and getting the booklet finished up.

Get more frequent design insights, screenshots and more on mavenmob’s patreon blog. You can view it here: https://www.patreon.com/mavenmob/posts

The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 6

I had a chance to finish The Word Is Not The Thing. The past two months have been a little bit busy, with packing, planning, moving, and settling in, yet again. This time I moved across Canada, by driving, and decided to set up for now in Montreal, and go from there.

Since my last post, I was inspired to add some more visual effects to the game, so I added more lighting, blurs and shakes. I think overall it adds an appeal. I had to keep in mind that they can be distracting so I kept them off the zoomed in portions of the game. I also made three word sizes and their corresponding particle effects. Overall, I cleaned everything up, from spelling, word counts, textures, spacing, clarity and flow. On top of that I updated the game page with a video background. And in the end, there are 150 words to play with.

I also updated the trailer and created some animated gifs and screenshots and put the full version on Itch.io and Steam. The iOS and Android version will follow shortly. I will also create a PDF booklet for the game because I think that’s worth doing. I’m going to use Affinity Publisher, hopefully the beta is stable enough for what I need it for.

Get more frequent design insights, screenshots and more on mavenmob’s patreon blog. You can view it here: https://www.patreon.com/mavenmob/posts

The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 5

I’m working on fixing all the little things and getting The Word Is Not The Thing out as soon as I can.

After completing the dialogue and soundtrack, I finished up all the posters and their associated words, with a few I still intend to fix up. Also, I added a refined ‘How To Play’ on the main menu as well as added touch controls for mobile and made the game aware of aspect ratio/resolution changes in terms of the menus, rain, and second camera, which has the action indicator and word counter.

Further, I completed the mind maze and decided on the final word, without making things too technically difficult. I think there’s something about light and darkness and words hiding in the darkness, with light shining on those deeply rooted words in order to bring them to light, and to ultimately destroy them. I made sure to use both positive and negative words throughout and will probably tweak as I finalize things.

Finally, I also decided on how to distribute the game when it is released. I will release a free version on itch.io/iOS which includes Day 1, as well as packages with the soundtrack and the game’s pdf book.

Get more frequent design insights, screenshots and more on mavenmob’s patreon blog. You can view it here: https://www.patreon.com/mavenmob/posts

The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 4

As the winter came I finished up the menus, fades, and the game manager while finalizing the soundtrack. I also went through and completed the dialogue and word design. I think things are well balanced in that regard. I also decided to add some ambience to the scenes which have no music, things like the sound of a fireplace, the hum of the train, the random office chatter, the boiling of tea, etc.

As the winter slowly makes its exit, I am finishing and polishing all the scenes as I put everything together. It’s good that I left myself instructions on how to build things out. I imagine I’ll get completely back into things soon enough.

Still have to find a song that guides and helps brings out the finish.

Get more frequent design insights, screenshots and more on mavenmob’s patreon blog. You can view it here: https://www.patreon.com/mavenmob/posts

Inspiration For The Word Is Not The Thing

The Word Is Not The Thing is a video game inspired by J. Krishnamurti’s message:

“where there is fear there is no love. The problem is to comprehend fear, not how to get rid of fear. If you merely want to get rid of fear, then take a pill which will tranquilize you, and go to sleep. There are innumerable forms of escape from fear; but if you escape, run away, fear will follow you everlastingly. To be fundamentally free of fear, you must understand this process of naming, and realize that the word is never the thing. The mind must be capable of separating the word from the feeling, and must not let the word interfere with direct perception of the feeling, which is the fact. When you have gone so far, penetrated so deeply, you will discover there is buried in the unconscious the fundamental cause of fear. And again, if you avoid it. if you escape from it, saying it is too fearful, if you do not go into it without giving it a name, you will never go beyond it. The mind has to come face to face with the fact of complete inward loneliness, and not allow itself to do anything about that fact. That extraordinary thing called fear is the very essence of the self, the ‘me’, with its web of words in which the mind is caught. Only when the mind is capable of going beyond that ultimate loneliness, is there freedom – the absolute freedom from fear. And only then will you find out for yourself what is reality, that immeasurable energy which has no beginning and no end.”

J. Krishnamurti was a 20th century philosopher, speaker and writer. His subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about a radical change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such a revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.

The Word Is Not The Thing Questions

Here’s some questions I think are worth answering in relation to The Word Is Not The Thing.

Aren’t you using words to explain all this?
You’re not rejecting the word. You’re only seeing its effect. You’re seeing if the word gets in the way of directly feeling.

What’s the point to be free of fear? Isn’t ‘being free of fear’ just a trick of the mind? Isn’t the fear still there?
I don’t know. Go into it. Find out for yourself if it is. Is there something to fear if you don’t fear it at all? If you understand how you escape, not try to be free of fear by doing something, but by seeing how you yourself operate and the effect of the word on that fear, seeing that and not doing something about it, is freedom.

What’s the point of removing the word?
You’re not just removing the word, you are understanding that the word is never the thing. What’s the point of that? If you understand, truly understand, with your heart and your mind, then you are free of whatever the word binds you to and can feel freely. And if you are willing to go into things, if you are free to feel, then you can move past that feeling and let it run its course. And then you can be free of this fear. Then something new, fresh, can come about.

Aren’t video games an escape?
Instead of explaining or getting into that, just ask yourself if they are an escape for you. Are you using video games to escape? Find out. Go into it. When you play games your actions are choices. Games can be useful as a mirror to reflect the functioning of your own mind. It’s not an escape when you feel all the emotions.

What about the symbol/image not being the thing?
If we remove the word ‘enlightenment,’ what’s left? The symbol. If we remove that, what’s left if we remove the image? It’s implied. The word, for the sake of this game, is what we’re using to go into this.

What does any of this have to do with awakening intelligence?
It’s not that you press a button and awaken intelligence. It’s not just a matter of saying you get it. It’s when you actually take the action of separating the word from the feeling, allowing yourself to discover what happens when you don’t let the word interfere with the direct perception of the feeling. Not rejecting the word, or suppressing it, but seeing its effect. Not running away with explanations, or with another set of words. Seeing that escape. And doing nothing about it. It’s only then that intelligence begins to awaken. When you actually do that, intelligence sees and that same intelligence is what can deal with the emotion. That intelligence is freedom in action, not all this talk about awakening intelligence.

The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 3

A few new things have been done for The Word Is Not The Thing as well as for Mavenmob overall.

For Mavenmob, I’ve set up a Patreon page and a merchandise store where you can buy t-shirts, posters, postcards and stickers. For The Word Is Not The Thing, I’ve completed the trailer, updated the game page as well as wrote up a Press Kit, and set up its Steam page.

With the Pateron page, you can get free access to all new games and receive postcards, posters, and t-shirts for each game as they are released. There’s also a monthly digital wallpaper and access to a patron only blog where I post more frequently; posting design insights, screenshots and quotes related to the current game I’m making at any given time.

In the press kit I also wrote up a fun little question section for The Word Is Not The Thing which I’ll post on here.

Check out the updated page The Word Is Not The Thing and its trailer!