blind to siberia (MAGS April 2015 & #adventurejam)

Started by xil, Sat 18/04/2015 03:22:55

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blind to siberia was made for MAGS April 2015 and #adventurejam 2015.

what is the light? does it shine directly on us, illuminating our achievements - or does it actually only light around us, making us aware of our surroundings so we can know our place in the world.

blind to siberia is a short abstract point and click adventure / interactive story.

created by calico reverie and alxalxalx

music by the fractals


Calico Reverie - Independent Game Development, Pixel Art & Other Stuff
Games: Mi - Starlit Grave - IAMJASON - Aractaur - blind to siberia - Wrong Channel - Memoriae - Point Of No Return


I just played this and thought it was a really cute little game. Nice idea, cool soundtrack, pretty visuals. Good job :-)


I don't get the story but somehow it is mystic and intriguing, the visuals are great (in 8x) and the last track playing is really enjoyable. Is it on soundcloud?


While trying to figure out what it was all about, as a whole, it occurred to me that this might be a collage of ideas. It seems to say: I was born into this world and I feel that something is amiss, but there's also something equally good to strive for - but it does it in a rather confusing way, scattered behind fragments of storytelling. Perhaps the overall effect of keeping the player disconnected from what happens in the game world was your intention. The contrast between the block-like surface of things and emotions (here as unclear as they can be) thus works in an opposite way to that in IAMJASON: you're not allowed to feel. Also, here the main character is the only one moving, passing over the surface of the game world rather than through it. The idea might be that the protagonist is disconnected, a seeker where the other people only conform, but the player isn't allowed to connect to the protagonist either! (at least not until the ending...) Perhaps this is meant to express the fact that the protagonist isn't in good terms with his worldly self. In any case, it was rather daring of you to test your audience's willingness to take part in something less clear and limiting :) "It's bad", a player of my TheDreamJob felt "compelled" to say - the usual player doesn't like to get hurt, to share your pains! (even if there is some light beyond that...) BlindToSiberia will perhaps remain an isolated peak, next to the more accessible, broad ridge that was IAMJASON, something harder to climb - only to obtain the same view? For those out there that feel the need to project their inner struggle with the unknown onto a great effort, it can now be done in xil's style :) Making the easier trip to IAMJASON may be recommended first, though...


Thanks for the comments guys :)

Myself and alxalxalx (who co-wrote and produced the music) only ended up having 2 days left of the jam to get it done so I'm just happy it got finished!

st. once again you really seem to have crept into my head as so much of what you have said is perfectly on point.

For those that would like a little more of the story and the ideas behind what it represents (big spoilers ahead!!!):


The idea of the game world is to disconnect the player much as the protagonist is disconnected - think in terms of a prince or child of a celebrity who only knows the world from their bubble, to them it's great and life is awesome, and they don't understand that everyone doesn't live like that.

The game is split into 3 stages:

  • In the first we chip away at the bubble the protagonist is living in an explain that not everything is how he/she sees/lives it. They learn that others with less still give to the world and make it a better place. Why don't they do that when they have so much?
  • The second stage gets us to stand up for this new belief. Something that was once regarded as perfectly normal is torn down and demolished by the protagonist. We referenced the marriage of two people from different classes but you could apply the same principles to abolishing slavery or saying no to racism/sexism.
  • The final stage is a simple choice and one that promotes the idea of equality. The three candidates all represent an idea or policy but the second candidate can't quite decide what that policy is exactly. They are a procrastinator or someone who will bend their view for the right price or be swayed by another influence. The reason you must select the first and third candidate is because they both believe in something, and although not the same thing, by putting them on either side of the scales, you create balance. The second candidate would have made the scales unbalanced.

The ending sequence can probably be summed up by relating to the saying "You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk?". You can talk about doing something good all your life, but until you go out there and do it you won't affect anything.

I hope that helps explain the game a little more!

Also, the music is indeed on soundcloud: (the main track is called Ocho and the ending is called Experiments in Doom).
Calico Reverie - Independent Game Development, Pixel Art & Other Stuff
Games: Mi - Starlit Grave - IAMJASON - Aractaur - blind to siberia - Wrong Channel - Memoriae - Point Of No Return


Great use of the music.
The game was a little too abstract for me but that little philosophical walkthrough helped making sense of it.


Thanks for the explanations! So there was structure :) I wasn't very satisfied with my comment, with not being able to understand more at the time when I played the game. I think I failed by looking for the idea inside the story. If this was the intention of the authors then I must resume my conclusion that this game (as a vehicle for an idea) was something rather personal, aimed only at those people who already know what the idea is. In my view it simply isn't discernible from the game because of all the non-connecting. And your explanations don't give it away either :) My earlier stories were more or less guilty of the same approach. But at some point (marked by a rather long review made on this forum) I realized that the harmony between us and the higher things available for us - that we may attempt to express through a game - can only be reflected and inspired through a harmony in the whole of the game (connection required :)). In other words, we should help the player that is willing to understand (but is not ready to go as far as wondering why he or she failed) - even more so if it is expected that what we say is perceived as new. Because important is not our particular relation with the said higher things, but the relationship of the player (beyond the particular form taken), that we can only remind of; so the game ultimately must get out of the way. I think that this approach through harmony is preferable to Zen (I think they are called) riddles like "What is the sound of one hand clapping?". Of course, the short interval available to make BlindToSiberia may rather be suitable for a Zen riddle :) I stop here knowing that you will receive my opinion, or rather this look into a future beyond our past stories, in the same spirit of working side-by-side that the workshop MAGS inspires.


Great game and GREAT music indeed!
Congratz xil for making this!
I played IAMJASON by you and loved. This one didn't disappoint the expectations.
The only thing is that I found a bit hard to understand all, not sure I got the right meaning for the story but still the immersion was great! well done.


Thanks for the feedback guys :)

It did end up being very abstract because of the unfortunately short time frame we had to produce it in. I'll make sure in future if my games have tight time restrictions to create more focus on the meaning as opposed to adding more backgrounds and content :)

If you are able to spare a couple of minutes to vote for blind to siberia in #adventurejam 2015 then that would be greatly appreciated as well! (you will need a Game Jolt account)
Calico Reverie - Independent Game Development, Pixel Art & Other Stuff
Games: Mi - Starlit Grave - IAMJASON - Aractaur - blind to siberia - Wrong Channel - Memoriae - Point Of No Return


The story/message dances on that thin line of being deep and being pretentious, but it's ok and the idea is interesting. The simplistic graphics are interesting and the music is really nice (although in the first part, the music very suddenly shifted from one melody to another and it felt a bit too sharp).
I don't want the world, I just want your half


I always get excited when you release a new game. All of them are wonderful in their own way, and this one certainly doesn't disappoint.

Blind to Siberia is quite different from your last game. It's probably safe to say that it's quite different from most games. ;)
It's up to the player to make any sense of what's going on. I came surprisingly close to your explanations, so it's hard to say if it would work otherwise. But with gaps the size of Gibraltar (not necessarily a bad thing!) it should be possible to get to another, very different conclusion.

I like the fact that the game is open to many interpretations. It made for an interesting ride, for sure. The minimalistic art style fits very well, so does the music. The last track is lovely.

I am really looking forward to your next games! :)

(I feel slightly guilty about not reviewing IAMJASON and Aractaur, because I love them to bits. But I'm sure that one day, when I've overcome my laziness, I will do so. Probably. ;))

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