In my last game, I cheated when it came to geometric squares. Although nothing was a non-square, both the playable character and the tree are made up of multiple squares in order to give a stylised image of what they represented. How, do I justify this?
Well, consider the nature of the stylised pictures: bird and tree. Then think of the squares: rock, stream grass. It is clear that the first two are very birdy, while the latter three have much less relevancy to the theme. The exception is, of course, clearly the eggs, however eggs are – in my mind – a single shape and single block of colour and would be in an ultra-realistic design so that’s why that works an not needing the detail.
For Timey-Wimey Birds the need for a bird was paramount and theme came first since that was the idea which the muse foisted upon me. In such a case, you are already on a losing track since the game designer needs to control how the player sees the game. If somebody looks at the Timey-Wimey Bird and sees a far-eastern flag they’re doing it wrong. That is absolutely not the right approach, and what geometric squares is trying to fight.
Now, games where the world and game are the sharing of the designer’s vision with the player can certainly be good and enjoying. Cinematic simulations where the player is an explorer in a world of someone else’s world are certainly popular. They are also certainly not a partnership of equals. That’s what geometric squares is about, helping to achieve that partnership.
Timey-Wimey birds wasn’t about that. Not really. It was about getting an idea out of my head. The player didn’t get a look in. The geometric squares in it came from a mixture of habit and doing what I know. The player didn’t get a look in.