Back in August, IndieCade held a 48-hour game jam sponsored by LG, with the aim of developing concepts that would take advantage of the glasses-free 3D screen of the new LG Thrill. This game jam was my first, and I decided to try a concept that’s been bouncing around in my head for 10+ years.
When I was working for Inscape, I played around with an idea for a real-time strategy game that pitted warring ideas against each other, instead of armies. I made some progress with the idea, but ultimately had to leave it behind and move on to other things (like marrow monkeys). For the game jam, however, I decided to bring back the concept, not as an RTS, but as an arcade-style flight sim—a flight sim with words and ideas instead of ships and planes.
In Languish, you pilot a “tripleship” through remote corners of your mind populated with giant spheres, each one representing a single idea. These spheres fire fragments of themselves at you in the form of words. By picking up these words and recombining them, you can create new concepts to either amplify or disable the ideas already in play. The video below is a play-through of the game’s tutorial, which explains the concept in detail.
Languish was one of six finalist games at the game jam—unlocking two months of further development time before the IndieCade festival proper. During that time, I brought in longtime collaborator and illustrator Ezra Claytan Daniels to create a painterly skybox for the game, which turned out wonderfully.
A long-planned trip to Washington DC prevented me from being at the IndieCade awards personally, but I was thrilled to get the news a few days later that Languish won a second place LG Mobile 3D Award—including an LG Thrill phone and a Unity license so development can continue!
Here’s a video of the winning build, running in “tutorial” model so you can see how the game is played:
And here’s a video documenting the game jam—you can spy the way Languish looked at the end of the game jam versus how it evolved for the festival:
Languish is still in development—I’ll keep you posted as it advances.