Been playing a bit of Stardew Valley as a way to unwind from release, and I’ve come to really value the way it provides a relaxing atmosphere.
Like a soothing piece of music, or meditative poetry, I think this chillout vibe is something I want to explore more. Puzzles like Sudoku already demonstrate this kind of thing in a way, and I imagine the decreased rigidity in games may allow for even more of this. I’m curious to see what playing around with winrate %s, rank presentation and a couple other things does to de-emhpasize learning, growth and calculation and emphasize meditation, relaxation and the feeling of things “falling into place”.
I have a couple ideas in the tank for an experience like this, and I’m excited for when I’ll be able to show you guys more!
2 thoughts on “Chillout Games”
I wanted to come back to this post after I saw your commandments. Isn’t a chillout game a little at odds with commandments 2, 6 & 7? I feel that same relaxation with Stardew Valley. That game you can play to relax or play to min/max. But it feels like that’s true because it doesn’t have a win/loss condition, doesn’t reward skill/learning so much as effort (maybe player x can plant 50 turnips 10% faster than player y with her planting strategy), and the challenge level doesn’t scale with mastery.
Also, there’s not much depth to the strategy of Stardew Valley, which isn’t true of your games. To have both aspects present in a game seems like it would simply require the summed development time of a BGG and Stardew Valley.
I absolutely have been feeling mental tension about this as I’ve turned the idea over in my head.
The other issue is that it wouldn’t be filling a void in the same way. There are already a ton of decent/good chillout games!
Don’t worry, I’ve got a few ideas I’m tossing around/playing with. More on them to come.