Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Swallowed / Regurgitated

Mockup of Pinbox #1

My last post about Pinbox (improved flippers) mentioned keeping up momentum during development of the proposed Pinbox game. So far my original plans have not gone entirely to plan...

Over the last few weeks I've been processing (in my head) what I've learned during my in depth pinball research and work experience, having new thoughts and ideas while coming to some realisations about the direction of this project.

To plan?
I went forward with more cardboard prototyping and came up with a cartridge based playfield system.

This would allow for interchangeable playfields for a game. Ideas were starting to flow about a story based set of playfields, which a player can work through to complete the game. (See the mockup at start of post for #1). Each playfield would have a simple target or mode to complete before you move on to the next. I liken this to a game boy cartridge.

Also some testing of standard pinball parts. I'm not going to try to regurgitate any of this yet.

Momentum has been kinda brought to a stand still due to some struggles I've had while focusing on this set outcome of a game. While I have been going through a pretty clear process, I feel I may be heading in the wrong direction.

What's changed?
I've approached the project as a designer and created a product. It's loosing it's meaning as a piece of artwork and turning into something I don't find interesting or as fun. I suppose I've given myself the restriction that it must be a pinball machine ie the a game as we already know it.

I'm worried the outcome will not be of high quality and/or it's not dissimilar from what's out there already. The idea of creating a pinball machine, may be better than the reality.

Constantly questioning what I am doing and worrying about the outcome is certainly the opposite process from what I would like at this stage. I'm looking for ways to improve my workflow and process, while allowing myself to have fun making too. I feel I have just sunk back into old ways of working and I'm not happy with it.

So I am shelving Pinbox for now, I may be back to it when I work other things out.

A new approach

Roxy Paine "Intrustion" Source
When I saw the image of Roxy Paine's Intrustion (above), it was like a moment of clarity. I knew I was taking the wrong approach.

This piece, along with much of Paine's work, is an acknowledgement to nature's battle alongside machines. I think what this one says is that nature will always win. It's hand carved into wood, appearing as a pinball machine, yet the parts inside are actually a 3D extrusion of a rock formation. The piece creates a juxtoposition between machine and nature, a transformation of what know, or think we know about something.

For my pinball project, approaching as an artist rather than a designer is my new focus. I can be more playful. The process of making the work, can become the work, through a set of 'sketches' at first. The small prototypes I have been making to date have been the most enjoyable part of what I have done, I need to utelise that energy and spontaneity.

Be more expressive and experimental when working with materials instead of planning it all out.

Hope that wasn't too much to swallow... More regurgitations soon...