Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum, Jack King Spooner's latest interactive short story is, as one would expect it to be, a fantastic short collage of sounds, ideas, graphics, clay models, glitches, worlds, little jokes and images all wrapped up in a demented and clever little thing. It's a vignette I really wouldn't know how to properly describe without spoiling and so something you really have to play.
Preferably before reading the interview with Jack King Spooner that follows.
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RPS: Having just played and loved Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum, I couldn't help but notice that you've been very prolific lately. How many vignettes have you released so far?
RPS: Why did you choose to create lots of smaller games instead of, say, one big adventure?
Well, I think I probably waste some people's time with my longer games. This way, even if you don't like it, it's only a few minutes of your time.
It also allows me to experiment with different sound practices and visual aesthetics; a kind of variation around a theme. And by making smaller pieces I feel I can enjoy the process more.
RPS: So, it's more a matter of creative freedom?
Not really. It's just working within a different set of restrictions.
RPS: There are some obvious similarities between those vignettes. Is there a greater plan in place? Are you aiming to create a semi-cohesive whole?
There are recurring characters (Bob, poet, a new one called Spiderman) who will have more than one scene, but there is no "whole".
RPS: One could always point towards the visual similarities too. Is it intentional or just a style you enjoy?
Well, it's only the second week of the project and the stage itself has already had a few different representations. One of my restrictions, you see, is that everything takes place in a single setting; a stage of sorts. However, this stage is always open for interpretation.
RPS: How long does it take you to craft a vignette on average? What's your process?
Not long when I put time aside. On average, if I have no interruptions it takes about 2-3 hours. That includes making any graphics and recording music and such.
Some of the collaborations have made that process shorter or longer, but I don't get perfectionist about it.
RPS: So, you are aiming for more or less daily releases?
Yeah, I might miss some weekends and I'm not really sure how long it can last, but I do intend to do one or two a day
RPS: You intend to keep on going indefinitely?
Sure, I love doing them, but I also need to pay my bills. [Just letting you know that Jack King Spooner has a Patreon; wink, wink -K.]
RPS: And what do you aim to achieve artistically and personally with those vignettes?
No aim. This is not about final outcomes.
I think any aim will reveal itself through the process and I really do like that I can collaborate with people from different disciplines through these vignettes.
RPS: Is collaborating as fulfilling and interesting as one would expect?
It sure is and I'm very thankful to everyone who has worked with me making these things. They are all so clever, though I think it can be hard for some people and I'm learning to see when a collaboration isn't working.
RPS: Do you consider yourself an artist, a game designer or both?
Neither really. I don't have the talents of either camp.
RPS: I will simply note my disagreement and go on and ask why you create your vignettes? Why in particular did you craft Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum?
I make the vignettes because I enjoy the way they express something in such a short duration. I like them because they allow me to juxtapose different mediums and see what they say to each other. This usually makes me smile.
As for Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum, I wanted to combine the Christian "something from nothing" argument with the idea of lost love. A lot of the NPCs in the game are reciting the things that were endlessly playing in my head, but time heals and all is groovy
RPS: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years. Will you still be crafting small and not so small indie games?
I am not sure. I'd like to, but it doesn't seem financially viable. Not that I want to be rich, mind you.
RPS: Haven't you considered doing something commercial again?
Sluggish Morrssss was for sale, as is Beeswing, but no one buys stuff like that.