ULTRA-INDIE Daily Dose: Despair Ergo Death of the Maker

Museum of Mediocre Appropriations is a project by Nil Night, Starring 7Byte, a game artist and game maker who has his first-ever solo show, additionally, there is a father and his child who follows behind him through the strange gallery.

The description for Museum of Mediocre Appropriations communicates it as a macabre product of the pandemic and crypto craze that followed. Nil Night declares it as an “emotional dump of said conflictions, anger, and desperations” but encourages the player to make their own extrapolations as well. Part of Nil Night‘s description of the Museum of Mediocre Appropriations is dismay at how the Crypto and NFT market has made it difficult for them to participate while keeping their hands clean as a digital artist.

The movement in Museum of Mediocre Appropriations is the most pleasantly jolting control scheme, the player camera follows and rotates on 7byte but when the player uses WASD the character that’s being controlled is the Father with the child and 7byte trailing behind. What’s made clear to the player is we are seeing the museum through the perspective of 7byte that sees the museum as a vandalization of art being exploited for moneymaking schemes. The 5 minute limit to the game is interesting, it cycles the installations on display. The digital installations are all unique and developed enough to carry their own significance as artworks rather than simple environmental decorations. This game plays on the idea of digital artwork in digital space while performing as a legitimate digital artwork in itself. The visual design is more than appealing, it’s intentionally conflicted and emotional.

Light spoilers ahead so if you feel inclined to give the game a try do so now!

It is revealed after the second installation space that the father is purchasing the museum as a market investment for reselling and that the creator 7Byte the sketch-lined character we’ve been watching is deceased, they are a ghost wandering after the warden to their crypt. The visual details are subtle but surreal and cerebral, each character only uses 3 animation loops for idling, walking, or running, 7byte’s animations, however, are not interpolated like the father and child, it’s keyframed like rough claymation just as their model seems to slouch and melt in place.

While white walls are familiar to anyone who has attended galleries it’s semi apparent here. The characters do notice the sterile appearance of the walls but after learning about our post mortem eyesight it’s fun to wonder if these walls are truly barren in reality or if our ghost artist has understandably lost the ability to see past the fated reality of their legacy. The words that skitter on the walls are like the fog of anxiety and stress that creators are familiar with as being an artist often involves some attachment to the chaos of reality.

If you would like to give Museum of Mediocre Appropriations a shot download it from Nil Night’s Itch.io page.

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