The members of Brooklyn Game Ensemble came together several months ago, in the spring of 2011. We had all worked with each other, one way or another, within the NYC game development scene. We started talking about creating an independent game — something truly beautiful, strange, and experimental.
For the first few months, we met every couple of weeks, tossing around ideas and talking about why we wanted to make games, what kind of games we’d like to create together. A couple of these sessions were devoted to show-and-tell: we all brought our own work, games we loved, and other design influences. These evenings helped us establish a common vocabulary and develop a shared creative vision.
Gradually a concept started to unfold out of our sessions: the idea of a library as a game setting, inspired in part by the infinite library of Borges. Information, knowledge, language, space — all in modular structures that the player could manipulate. Our varying interests in narrative form, gameplay structures, procedurally-generated creations, and the aesthetics of space contributed to the birth of a very unique concept.
Since then we’ve been mapping the terrain illuminated by that concept: what kind of game could this become? How will these ideas intersect, overlap, and combine to make an experience? We’ve explored a lot of potential inspirations and gameplay models, from the obscure to the celebrated, games made out of alphabets, 2D sprites, and voxels. We’ve already traveled up some branches only to decide that we wanted to clamber back down and try something different. Slowly, the library takes on shape, character, and dynamics — and it’s looking like a fascinating place to visit.