Glen Henry is the “face and fingers” behind Spritewrench Studios – an indie game development studio based in Kingston, Jamaica. Spritewrench Studios has previously released Grimm & Tonic: Aperitif, Questlike and Shiny Gauntlet. Glen tends to focus on projects that have an emphasis on narrative and diverse characters. Glen Henry’s game, On the Peril of Parrots, is one of the games that have been selected for the Draknek New Voices Puzzle Grant. According to Glen, “On the Peril of Parrots, is a narrative puzzle experience. The game will challenge players with tricky color-based mechanics and invite them to explore the ethical considerations around Artificial Intelligence through it’s choice based narrative.”
How did you come up with the concept of this challenging puzzle game?
“The game itself started in 2018 as an entry to that year’s Global Game Jam. The initial concept was borrowed from puzzles in the legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages, that I remembered playing as kid. I’ve always wanted to expand on the concept but had difficulty settling on an accompanying narrative around the idea. The overall theme/aesthetic were decided on after stumbling upon the work of Dr. Timnit Gebru, and the paper “On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big?”.”
How do you find the mysterious story in your game helps highlight the puzzle elements?
“There are many games out there that place players in an adversarial position against an AI. To contrast that, I’m centering the AI character as the primary player controlled actor. By “othering” the player from the onset, I’m hoping to add a bit of pressure to solve these puzzles. To challenge them to demonstrate their intelligence through this very narrow use-case. All the while drip feeding this evolving story that’s influenced by your choices.”
What are you hoping this funding will allow you to do?
“As a life long indie, I’m used to operating on a shoe string budget. I’ll be using this funding to improve overall quality of the project and to really deliver on my creative intent through sub-contracting quality assurance & video production services.”
Will you use the funding to accelerate development or are there plans to widen your development?
“There are no plan to widen the team at the moment. I’m used to collaborating with various individuals on my projects. Funding will allow me to compensate these persons more directly.”
Peril of Parrots looks like a really interesting and mysterious game, one to keep your eye on!