Scapegoat is a small project developed in GameMaker: Studio for The University of Texas at Dallas Creativity: Time-Based Arts Workshop graduate class. The game aims to give the player a brief but thoughtful experience as a scapegoat. I’ve purposely kept the game abstract during gameplay so the player can explore the situation and project their own assumptions about the game before the reveal.
At the end of the 3-minute playing period (imagine playing the game for all of eternity—ugh), my “artist statement” appears, which prompts the player to support the Devil. It’s just a message to get the player to think about the way society treats scapegoats, such as a devil-figure, and to think about the scapegoat’s point-of-view rather than blindly following what popular traditions dictate or propagandize.
I designed each icon in the style of demonic sigils from Joseph Peterson’s 2001 edition of The Lesser Key of Solomon.
BLACK: The Player. Has the ablility to push back attacking colors with a small point-blank area-of-effect power. Nothing can destroy Black. Represents a devil-figure, or any kind of scapegoat, who tries to push back against the negativity against it.
BLUE: Flees from Black and Red. Red can destroy Blue. Represents the uneducated masses who fear what they don’t understand and don’t even attempt to understand.
GREEN: Blue transforms to Green after being enabled by Yellow. Green will attack Black by pursuing and blocking Black’s movement. Green can destroy and be destroyed by Red. Represents the masses who blindly follow doctrines without thought.
RED: Follows Black. If a Blue or Green is nearby, Red will pursue it. Sacrifices self to destroy Blue or Green. Represents tragedies, misfortunes, or reviled people/actions that are used to blame the scapegoat
GRAY: Comes in two versions. First version is a darkened gray that only moves around randomly. If a Blue or Green is destroyed, the dark gray turns light gray and immediately pursues Black. Gray blocks Black’s movement and can also push Black backwards. Nothing can destroy Gray. Represents propaganda, religious literature, or angelic beings.
YELLOW: Appears in a random location at the start of the game and is stationary. At 20-second intervals, Yellow will enable Blue and turn Blue into Green. After 20 seconds, Green turns back into Blue. Nothing can destroy Yellow. Represents the leading opposite force of the scapegoat, the original accuser.
Special Thanks: Lily Ounekeo and Bill Caldwell for being my coders!