Drawn to you

an Art Game by Team Sheeps

What is Drawn to you about?

Drawn to You explores the universality of relationships, morality, mortality, and loss. Open-ended, simple mechanics and a two dimensional style makes the game more accessible to a non-traditional audience and bridges the divide between art and game. The familiarity and simplicity of the top down exploration adventure game allows users to focus less on complex game play and more on their own personal experience. Typical video game features like power ups, collectible items, and player control bear the weight of decisions we face in our own lives: feathers gathered by a sick and dying partner don’t create great strengDrawToYou - The World Falls Apartth but the very mortal strength to merely keep going; lanterns collected allow greater field of sight but is still restricted by the limitations of the material world; the necessity of two players not only creates an intimacy within the game but between the users as well. Players advancing through the game must ask themselves difficult questions as they confront illness, what it means to be a partner, and how to continue as the world breaks apart beneath them.

How do you play it?

Drawn to you was designed to play in an arcade cabinet, but can be played using the web PXL_20220129_224316905player and Windows download links below. Players can either use two joysticks, or the WASD (Player 1) and IJKL (Player 2) keys on their keyboard to navigate the scene.

Players start in front of a grave (is it one of yours?), and can explore the world freely. Players will notice that one of the two playing the game is slowing down, and slowly vanishing from this life. Lanterns can be collected by the vanishing player to buy more time and health. Feathers can be collected by either player to gain a burst of speed. Eventually the world collapses around both players, leaving behind the traces of the vanishing player before all is lost.

Click the links below to try it out!

Trigger warning, players close to loss or a chronically ill partner have been known to elicit a strong emotional reaction from time to time.

Note: Since there is no arcade cabinet, press any key to begin from the title screen, or just wait for the demo and artist statement to play.

[Play in your Browser]    [Download for Windows]

Where has it shown?

Drawn to you  was shown at Worthington Yards Gallery in Cleveland Ohio, for their Duo Show in October 2021, displaying in a full sized cabinet. Picture of the cabinet in-studio is listed below.

An additional statement by Eagan Rackley

PXL_20220129_224336456Initially created for the singular purpose of entertainment, the role of video games in our culture has shifted dramatically over the last 40 years. Once seen as the domain of teenage boys, video games have evolved and are now ubiquitous. They exist in smart phones, have been used in everything from activism to education, and are even held in museum collections. And yet, while the form and function of gaming has changed, our collective perception of its value has not. Within this context, I expect viewers to approach my work with preconceived ideas based on their own experiences. I encourage these expectations by employing the recognizably simple style of early games and by leaning on nostalgia and the familiarity of the technology.

But the objective here is almost the opposite of traditional games: there is no winning, no killing, no end point, no score. Instead, the breadth of our human experience – love, loss, connection, sickness, relationships, fate – is hidden under a simple facade, there if we want it. In using a format that typically has a beginning, middle, and end, the lack of that predictability and clear path to resolution in our own lives becomes frustratingly apparent. But there is beauty there as well. This work invites viewers to experience connection, loss, love, and pain. And no matter how it turns out, try it again.

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