RE:BIND

We’ve been very interested in the actual workings of the meditations.games project, how the crediting system put in place came to be, and the level of social media reception that developers involved with the project experienced, so we reached out to multiple developers involved with the project for their input. Below you’ll find the second batch of interviews we conducted with the developers who did not opt to be included in the partial credits list for the project, and what they had to say.

These interviews are as unedited as possible to present the developers’ answers in their own words. You can find the first batch of interviews with those who opted to not be included in the partial credits list here and the interviews with those included in the partial credits list here and here.

Disclaimer. The opinions expressed in these interviews are those of the developers interviewed. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the staff or contributors of this site, nor should they be taken as such.

Bertine Van Hövell

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

So I’ve been speaking with a few other contributors to the project, and I think I puzzled together what might have happened.

Now, I was approached by Adriel Wallick back at the very start, in person. She told me what it was about, the intention and if I had an idea, preferably for the start of January. From what it sounded like, it was a cool experiment and it didn’t require too much of my time and I’ve known both her and Rami for a few years now via professional events and they were nice enough people. So yeah, let’s contribute to some silly art project.

I booked myself two slots and I think I spend in total about 18 hours on the whole. I was careful to keep myself within the limitations of six hours per piece, but you always go a little over.

However, others responded to a call, either via public or private social media. They didn’t have the personal touch to the whole process nor the context of it just being a nice, tiny thing we were all doing for fun. And so for them, it was much more about being a part of a big project, headed by big names. Some also spend way more than six hours because it was going to be published with big names attached.

And so logically, their expectations varied wildly from mine.

The big mistake they made was not to make clear beforehand what the intent of the project was and what people who participated could expect. In other words: it lacked professionalism. But considering how it started out as, it’s understandable.

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

Yeah, I voted against the partial credit list and I didn’t want to be on there myself because I felt it was a bit odd to want to be credited when others were not. You had to opt in, see. But I get now why people wanted this.

TBH, I also found the reason to keep the credits secret until after the year a little silly, but the consideration behind it was nice.

Seeing as it was up to vote and people voted massively in favour of pre-crediting, I think it all worked out just fine?

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I would say everything was handled just fine. But again, I’m not one of the people wronged. However, I did notice how easy it was to interpret the behaviour of the core Meditations team in a horrendously abusive light and I felt some people were very eager to take that position. But again, they didn’t have the context I had.

IMO, because of that, some actions were taken that I think were not entirely fair. For instance, Rami’s name has been completely scrubbed of the page despite the project is using his web space. One can be a little too modest, if you get me.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

Honestly, the people involved are the people you want to have when mistakes are made. By which I mean: they heard there was a problem, they analysed the situation and then tried to get to a solution that most people were happy with. Should they have acted quicker? Sure. Should they have known this could happen? Guess so. Did they learn? Appears to be so.

Don’t know what else to ask from them.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

No. I had a few more people visiting my projectpages, but it was nothing in compare to what I already get there. Had a few extra followers on my Twitter. Huzzah.

Oddly enough, in Edge’s feature of the project had a picture of my contribution, but I wasn’t approached about it, nor credited.

I had expected this though. I am not a big name and I certainly don’t expect to stand out among 350+ other contributions. So again, my expectations were tiny, I just did it for the fun of it.

What I started noticing was that a fair amount of coverage focussed on the key players behind Meditations but that hardly any of the devs involved were approached. You are the only person so far. Again, there is literately a picture of my meditation in Edge without credit. I have the feeling people involved in the coverage aren’t really considering whether they were complicit in the whole “only the core team is getting credit”-issue.

I get why, but it was a bit strange to see journalists write on one hand how Meditations failed to credit everyone, and on the other only focus on the core team.

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

So I made two meditations. The first one was requested for a specific date range and after digging through my facebook timeline I found something I could turn into a rather unconventional experience. I’m happy with it. People got the message. After having worked so long on multi-year projects or projects that simply ceased to exist, I was happy to get some feedback on my game design abilities. Turns out I’m a real designer after all?

I’m also primarily a narrative-focused person and it was quite interesting not being allowed to use text to convey a message.

The second one, September 16th however is very dear to my heart as it is on the anniversary of my husband’s death in 2017. For a while I wondered if I, as game designer, should try to capture an experience like that within my medium and how it should look like. Forcing me to work within the constraints of Meditations achieved exactly what I want to achieve, without feeling it should or could be bigger and better.

Sophie Houlden

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

Honestly, I was so confused that it became an issue. It was really clear to me from the start that each day’s game would be a surprise, the game and credits would be decrypted, presented for play, and then re-encrypted/locked or deleted the next day. Maybe people misunderstood that? Maybe people expected to be credited before their game went live? I really don’t know. There definitely wasn’t any shifting goalposts or trickery like “You will be credited like X” and then the crediting happened like Y. The crediting at the start was exactly what I expected it to be. I’d like to think it was entirely a misunderstanding, and some devs just happened to expect something else. Maybe the explanations weren’t clear enough for everyone? I know we tend to assume certain things about how a project like this might work, my assumptions were confirmed but other people had different ones, and the organizers weren’t prepared for them?

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

Like I say, I always assumed the launcher would only credit me on my day, and I was fine with that. I still am. I always thought that was part of what was cool about it, that today is this developer’s day, this is their thing to express, tomorrow it will be gone! That’s exciting and seemed like what the heart of the project was about to me. That everything is transient. I often find myself working on stuff I hope will last, so it was refreshing to work on something where the vast majority of its experience could only be as a memory. I guess crediting is a different issue to that and a lot of people fairly want to be able to say “I was there”, “I did this”, “I did that”, but I’m cool as it is. I know some people upset about the way things were credited were hoping for some exposure as part of the project and I can understand that, but my experience tells me that there won’t be much of that to gain. I do wish all the best things for all the contributors but I really doubt anyone’s participation in the project will be their big break, especially when their games are only playable for one day… though I guess they can make the game available themselves whenever they want but at that point I wonder what the point of the project even is to them if not a break from making and releasing games normally?

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

Honestly at the time I was really impressed with the way things were handled. There were several surveys and it was clear the organizers were bending over backwards trying to figure out where the misunderstanding was, what people actually wanted, and what could be done to satisfy as many people as possible. It was very much an “OK we fucked up, we’re so sorry, what can we do to make this right.” attitude I saw, and honestly it pissed me off so much at the time! I saw some of the anger that was leveled against the organizers and it seemed completely disproportionate to the issues.

Like I say, it seemed clear to me from the start how crediting would work and then, from my perspective, a bunch of people got really angry after the project had launched and were causing a lot of stress for the organizers, to the point where they were being so humble it was almost humiliating. I might have been projecting but I’ve been pressured by assholes to apologize when I had done nothing wrong, I thought this was what was happening and I was furious.

I’ve since cooled off, but if I’m honest the way it was handled was FAR more amicable than it would have been were I to be the one to sort it out. The patience and dedication of the organizers to care for the project and the people who contributed to it is literally awesome to me. It absolutely would have been the easiest option to call the whole thing off, say “hey, sorry, we can’t reconcile everyone’s wishes so just do whatever you want with your game”. But they tried their best to find a solution that was worked for everyone and I have no end of respect for that.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

Obviously there were misunderstandings with how things worked, I thought the explanations were clear but obviously they were not clear enough. I remember the handling of the issue was entirely about finding out exactly what the misunderstandings were and how to resolve them so that everyone could be OK with what happened. There was clearly care for each contributor and I don’t think anything could have been done better after it became apparent that there was an issue.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

Not really, but that stuff is SO random. I’ve released a few things over the past few years, but had almost no change in the amount of followers until a few days ago when I posted a short fiction thread and got 300 new followers. I know I’m pretty fortunate to have all the followers I do, and because that stuff is so random and luck-based I can understand people wanting to maximize how much they are credited and stuff to maximize their chances of getting that lucky mention that really grabs people and turns strangers into fans, so I get it, but you know I’ve also got the experience to know that being credited without having your work there to be like “This is why you should be interested in the person I’m crediting!” is almost worthless exposure.

Maybe some people have found their break through being part of the meditations but I didn’t notice any change (of course, I already have a lot of followers, likely with a huge overlap of people who would find and be interested in the meditations project. This was never going to give me much exposure.)

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

Apart from the vicarious stress of the whole crediting issue, I have loved the project and being part of it. I’m very happy with my game and the feedback I did get, and I’ve loved a lot of the other games I’ve played. It has been wonderful and I hope it happens again in future years with all new games and contributors.

Though I don’t know how likely it is to happen again, I wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting to just give the whole thing a pass given how much work is involved in organizing and maintaining a project like this if another similar backlash is possible.

Joe Bain

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

It seemed like an honest mistake here, the organisers had an idea about how credits should work but didn’t really communicate that before people had gotten involved. Ideally they would have set all that out before asking for contributors and I think there would have been no drama. 

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

I did ask to be included on that list actually, I guess I just got left off by mistake. I hadn’t checked it until now.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I think they handled it pretty well. In some ways a little do democratically, there were 2 or 3 surveys and some very long emails sent out to find out what the contributors wanted. I think they maybe could have just apologised for not making it clear beforehand and gone with their favourite option. The long consultation didn’t necessarily improve things.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

I think it was handled well. Personally I would have preferred a full list of credits published up front, but not everyone agreed and that was the problem.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

I noticed a bit of engagement. Certainly there are a few people who tweeted about the game or did videos of it and mentioned me as the creator. I had maybe a dozen extra downloads of the game on itch too. 

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

I think it has been a really interesting project and the games have been diverse and interesting. It’s clear that organising a collaboration between this many people is quite difficult so I think it was a success on the whole. 

Jonathan “Ellian” Rousseau

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened? And would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I’m personally happy with how that whole crediting drama was handled (the outcome might not have been my personal choice, but I’m fine with it), it was really reactive from the organizer’s side, but also I don’t feel super comfortable giving away more details, because I don’t like fueling any sort of drama, positively or negatively, and I have no idea how public the organizers are about it, nor how they’d want us to be. 


Dunno if it’s really breaking trust, as I don’t really have that much negative things to say about the drama as a whole, but again, don’t really want to fuel something that I thought was resolved and well handled. 

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

Not really, if I’m being honest; I saw a couple people sharing video reviews of my game and was pretty happy about it, but I don’t feel like Meditation had that much of an impact on people engaging with me or my content. 


Which as far as I’m concerned, is fine; I sure didn’t participate for fame, so as long as some people experienced what I made and got something out of it, I’m happy.

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

I’m pretty happy with it, overall; I think it’s a great idea, and as creator for it, I was happy that we were encouraged to make the smallest things, as I didn’t really have that much time to pour into this. It was just an afternoon commitment, and I feel like it was the overall project is meant to make people curious, and give them a distraction for a few minutes a day. 


If I’d have a negative comment to give about the project in general, it’s that it’s not super well advertised? I haven’t really see anyone talk about it since the first week, and I’d be curious to see the actual numbers but I get the feeling there’s probably not that many people that check it out daily or care about it much nowadays. Which makes me feel bad for the developers that have game coming out later in the year. I know how hard marketing is in this day and age, but there’s really not been much that I could see… It’s kind of a bummer to have a platform to express yourself and spread a message to people, but see that that platform doesn’t really promote much/enough? 


Then again, I might be wrong! I just don’t see much from my personal perspective, but maybe it’s going strong; Not everyone forgot about Meditations, otherwise you wouldn’t be mailing me ahah
There hasn’t been much communication after launch either, so there’s no real way for me to know how well it’s going.

Gabriel Koenig

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

I didn’t follow the controversy too closely myself. It seems entirely probable that some details about the credit process weren’t clearly conveyed and that some of the contributing artists felt uncomfortable with what they later learned. I don’t know how many people had issues with the process but I think if even just one or two people felt deceived by it then it follows that the process would need to be revisited to accommodate everyone involved. But maybe there’s something deeper that I’m missing.

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

I was entirely indifferent about the credits process for my own work. From my own efforts to manage collaborative projects I know how challenging it can be to satisfy all parties, so I just wanted to make my response as simple as possible. I’m sure I’m coming from a privileged place saying this, and I think I’m naively optimistic with regards to honest artistic collaborations, but I didn’t feel like anyone was trying to take advantage of me with the Meditations project.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

If anything, I was just disappointed that there was an issue in the first place. I can’t speak for the people that did find themselves dissatisfied, and I’m sure everyone had their reasons. I think it just goes to show how exploitation in the creative industry has cast a cloud over this kind of thing. Everyone has to cover their back because there’s no safety net for people making art. 

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

I feel the situation was handled respectfully as far as I could tell, and numerous options were provided for anyone who were looking for a change in the process. If I had been responsible for the project I honestly doubt I would have had the patience to send out multiple surveys to try to satisfy everyone – I probably would have panicked and just allowed anyone to pull their project that didn’t want to go through with it. So the official response seemed well thought out and accommodating.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

I noticed a few tweets about my meditation. I think one or two new people started following me too. Nothing significant, but any acknowledgement always means a lot to me and it was fantastic to hear about a few people that connected with the experience.

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

I’m really honoured that I was invited to participate in the project. It was a fun and interesting challenge. I appreciated the 6 hour time constraint as well – as a way to push myself while still limiting the commitment I had to make to be involved. I very much hope that we see more projects like this in the future, in whatever format they might take.

Isaac Schankler

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

I think there was poor communication regarding how and when contributors would be credited. When I was approached, it was not discussed at all. It never occurred to me that contributors would not be credited when the project was launched, so this came as a surprise to me.

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

I would have liked for everyone to have been credited equally, but given the conflicting desires of everyone involved, this wouldn’t have been possible after launch. I didn’t want to be singled out either, so I declined to be listed in the partial credits.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I think the organizers did their best to respond to the criticism after launch. It’s still baffling to me that none of this occurred to them before.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

I did have a few strangers talk to me on Twitter about my meditation, which was nice. I also encountered some anger from a few acquaintances who felt that by participating in a free project, I was devaluing labor in the games industry. I didn’t appreciate being caught in the middle of this argument — it wasn’t what I signed up for.

I would have liked for everyone to have been credited equally, but given the conflicting desires of everyone involved, this wouldn’t have been possible after launch. I didn’t want to be singled out either, so I declined to be listed in the partial credits.

Brenden Gibbons

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

Oh, I’m pretty sure it’s an honest mistake. Imagine you have to gather roughly 365 developers for a Secret Project – there’d be three core waves of recruitment:

The first wave (hand-picked, personal connections), 

The second wave (public call), 

The third wave (late public call, last minute personal calls to fill in spots, etc).

I was in the third wave, where it was more “Hi, thanks for wanting to join the project, you have a month to make a game, here’s the requirements, it’s for this, can you do it?” and I’m like “Oh yeah, okay, sure.”. It’s not like I had very little time to make it, but it was certainly this stage where I could just flake out – and THAT’S why I always assumed that credits would only be given after the game was released and not before because.. well, it’s a live project. There could’ve been reason for someone to pull out, or for the curation team to have to pull someone else’s game after assessing it (which would’ve been their right. It’s their project) or someone just.. didn’t send off their game in time. It seemed like perfect sense if I was the curator to also go with this kind of credits process.  

The issue was just that it wasn’t written down and someone went “I already handed in my game early, I want to show it off to the world! The project has started, why didn’t you add my name when it had these names on it?” which is fair, if they don’t think about the project as a whole from the curator’s point of view and only from theirs. (I mean, there might’ve been real good reason for them to want to show off their involvement on it as early as possible, which is fair, but yeah, that’s not useful to the project at large)

So yeah, it was just some miscommunication. 

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

Because theoretically, I could flake out. I was still finishing the game when they were asking for partial credits list. Overall though, the process seemed like it was handled with grace. The curators said sorry for their fault and went out of their way to try to create a compromise!

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

Yeah, I’d say the situation was handled okay. Maybe it was just me, but it felt like a small issue was being made bigger. 

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

Thinking about it, the partial early credits list is a good compromise. Maybe it had launched /with/ it, it would’ve been best? 

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project? 

Unfortunately, my game had some issues with the launcher, so not a lot of people managed to play it this year. However, there was some people who were following the project closely, and they followed me too. I mean, I did it mostly to be part of the project, rather than anything else that comes afterwards. Considering that meditations is an indie project and I was one game out of 365, it’s more something about being a part of a theatre play, where like, I have my small part and it probably won’t be remarked upon but I’m happy with my work.

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

The project as a whole is a great idea and although my game had some issues with the launcher, I completely understand the technical issues that come with trying to wrangle ONE game into existence and only Rami knows how daft it is to live wrangle 365 games into existence. 

Francois van Niekerk

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

Meditation is a large project, with hundreds of contributors, ranging for relatively unknown creators to famous game devs. One of the goals was to create a sense of surprise and excitement for new games as they come out over the course of a year. It’s difficult to balance this with crediting the individual creators, for a whole host of reasons, and some assumptions were made that in hindsight could have been clarified upfront.

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

I chose not to be included in the partial credits list so that those creators’ names that could most benefit from the potential exposure weren’t diluted as much – the project has hundreds of creators!

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I was quite happy with how the process was handled. I would have preferred if the crediting discussions had taken place before the project launch, but it was an honest mistake that the team quickly worked to rectify as best they could.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

Hindsight is always 20/20 – I think if you ask the organisers they’d agree that things could have been handled better, but I feel like given the circumstances they did the best they could.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

I have not noticed any significant long-term increase related to the project – but it is SUPER hard to make any connections like that.

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

I think it’s an awesome initiative – more than 360 brand new tiny games were made! I’d love to see more tiny game get made by a diverse range of creators.

Lucas Gullbo

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

My impression on the controversy surrounding credit etc. was that game-developers wanted to be credited for being co-creators of the Meditation Project. I think it came from the fact that there was a lot of media coverage in the beginning for the meditation-creators and not for the game-developers.

I don’t remember if any promises regarding credit to the meditation project, besides the creation of the game / the day your game was available, was established. I only remember that your name, twitter handle was going to be linked with your meditation-day as well as you were allowed to put your name in the game.

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditation.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

I noticed that now when you mentioned it haha. In the fine print below it’s stated that it’s automatically generated from the text file sent in during submission, I must have typed it incorrectly, probably something that could be fixed.

But they have stated that a full list of all game-developers will be released on December 31st, 2019.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I thought it was kinda sad how the situation just blew up… There was a lot of personal “attacks” and from I saw some really ridiculous statements. I can’t really say more than that since I didn’t take a stand-in: “being credited poorly”.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

I guess it all comes down to how information was given. I think that most of the information was clear from the beginning, I did have some questions regarding deadlines, etc. which were answered directly!

Some game-developers seemed to expect more credit on the main page and on twitter etc. I really like that a twitter BOT was created (by @pimmhogeling) to give credit to the game-creators and I think it was a nice solution to the “problem”.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

I definitely noticed an increase! I would say that I got more credit then I was expecting, the community and the players seemed to be really engaged in the game! I got some nice comments, DM’s and videos about my meditation game!
This video, in particular, made me super happy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TcrhEKt7Bw

Youtuber – Fangle Spangle took the time to link to my personal Twitter, my Studio Twitter and gave full credit in the video!

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

First of all, I think the whole controversy thing is a bit ridiculous…
When I was contacted to be a part of the project I got so excited! I think Meditation is a cool and unique way to connect game developers and to showcase smaller games and individuals!

I’m thankful and happy to be a part of Meditation games.

Thais Weiller

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

If I’m going to be completely honestly, I didn’t think much of it. But it might be because I was called to join kinda in the last minute, I think. Maybe when I was working on my project this controversy was unfolding or already sorted? I don’t know. For reference, I was invited to join the project by the end of 2018 and I think I delivered my project, credits and all, early January. 

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

I am not? haha, I didn’t know that. Silly credits.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I’m not one that is very informed about things, so I don’t know how the situation was handled. I remember vaguely of questions of credit and exposure being discussed, but I didn’t get too involved with that (and I’m not minimizing those issues, I just didn’t had the energy back them to get into yet another internet hassle).

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

Same as the previous, I didn’t catch up in social media and traditional media about it and wasn’t informed by e-mail by the organizers or anything.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

Oh no, nothing. Just some friends played and that was cool. Probably, it was one or two people outside my friend circles that actually played and reached out. But I didn’t do it by the exposure, I did it because I wanted to make that game for a long time and never had a pressing deadline that made me actually sit down and do it. It was sort of a game jam to me, so I wasn’t expecting anything more than actually finishing the goddamn thing. 

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

It was good because I finally did the game I was postponing for so long.

Marc Loths – @OldLoths

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

I think there was a lot of mismanaged expectations involved. The whole setup of joining the project felt very ad-hoc with a big spreadsheet of names and a small pdf giving an overview of the project, which might have seemed at odds with the big names attached to the people organising it. I enjoyed the messiness of it, but it definitely left a lot of ambiguity towards how crediting would work.

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

To me the whole concept of the project is very much about putting a spotlight on a different experience each day. There’s something ephemeral about that, which is something I explore in my own projects a lot so I’m comfortable with the idea of having the credits only show on the day my game is active. I would definitely feel very differently about the situation if Meditations was a commercial project, though.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I think it’s great that there was a fairly quick response to figure out the situation and that everyone involved could choose whichever solution they preferred. With a project that involves so many people in a format that hadn’t really been done before as far as I’m aware of, there was bound to be some hurdles. Personally, I’m okay with how it was handled but I can understand how others might feel differently about it. I’m hoping that the final list of credits they’re planning to release will be more personal than just a simple list of names, but I’m not expecting very much.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

To be honest, I don’t think there would have been any good way to handle the situation after the fact. In the end it comes down to a lot of different developers having very different expectations of what the project is, so no solution would work for everyone. Clearer (and more active) communication from the start might have helped prevent some problems.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

I don’t think there was very much engagement that came out of the project for me. A couple of people headed through the link back to my twitter and started following, but there wasn’t any major spikes in visibility. I got more intrinsic value out of participating because the brief of making a personal experience in less than 6 hours got me doing a deep dive on making a game that’s extremely personal and theme driven without worrying about whether it’s “good” or plays well. That’s the first time I had taken my hands off the wheel to that degree on a game and it had a profound impact on how I approach making and playing games. 

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

Personally, I had a great experience with it and it’s done very good things for my own work which I’m really happy about. My expectations just happened to align with what the project actually turned out to be, so it’s a shame that things weren’t communicated clearly enough at the start to ensure everyone got that much out of joining the project.

Anonymous Contributor

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

I don’t know the whole story, but my understanding is that the initial developers were not being credited properly or at all for their work. I honestly have no idea how quickly this was resolved, but given the nature of the project it’s a huge miss and is disappointing since the games are only available for one day of the year. 

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

I actually had no idea this page existed until you brought it to my attention. It wasn’t an active decision to be left out, but this could be due to the fact that we joined the project much later after some other developers had dropped out.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

It was nice to see Rami reach out to the community on how to fix the issue, I do think that was the right move, but obviously this conversation should have happened way before any of these games started launching.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

There should absolutely be a way to check out these games after the day has passed. I know that it somewhat defeats the purpose of the project and makes each meditation a bit less meaningful, but it would definitely make me feel a little bit better about the work we put in.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

The social media bump was minor, maybe a few new followers but that was it. It didn’t really affect any of my other active projects either.

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

It would have been nice to see the people behind the project help out a bit more with promotion outside of the initial announcement. I don’t really see them talk about it much anymore and I’m left wondering if that has anything to do with the initial controversy. 

I’m rather critical about the meditation games project as a whole, but I honestly don’t think I could have handled it much better due to the sheer scale of it. It is pretty amazing to see so many developers make so many little games in such a brief amount of time. If given another chance I would absolutely make another game for it.

Luis Diaz Peralta (Lidipe)

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

Meditations is an insane project, we’re talking about 365 developers getting together to make games that follow a certain template and keep a tight schedule. It’s a massive project where some things had to be handled on the go. From my point of view, credits weren’t fully planned or communicated due to the rush. You can argue that’s no excuse, but I think everyone was trying to make the best decisions, it’s just that it was a complicated situation and you can’t get everything right.

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

I remember getting a survey from the organizers about how credits should be handled. While I can’t recall the exact options, I think I chose something like “I’m fine with being added at the end of 2019”. I understood both arguments and I didn’t feel the need to get listed on the website right away. My name isn’t only on the launcher but also on the game. I’d be against letting anybody show my work without the proper credits, but Meditations isn’t going to do that. My game is only relevant on the day it’s meant to be active and, when that happens, my name is always there right next to my work.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

It’d be great if they had communicated it in a better way before releasing the project. I hope those who requested to be credited right away on the survey got that fixed, but I’ve only talked to some of the other participants and I don’t know if somebody is still waiting for that to change.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

Information about credits should have been clearer for participants, I have to say that even the technical things weren’t fully explained and I had to get in touch to ask a few things. There should have been a calendar on the site with the names of everyone who wished to be credited from the very beginning. 

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

I remember getting lots of messages on the day my game was released, but I don’t think that helped my other projects or opened new opportunities for me. Every Meditation game was made in under 6 hours, so it’s hard to imagine such a small thing would have a meaningful impact on one’s career. When I was invited to join the project I did it because I loved the idea of working along with so many other devs in what sounded like a very cool concept. My game probably got more plays there than what it’d get on itch.io, but that’s just an extra. Hearing so many people felt touched by my personal game was lovely.

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

My experience was quite good. Meditations is such an ambitious project. 365 devs got together to celebrate small, weird games. I’m glad I got to be part of that and I’m happy the game I made for it was able to connect with so many people. I feel my work was properly credited, but I understand others might have a different opinion. I hope their requests were heard, after all, we can’t really celebrate those small personal games without the people that made them.

Anonymous Contributor

First, I know there was some controversy surrounding the credit process for contributors to the project, could you tell me your impression of how this happened?

My impression, having honestly not paid very much attention to the situation or the conversation that happened around it, is that it was an oversight on the organization side. An oversight likely driven by misplaced priorities. I doubt the folks organizing it cared very much about what potential outcomes this might have for the individual creators, they were more concerned with the consumer benefit of the project as a whole. So I don’t think they ever gave much thought to supporting the creators themselves, or raising up the individual projects. It was always more about the greater thing than any individual part.

I also noticed that you aren’t included in the partial credits list on the meditations.games site, can you tell me why you came to that decision, and how you feel the process itself was handled?

My particular situation is a bit abnormal as I wasn’t leading the project and wasn’t in contact directly with the organizers. When the crediting stuff was happening, I was reached out to by an organizer who directed me to a survey I could fill out. I honestly don’t rememeber the details of how me and my collaborator chose to handle the situation at the time or why my name isn’t on the credit list. I didn’t choose to not have it included and so the reason it isn’t there is likely just another mis-management on their end.

Overall I was apathetic to the whole situation. I’m not personally invested in being a known developer anymore and from my experience releasing projects like this in the past, I already knew there would be negligible benefit to any visibility that would come from it, even if it was handled well. That being said, that’s just my own personal situation and I 100% understand and sympathize with folks for whom this kind of visibility is important and I very much support those people and feel like the meditations project really used them without providing anything in return.

Would you say you’re happy with how the situation was handled, and what about the process were you satisfied/dissatisfied with, if anything?

I think it was likely handled about as well as it could be given the thing was already live, the games had all already been produced etc.. Like I said, I really didn’t pay much attention while it was happening so I can’t really speak to any specifics. The issue for me really was in the ideology behind the project which should have been about the creators from the start which it clearly wasn’t.

Do you have any comments on how you think it could have been handled better, or how you think it was handled well?

Usually when creators are given the “opportunity” to work for free for someone else’s benefit, they are at least assured of the potential “exposure” they will receive in exchange. Meditations couldn’t even offer that. I think the project was flawed from the jump.

Additionally, after your meditation launching, have you noticed any increase in social media engagement or interest in your other projects that you’d attribute to being involved in the project?

I was actually surprised by several folks who seemed to be covering the games each day. There were some text and youtube reviews which had my twitter attributed on them. That was really nice to see! 

The answer to your question though is no. Like i mentioned earlier, I’ve been releasing small projects like this for a long time and the outcomes are always minimal, never anything that can actually lead to tangible benefits for creators. One of my game jam games was played on Markiplier’s youtube channel, currently the video has 2 million views. The result of that was maybe a couple of thousand views on our page and even less downloads.

Given the sheer number of individual projects in meditations, the likelihood of people paying attention to any individual creator is super small.

And finally, do you have any general comments you’d like to make about your experience with the project as a whole, good or bad?

Nope, I think I’ve covered everything.

You can find our interviews with Rami Ismail and Jupiter Hadley along with our final comments on the meditations project here.


Mx. Medea is a writer, artist, and editor who spends most of their time drawing things with squares and buried under a small pile of endless paper copy. When not working they can be found playing everything from interesting indie fare to oldschool games. You can find them, their art, and their opinions @Mx_Medea on Twitter.