You’re looking at this post and you’re asking yourself, “Since when has Lisa cared about games? I thought she only cared about Italian horror films and Lifetime movies! Is Lisa seriously reviewing a game?”
Well, as a matter of fact, I am.
Because I love the Artist Survival Simulator.
The Artist Survival Simulator is a work of interactive fiction that was designed by using Twine. As the title suggests, the Artist Survival Simulator allows you to live the life of an artist. And who doesn’t want to be an artist, right? But, as this game shows, the life of an artist is not an easy one.
The game begins by asking you three times whether or not you really want to embark on this life. At the very least, you can’t say that you haven’t been warned. After clicking yes three times, you are informed that you have just completed your studies in fine arts! Yay! Your inspiration is strong (though, as you’ll soon find out, your inspiration increases and decreases depending on your actions throughout the game). You worked while you were in college so you’ve got 5,000 Euros saved up.
(That’s right — you’re European! So, while the rest of your fellow Europeans are busy voting for the UKIP and the Front National, you’re saving the world through art! Yay!)
Each month, you’re given four options. You can make art, you can work for a living, you can apply for a grant, or you can go on an inspirational excursion. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to make art and that’s great. Depending on how or low your inspiration may be, you might create anything from a “timeless painting” to a “controversial monument” to a “mediocre sound art work.” But here’s the thing — regardless of what you create, you’re not going to make any money from it.
“That’s okay,” you say, “Art is not about money!”
Well, that’s all good and well and hey, good luck with that and enjoy your Occupy reunion, you moonbat. The fact of the matter is that, in both the game and real life, you need money to live. Each month, your living expenses total 1,000 Euros. As soon as you’re out of Euros, the game ends. So, go ahead and just concentrate on creating art. The game will be over in 5 turns.
So, let’s say you decide to spend a month working. Hey, that’s a good idea. At least you can make money. But here’s the problem — each month you spend working, your inspiration decreases. And here’s the thing — as your inspiration decreases, your art becomes less and less impressive and once you have totally run out of inspiration, your artistic career is over.
Luckily, there is a way to increase your inspiration. You can go on an “inspirational excursion,” which is also known as a vacation. These excursions are great because you return from them ready to create something wonderful. The only problem is that they cost 2,000 Euros, which means that as soon as you return, you’re in danger of running out of money. And how do we make money? By working, which decreases the inspiration that you just spent so much money to build up.
Okay, so how can you make money without destroying your inspiration? Well, you can apply for a grant but — much as in real life — there’s no way to predict whether or not you’ll actually get that grant. If you do get it, you’ll be able to spend a few months creating art but, if you don’t, it just means that you’ve wasted an entire month and you’re down another 1,000 Euros.
The challenge is to balance the need for money with the need for inspiration. Because, as soon as you run out of money and/or inspiration, you’re informed that maybe its time to start thinking about paying back your student loans…
I love the Artist Survival Simulator because it proves something that I’ve always suspected. If you want to survive as an artist, it helps to come from a rich family.