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Is it even a game? It seems to me like a very interesting simulation but I don't see game design there...

The best definition I've seen for what constitutes a game is this: A game is an experience created by rules.

That captures what distinguishes a game (as an artform) from other media. You could throw in some qualifiers to perhaps narrow it down (is paying your taxes a a game?) but it's not really necessary.

A prison sentence is a game?

Like I said, you can try to narrow it down, but it's pretty hard to define a rigid line between art and not art in any medium.

Although your particular example is kind of amusing, given the prominent role of the Prisoner's Dilemma in discussing elementary game theory! :P

> Is it even a game?

Technically, yes: It has a goal (collect orbs) a challenge (navigate environment) and a difficulty curve (increased distortion).

But it's really a tech demo, though.

The goal we were given at the start of the summer was just to create a tech demo, the team tried to make a game out of it as much as possible though. The original plan was to release a tech demo at the end of the summer and then make a game with it after, the after part hasn't started yet though, and I'm not sure if it will.

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