Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Embracing Hardness

I am not really fond of new year's resolutions, but I will make one particular anyway: From right here on, I guarantee myself to never ever take the basic way, but constantly take the hard one, when producing game.

This may possibly look a bit weird, so let me explain myself.

When generating games in the previous we have occasionally tried to take the straightforward way out, hoping to produce a lot of "playtime" for tiny effort. This type of considering have usually ended up being the worst components of the game or the worst tips. For instance, in Penumbra Overture, I designed some of the maps to be maze-like and have roaming enemies, pondering it would be an straightforward way of adding engaging parts to the game. These levels turned out to be tedious and effortlessly my least favorite components of the game. Another example is from Amnesia: When coming up with the standard gameplay design and style we had been set on creating some effortless way of generating levels. This ended up getting a negative way to go about it and we pretty considerably discarded all of these functions in the final game. Alternatively we went back to undertaking it the hard way - with a lot better results.

Right after releasing the Penumbra games, we truly felt a bit annoyed that it was so challenging to make new maps for them. We saw that other games could put out a lot of map-packs and similar, but this was really tough for us, and would expense almost as a lot as creating a new game. This feeling is not a new 1, and I have personally felt like this a lot of instances. The capability games that could be completed quicker and that allowed for basic expansions.

This feeling has resided a bit following the release of Amnesia, but till really not too long ago it was nonetheless there, nagging me. Then it suddenly occurred to me that I should not really feel negative about possessing operate that is difficult to make. Alternatively I must feel proud and embrace it. I know this may well sound a bit silly and self-evident, but it honestly came as a bit of a revelation to me. Not only must I feel good about any component of the game that was challenging to make, I must actively strive for it and discard something that is too easy. If a function can very easily develop gameplay for a portion of the game, it should be deemed a poor thought and either scrapped it or a adjusted into a tougher version. This not only because of private motives, but due to the fact I am very convinced that it will result in better games.

We ought to of course attempt and make the approach of generating the game as easy and straightforward as possible. Just like we, to fantastic accomplishment, enhanced and drastically simplified level and entity creation for Amnesia. Handling the tools of the trade is not what is meant to be difficult, but the act of creation. I am also not implying that we should try and reinvent the wheel and try to come up with new options to already solved troubles. What I am saying is that if any part of the game is also simple to design or implement, then we must be critically examine if it is actually required and if we really place enough thought into it. It should be regarded if there are any approaches to differ, expand or in any other way modify it to make it tougher.

What I am hoping will come out of this, are games that give a considerably richer experience. I feel a great example of this at work is to evaluate a game like Braid to a "regular" puzzle game. The very first couple of levels of Braid could simply have been expanded into a full game, but as an alternative the tough route was taken. This resulted in a game where the gameplay is continuously fresh and supplies a considerably deeper knowledge. You also see the identical kind of forces at perform when comparing the Super Mario games to contemporary platformer titles. There is a specific degree of good quality to the Mario games, a big part of which I believe comes from to doing items the hard way.

This will most possibly result in a lot more perform for us, but as I now aim to embrace challenging difficulties, that should only mean we are on the appropriate track!

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