Archive for April 11th, 2008

What? No! Not That!

2008 Apr 11

Over on Story Games, Paul Czege advised a newcomer to indie-style games:

Enthusiastic praise and design theory is seductive, and can draw you away from your real preferences.

Amen. Personally, one of the most interesting parts of watching theory and design in the Forge “diaspora” (sorry, Luke) is seeing some folks realize that maybe the kind of play they really want isn’t the Narrativism that Ron described. Maybe it’s something else. And, following that, there seems to often be a lot of coming to terms with that. I definitely went through this process too. “Oh my god, how could I possibly actually want functional Simulationist play (or whatever else, including many things not adequately described by GNS)? It’s so disgusting!”

Maybe the best, most awesome games in the world aren’t being designed to meet your needs. Maybe your needs are something else. Maybe the games that are being designed to meet your needs are really crappy, or not as flashy, or just not getting a whole bunch of attention right now. But people inevitably gravitate towards the hot shit, even if it’s not really what they want. And sometimes they wake up, surrounded by a bunch of really terrific games that, try as hard as they can, they don’t really enjoy playing as much as they would like to. And then they have to come to terms with that and find something else. If they can.