August 9, 2007

Jonathan Blow Interview on MTV

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Yu-Chung Chen said...

Good stuff here... too bad I missed your discussion with Daniel Renkel.

Re: a strong vision leading the process
This is actually a big problem I'm having with the "let's experiment and see what works"-approach. Yes it works out in the end, but in a way, what works -- or rather would end up working -- is also arbitrary.

This is also the reason why I'm not satisfied with my eternally-work-in-progress Gravity. While I did end up with something which works more or less, and I have even reasons for those elements. But I didn't manage to get what I want to explore about the fundamental ideas in the core mechanic.

One part of that exploration concerns also the point about "what good are games for", which is the translation of an experience. Part of the vision for Gravity is that I want to tweak the game to express "dilemma", "sitting on the fence" and "indecisiveness". While you can illustrate this in a narrative and make the reader sympathise with the character(s), I'd like to believe that interactivity can enhance that to empathy.

That is what I meant in that earlier comment, and JB just wonderfully put it in a very meaningful way and context.

What do you guys think? Am I mis-interpreting JB? Am I being too naive and romantic?

Krystian Majewski said...

I don't think you are being naive at all. I agree absolutely. Until now, the mentioned sub-intellectual level of games is pretty arbitrary and often has little to do with the rest of the game. You can literary see that it developed accidentally and not with a distinct purpose in mind. It always struck me that the experience of Settlers (Serf City) was more like designing electronic circuity then the actual ideas, concepts and challenges behind the growth of medieval settlements. Realizing how exactly games convey meaning goes hand in hand with putting that theories to the test and trying to use tap into that resource. I certainly do hope that you find the time to finish "Lovely Dilemma". Even if you feel you didn't quite archive your goal, it should provide us with valuable lessons how to tackle that problem.