Thursday, January 7, 2010

Evangelicized design and waiting for snood...

There's an interesting article over on 'Play this thing' about a game called Snood. It's a shareware title that tenaciously spread and apparently sold in the millions.

This ties into my previous post because this does not appear to be a game that has a 'journey' or a 'sense of menace'. I'll grant it probably has far more playability than invaders from space, but the point is these other qualities are make believe requirements for playability.

In the play this thing article author Costik* says game developers can't take it seriously, since they themselves devote their lives to complicated 3D worlds and huge budgets. And that's the thing - once someone devotes their life to something, they have a hard time thinking it's wrong. Indeed, they start evangelicising it and teaching it to others as if it's perfectly right. And so you get a culture who is basically out of touch with what human needs really are but couldn't consider being wrong at all, for how it would invalidate their lives (or so I'd hypothesize). A bit like the church (ooh, a sideswipe there, but also a genuine parallel).

So if your starting out as an indie game developer yourself now days, I think your probably facing up to abuse by your essentially brainwashed peers. If you want encouragement from them, you'll have to do things their way. Or you'll have to go it alone. Which isn't impossible, if snood is any indicator!

* Should I list his full name? I'd have to look it up for proper spelling, and this is the name he works under there. Hmmm.

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