Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Awhile ago on 'play this thing' I said I put the program 'everyday the same dream'  in the same pidgeon hole as 'the graveyard', in that there is no gameplay. No playability.

Recently I've been on the recieving end of much the same claim myself for my game 'invaders from space', so it's interesting to be in this position. Check out the comments section. The guys saying because it 'has no sense of menance' and 'no sense of journey' it's not playable.

Now the thing is, I consider playability to be that the outcome of play is uncertain. You have to play it to find out. If the outcome is certain even before you start 'playing' then it isn't playing at all.

I also include, not surprisingly, games like playing catch in the backyard as having playability and is a game. You may fumble and drop the ball.

So it's interesting to be in between these two assertions of unplayability. Invaders from space does have play - I lost at it during beta tests - the ending, as in whether you'll win, is uncertain. It used to only give one life, making it more uncertain, but someone suggested adding more lives so I did. While everyday the same dream - there is no uncertainty to the outcome - or atleast as far as I could tell. There seemed so little uncertainty I didn't play it all the way through. So someone might be able to blow me out of the water on this. But in terms of this blog entry, there was no uncertainty. Thus no play. Thus not a game.

But then I'm being told that games, for some reason, need a sense of journey and menace to have playability??? No, a game needs a sense of journey and menance in order to have a sense of journey and menace.

Now, I don't think my own standard for playability is just something I made up in my head - I'm sure catch has been played for thousands, perhaps millions of years by humans.

Having to have a sense of journey and menace? No, this is just made up shit.

Which I don't mind, except when someone takes the shit they made up in their head but doesn't take responsibility for it. They just pretend their invented shit IS the way the world works. Which still isn't so bad EXCEPT when they act upon it. In this case downrating. Because while they'll whine that the game has to have journey and menace, really they are saying 'do as I tell you - put in journey and menace'. But there's disconnect where they pretend to themselves they didn't invent the idea it has to have that - thus they can pretend to themselves they aren't telling you what to do or they will downrate/punish you.

But it's interesting to be in the middle, to claim non playability and to hear it too. I will say, every day the same dream would make an excellent music video that I would watch. Indeed, it basically was a music video.

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