Because games will never be Art if theyre just movies or novels we play on a computer. Games wont be recognizes as Art unless they are Art because they are games. Braid is Art as a game because of how it lets players experience permutations of time, not because its a metaphor for the atomic bomb. Treating story and gameplay as separate will result in unsatisfied gamers and games that are odds with themselves.[Andrew Vanden Bossche is a freelance writer and student. He has a blog called Mammon Machine, which discusses videogames and videogames, and can be reached at [email protected]].
The Independent Game Developers Association announced today that industry figureheads John Romero and Will Wright will host the organization's first annual IGDA Foundation charity dinner in San Francisco.
The dinner will feature an on-stage discussion between the two notable industry verterans, and will raise money for several charitable projects related to the industry.Will Wright, known for his work on The Sims and Spore, will host alongside the well-known Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM designer and coder John Romero to discuss their work in the industry and contribute to Romero's own Romero Archives, a project dedicated to preserving the processes and history of game design.Romero has participated in other such discussions with industry figures such as Sid Meier, Bob Bates, Don Daglow, and Noah Falstein.Proceeds from the charity dinner will go towards several projects supported by the IGDA, including the Romero Archives, the Eric Dybsand Memorial Scholarship for AI Development, the Accessibility SIG Gamers with Disabilities Project and more.The event will take place on November 5 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott, with general admission tickets available for $150, with discounts for IGDA members, at the IGDA website..
Prior to BioWare Austin, Rebouche worked at Junction Point as a designer on Epic Mickey, and while neither studio has instituted a policy of internal game jams yet, Rebouche said his participation in external jams have convinced him that this is the way to go. "I'm really here to make a simple proposition and not much more than that," he said. In his view, game studios should be doing game jams during "soft periods" -- before holiday breaks, between projects, and the like. He believes these jams can increase creativity, team cohesiveness, and job satisfaction.To help define the term "game jam" at his presentation, Rebouche showed Kyle Gabler's (World of Goo) keynote from the 2009 Global Game Jam. "This is a very valuable team-based exercise," said Rebouche, and not just because it will help the team, but because it can also help the business.
Not only have some "titans of indie gaming" such as World of Goo and Crayon Physics Deluxe come out of game-jame-style rapid prototyping, but if you know you have a major project coming up, you should set a theme related to that project and jam on it, he said. "Ideally a theme should be a leadership directive," said Rebouche. For example, "If you're working on a game that's about aliens coming to earth, you might want to work on a game on the theme of 'oppression,'" he said. Rebouche also said game jams should also "encourage role-switching." In a major modern studio, "the disciplines get very separated, and they tend to lose sight of how hard people [in other disciplines] work, sometimes."Switching roles "can teach you a lot about the complexities [others] deal with on a daily basis," he said. "If you can understand what stresses people are under in their daily lives, you can better understand who they are as a human being and how to work with them." Of course, on major projects, developers are working on very small pieces of the overall game for many years in a row, and thus lose a sense of their place in the context of the project, particularly at lower levels."People tend to get bogged down on projects," Rebouche said. "You can lose the sense of what you're doing -- lose the love," he said.
The decisions he writes about can be applied to almost any videogame.A Destructoid writer going by the name of "AwesomeExMachina" (awesome name, I know) writes about his challenging experience of playing through Grand Theft Auto IV as a nice Nico Bellic. He describes the unique challenges he faced by playing through the game in a way that the developers never intended.Nick LaLone on Before Game Design writes about the choices developers make leading up to the creation of female videogame characters.
In his piece, he deconstructs NieR's Kaine -- a female character possessed by a male demon and describes the character as both "intersexed" and "transgendered."Jamie Madigan at the Psychology of Games blog attempts to answer the question as to why gamers wax nostalgic over old games -- through science! He writes: "The link between negative moods and nostalgia also came up when the researchers looked at what triggers bouts of the emotion. They found that feeling down in the dumps or displeasure over current circumstances is likely to prompt people to reminisce about some uplifting experience in the past."Finally, Mitch Krpata skewers videogame writing in his piece on Insult Swordfighting by asking readers to match each of the year's ten most popular games with a quotation from its review..
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