... In this sense, it's artistic in how stubborn it is. Maybe even…
4th-Apr-2011 01:40 am
... In this sense, it's artistic in how stubborn it is. Maybe even poetic. It's the idea that a player should conform to a system rather than the other way around.
A system interacts with a system to create a new system. An arrow has properties; a body has properties; simply add two eggs and stir for a novel interaction.
Looking Glass Studios, filled with the smart dudes and ladies from MIT, had this type of game design down to a science. You can read more about their design philosophy from Randy Smith's website, but I'll summarize some salient points here.
Thief is about exploring a space. Your in-game mini-maps are realistically (and sometimes comically) unhelpful and full of incomplete information. Stealing loot and solving puzzles were just McGuffins to keep you on your toes, finding new movement solutions through analog interactions with NPCs. A mini-map or "objective arrow" on the HUD would ruin everything and destroy the beauty of this interaction, even as these features are now commonplace in all mainstream commercial FPS games.
Now, by "analog interaction," Smith means player choices and system feedback of varying intensities, to be mixed and matched to create nuanced interaction: