Thursday, August 10, 2006

Break it down now

I suppose that I should give myself (and any of you who wandered on to my shadowy nook on the intarweb) a overview of what I hope to write about in this blogs as regards to game design and theory. I am an experimenter before theorist. I love reading and absorbing theory, however I do not have any of my own, really. Really what I do with games is try to break them down in my head into various pieces. Sometimes I'll call those pieces: devices, layers, patterns, metaphors, loops, or whatever. It usually depends on what I'm looking for at that moment. My goal in going through all this trouble is to eventually be able to rearrange and synthesize this game pieces into whole new games. Well, more accurately, new experiences but I'll get to that in a sec.

What I like about reading about theory is that every good post is another lens with which look at games and see how they fit together. Being able to pinpoint where, how, and why a game works or does not work in various ways is very powerful. It's probably why I like a lot of 'bad' movies, because I am able to pull out some brilliant technique or find something enjoyable about a bad movie and focus on that. Ultimately I am creating a magic bag of building blocks with which I can make various games out of. 'Course, when I gather all these pieces, what then?

I want to create fantasies. I want to make someone feel like they are somewhere else. I want to create an experience. I want to ellict specifc emotions. The way I see to do that, is that I can reach into my bag of tricks (Felix the Cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat) and pick out the ones that support the theme or idea I want to express.

See I have this idea (theory even??), that each infinitesimal piece has an emotion, a feeling, and/or an idea it can convey. The sideways only movement of a Space Invaders/Galaga type game, the health bar, a d20, all of those pieces has a voice that communicates to the player. And all those voices, with the proper designer, can become a chorus.

I think I overused "I" in this post. I'll try to be less ego from now on and a little more id.