Friday, March 7

Better is this Way

Jon Blow, creator of Braid, gave a lecture in January at the Game Focus Germany conference. The lecture is titled Programming is Easy; Production is Harder; Design is Hardest.
Download the lecture. I highly recommend you listen to the whole thing along with the slides.

Jon Blow, From around 40:00 mark:
I need to justify this huge time expense, that I'm spending on games in terms of my life. Is this really what I want to be doing? What makes it worth making games? As I've gotten older I've gotten much pickier about whats a good game, and what's a game worth me doing. And so I start asking myself certain questions. And these questions are the basis of design. Design is about, you know, from nothing, you have all the possibility in the world. And, you ask yourself, what game should I make? From nothing. And its like well, it could be anything. So you have to narrow it down somehow. For me, those questions are like how is this design going to effect the world versus other things that I could do. Whats it for? Right? A game does something. A design does something, right? Of these things that can do things, what is worth creating and spending all this time on and what is not? Right? What is dark energy pumping out into the world versus something valuable for people and putting it out in the world. Whats the best use of my players' time? How am I improving my players' quality of life through this game, or am I improving their quality of life? Am I doing anything? What am I doing in the first place? [. . .] When your viewing game development, especially independent development, from a purpose mindset, what is my purpose for being an independent developer? Design becomes very hard, it becomes the hardest thing. Because its the foundation now. Its the entire reason for slogging through that bug list.

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