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Rich Wilson
San Francisco, CA
Interests: Procedural content, granular player expression
Recent Activity
As for the save/load discussion, I'd like to make a game where saves are graphically represented as narrative nodes, encouraging the player to go back and explore alternate choices at the junctures which would branch off, resulting in a tree structure. Each node would need to be fairly descriptive about the state of the world, so the player could go back and browse the tree, looking for other divergent causal avenues to explore into.
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2009 on Ethical Decision Making at Click Nothing
Shadow of the Colossus is one of my favorites. I love the gnawing feeling of guilt and dread as the game marched to its inexorable conclusion. Would it have been more or less meaningful if the player had the option of leaving Dormin's deal on the table, ascending the spiral staircase and crossing the bridge back home, leaving his beloved to her fate?
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2009 on Ethical Decision Making at Click Nothing
There are two paradigmatic issues that I think stand in the way of the player embracing tragedy and loss as valid experiences in games. First is the problem of the avatar. When you put a player in a first person relationship with a character, optimization and survival instincts are going to kick in. The player will always look out for number one, and keep save/loading until they have succeeded. This ties into the second problem, goal structures. If you look at more sandboxy games like The Sims, you see user created tragedies all the time. This is partly due to the lack of investment of the player in any particular character and partly to the "try this, see what happens" model of interactivity. I think we can get past both of these paradigms while still retaining some systemic accountability(meaningful consequences delegated by an impartial rules system instead of "let's pretend" thought exercises) and emotional ties to characters if we dig around enough. Might try to drum up some more meaningful thought on this...
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2009 on Ethical Decision Making at Click Nothing
I don't know if you can spoil mechanics due to the very way they're experienced. A story is the linear revelation of information. If you find out the last link in the chain before you even get to the middle, then the progression down the revelatory path is ruined. Mechanics aren't about revelation as much as direct interaction with a system. The only way I could think of someone 'ruining' a system like that is to put a controller in your hand. Perhaps if someone let you play a few minutes of Half Life 2 with the super gravity gun before you started the game from scratch. The surprise burst of empowerment would be diluted as you plodded your way through standard shooter gameplay waiting for the moment when you could once again interact with the world in the way you previously experienced. The Braid puzzle solution spoilers reply is also interesting, since a lot of the mechanical legwork is done in your brain. The solution would strip you of that process as well as the satisfaction of owning the moment when you overcame the challenge.
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2009 on The spoiler ball and chain at Brainy Gamer
1 reply