This week, I’m talking about FPS (First Person Shooter) games, something I’ve spent a good chunk of my life playing. I think we really misunderstand these things, as the correct distinction is probably just “shooter” – and probably it’s time that we moved on from them.
Today we have another episode with Frank Lantz, game designer, writer, and Director of the NYU Game Center. Today’s show involved two major topics: execution, and my seemingly crazy idea about how single-player should probably be the “default” number of players for a strategy game (something I’m going to be writing an article about soon). Also, Frank gives some of his own game design faux-pas thoughts near the end of the episode.
There were some technical issues during the recording, so please forgive the somewhat strange format for this episode. Hopefully it’s clear enough what we were both trying to say.
What does it mean when something is a “classic”? I think there’s actually a huge problem here that needs to be explored. New work is created using new cultural and scientific understandings, and it’s universally better in almost every case. We need to understand and appreciate this fact, and stop glorifying things just because they’re old.
In this episode, you’ll also hear me talk about classic games like Go and Chess, as well as talk about a better distinction between art and entertainment. Enjoy, and let me know what you think below.
In the second half, I talk about a new, more specific definition for “elegance” as applied to game design. Relevant is this episode of 3 Minute Game Design, where I talk about the “old definition”. Let me know what you think of my new thoughts on the topic.
Let’s start from scratch. You’re a game designer. How can my work help you?
If you’re the kind of designer who wants to tell a good story, create a lush immersive atmosphere, express a social value, or just embrace the latest in graphics technology… this article – and most of my game design-specific work – isn’t for you.
But there’s a ton of designers out there who want to make a little “fun machine” – an interactive system where the player is doing stuff, gaining mastery, and being otherwise entertained for reasons other than atmosphere, story, social values or those sorts of things. Continue reading →
People may not know, that we had a discussion about three years ago, and back then, I think we both thought that we could just dive right into the conversation. What we’ve both learned since then is that if you don’t have a solid understanding of each others’ language, the conversation will go nowhere – which is precisely what tends to happen in most conversations that take place outside your “inner circle”.
Either way, we’re both formalist thinkers who are primarily interested in competitive/strategy game design, so I thought it’d be interesting to have a discussion about why it’s so hard to have a discussion. I think it went well! Here’s a few links: