Episode 49: Love and Its Opposite

A heart of whizzing sparklersIn game design as in life, it’s tough to reach an ideal outcome without taking risks. Thus, if the goal is to create games that will surprise, inspire, and entertain in new ways, accepting the risk of equal dislike by some proportion of players is an important prerequisite. This detachment may sound simple in the abstract, but in the context of real projects even steely creators can sometimes find it hard to stick with potentially polarizing design choices. How can we get better at this important skill? On Episode 49 of Vertical Slice, we’re looking for ways to strengthen our games by consciously abandoning the desire to please everyone, and hewing instead to the opinionated design choices that express our true creative intent.

Show Notes

  • Apropos of last episode’s discussion of mobile gaming as the new core frontier, Valve recently announced Steam Link: an app that will enable players to stream their PC games to their phone. The app is an interesting first foray into a domain that could be very appealing for certain kinds of titles, and we’re interested to see how it’s received.
  • We’ve linked to Tim Keenan’s GDC 2017 talk on Duskers before, but it’s well-worth a second callout in the context of opinionated design. Duskers critically lauded gameplay, atmosphere, and aesthetics are a testament to the power of making hard creative choices and sticking to the unique viewpoint of your project.

Image credit: michal adamczyk