[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

Brandon J. Van Every vanevery at 3DProgrammer.com
Wed Apr 24 14:59:32 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


David Kennerly:

> "A game is a series of interesting moves" (Sid Meier, several
> interviews).

> I value my opinions on theories of movies little.

I think even though movies are linear, they have an important
concept to contribute to game designers: pace.  Screenwriters know
that their art is one of omission, and game designers don't know
this about their own work.  They tend towards everything and the
kitchen sink, despite how much this makes pace suck.  Sid Meier, for
having said what he said above, doesn't understand pace.  This is
abundantly clear in Civ II and Civ III.  Although in fairness, I
like Civ III up until the 19th century.  Then the pace really starts
to suck, it's a real bog down.  My own work is focused on solving
the pacing problems that Sid Meier has let slide in his Civ games,
and that Brian Reynolds failed to fix in "Sid Meier's Alpha
Centauri."  These Turn Based Strategy games shouldn't take 24 hours
to play, there's only 5 hours of worthwhile content in them.  If a
game is a series of interesting moves, then Civ II and III are a
series of some interesting and many boring moves.

> In any case, a game designer doesn't have to identify any other
> medium's, such as a movie's, theories to design a good game.

I disagree.  We need to learn about pace from the film guys.
Similarly there are other aspects of visual art, music, acting,
etc. that we should pick up from other arts.  There's nothing wrong
with understanding more in order to write good games.  The mistake
is when you forget you're writing a game.  Games do have some unique
properties.

> For example, What game is analogous to Schindler's List?  I don't
> know,

The reason you don't know is it hasn't been written.  That's an
opportunity, not a problem.


Cheers,                         www.3DProgrammer.com
Brandon Van Every               Seattle, WA

20% of the world is real.
80% is gobbledygook we make up inside our own heads.

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