I’m the kind of person that takes forever to design a character in every RPG I play. For me video games are worth serious thought, from their design, and even taking the time to choose a perfect name.
Invisible walls are everywhere in games. They serve a clear, necessary purpose of defining the boundaries of the game. And even though most gamers are used to them by now, it’s still frustrating every time you run into one, reminding you that it’s there. When placed lazily the invisible wall is a design crutch; a limit imposed on the designer and players, and excuse not to think of an alternative. If we’re really pushing to make the best games we can, the player should never have to hit that wall.
We’re at a strange point in the evolution of video games right now where there are well established mechanics like this that work, but also the potential to do so much more that’s never been tried. So I think it’s a perfect time to really seriously discuss game design more than ever before. That’s what I’m here to do. There are plenty of publications out there that will tell you if a game is fun or not, and so few really looking at why it’s fun.
To cut off a common argument, yes, fun is subjective just like enjoyment of a painting or song. But good design – for the most part – is not. So while approaching that objectively my goal is to get people talking and thinking more about how games are designed. What amazing things are waiting beyond those invisible walls, and what can we do to get past them?