Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jonathan Blows

So, I've just come across these two interviews with Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid.

This guy seems to be the master of saying a lot without really saying anything at all. After reading this giant wall of text, I can sum up his position with "people focus too much on making games fun, without giving them meaning".

So what? Games are supposed to be fun. I know it's in vogue right now, but I really don't give a foozle's right nut whether or not the latest blockbuster from my favourite AAA developer has ethical quandaries, or veiled political commentary, or completely invents some obscure new type of gameplay. All I care about is that I enjoy my time playing it.

I haven't played Braid. I don't have a 360. When Braid is released on PC, I will at least try the demo. And I will probably like it, and buy the full version. In a similar way to the way I liked World of Goo, an indie game of comparable fame/fortune/critical acclaim. It gave me several hours of fun, and I felt like I got my money's worth. Did it change my life? No. Was it in the top 10 most enjoyable games I've ever played? No. Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely.

In summary: just because your game has meaning doesn't mean that I'm going to enjoy it, which is the primary purpose to playing a game. Just because you're an indie developer who's released one good game doesn't mean you're an expert on game design.

P.S. I don't harbor feelings of hostility towards this fellow like the title implies, it was just too good to pass up :p


Danshir said...

I'll be quick with this, because I have an opinion about the game Braid and it's "hype".

The game is crap.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I looked at the Braid site and it looks pretty interesting. I definitely like the style. I'll probably be passing this one up though, as I've never been a big side-scrolling fan.

I think the only side-scroller I ever managed to get into was the Mario 3. Maybe this one will be good - but I'm not putting more than $10 into finding out.

Melf_Himself said...

Ahh, Mario 3. Believe it or not, I played that as recently as yesterday. After several beers. It was really hard :)

Rich said...

i'll be the flipside to danshir, then, and say braid blew my fucking mind.

I played the demo, and at first was pretty unimpressed... the first level is VERY basic. you have an undo button, and that's all really, then all of the sudden you wind up in a level where shit blows your fucking mind, and everything clicks. then the next level is totally different, and your mind is freshly reblown, in a totally different way.

a lot of the interviews with the guy sounded pretty pretentious, and I was totally ready to be unimpressed.

I was wrong.

I actually left my house and went to the movie rental place to buy an xbox gamecard live points thing to come home and unlock the full version, and that took me a good half an hour to realize even with my japanese xbox, my liove account said 'USA' so i had ot make a new account in japanese to redeem the card and unlock the full game.

worth it. for sure.

p.s. my CAPTCHA = "waysperm"