Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

21 July, 2012

Delving into Grimrock
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:40 PM

Hooray Steam sales! It gives me a convenient excuse to buy a game I’ve had my eye on for a while: Legend of Grimrock. My Storybricks co-conspirator Stéphane Bura had gotten the game near when it launched, and I made up my mind to take a look at the game when I got a chance. The Steam sale was that chance.

I’m a big fan of older RPGs, especially the ones based on grid movement. So, this last weekend I played through the entire game. Twice. So, yeah, I enjoyed it.

Let’s take a look at some of the interesting design lessons we can take from this?
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8 July, 2012

You can copy the steps and still not copy the success
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:59 AM

There’s a tendency for people to want to boil things down to the very essence. We don’t want to deeply analyze an issue and figure out all the complexity, we want to find the one magic element that we can use to understand and/or fix the issue. When facing a problem, we want a magic bullet or miracle pill that solves the problem. When analyzing success, we tend to want to believe that it was something simple that we can copy to duplicate that success.

As any experienced game designer knows, humans are terrific at matching patterns. Unfortunately, that also means that humans are terrific at creating false matches for patterns as well. Often the patterns we find, especially when analyzing something as complex as success in game development and business, tend to not be as simple as we first think. Trying to analyze success often results in more confusion than enlightenment.
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