Monday, March 14, 2005

GDC 2005: Peter Molyneux's Personal Demo

I also got to attend GDC, although only about 1/3 as much as ClubberJack. I'm going to start putting my notes up throughout the week. So here is the first one:

Gameplay in the 21st Century
Peter Molyneux

Molyneux’s talk was very reminiscent of every all his previous talks. He spent his first 10 minutes talking about what he had done to that point, then his next 10 minutes apologizing for how his last game did not meet up to the colossal hype he built up, then the rest of the speech creating even more colossal hype for his next game. I’ve seen three speeches by him, all three have followed this exact same pattern.

In between all the hype he did mention his theory for what next-gen games need to be. They are not all that different from other ideas I’ve heard, but here there are: 1. Clear concepts, 2. Morphable gameplay, 3. Simpler but deeper, 4. Play not learning. Of these I thought the ideas of simplicity are noble, but may not be easily done given commercial pressures. I disagree with his last point, if you interpret this as meaning players don’t want to learn, they just want to play. I prefer the other view that play is in fact the same as learning. The reason we don’t like the term “learning”, is that we associate it with forced learning, like school, not voluntary learning like hobbies. Thus, if the player perceives that they have to learn something, then the something is not fun in itself. Thus, I think is emphasis on getting rid of learning is misguided.