Thursday, 22 November 2007

Hi Slashdot

(Just wanted to re-post a comment I left on the Slashdot article. As for the occurrence of the 'zonksucks' tag on the article - the story submission was submitted via the firehose and went 'hot' along with a story about a man-sized scorpion. Zonk had little involvement.)

I'm arguing for the existence of levels, not against. I apologise for not making it clear enough in the summary - I guess I expected more people to read the fine article. However, I'm setting out the reasons why the existence of levels in order to load additional parts of the game is no longer a requirement, and perhaps theming, pacing, narrative, learning curve and reward are much better reasons for the level structure (I missed out reward, and I'm kicking myself for not thinking of when I first wrote the article - ironically, there's a great review of Supreme Commander on Eurogamer at the moment arguing one of the frustrating issues in that gave is the reward for 'finishing a level' in that game is to expand the play area and make it harder).

A book has chapters and a movie has scenes because these are both (mostly) narrative mediums. A counter example of books without chapters which venture closer to the game space is the Fighting Fantasy series, where the chapter mechanism is thrown away in favour of the 'choose your own' mechanic. Similarly, cross-cutting two scenes in film is a way of mixing up the narrative structure. I would be interested to know if there are any Memento-like games out there.

A game has levels for - well, narrative is certainly a reason, but not the only one.


Gx2 said...

'Momento'? I guess you're referring to 'Memento' (the movie with the chronological and reverse chronological threads that weave together in the end).

Andrew Doull said...

Thanks. Fixed.