Sunday, March 14, 2010


I was walking back from baby sitting tonight and I realised that late at night was actually one of my favourite times to be walking. Everything is so quite and still. I think the reason it is such a nice enviroment is because it is such a juxtaposition to the norm of everything moving and making a noise. It gives me a chance to reflect on the day, I don't have any music, there is no one else about, no rush and my mind is already winding down.

It got me thinking about how rare stillness is as a game enviroment. As we strive after ever more realistic graphics with more interactive elements, nothing is ever still. The idea of intentionally leaving an area empty of people, animations and sound is almost unheard of. Even the peaceful evenings on Assasins's Creed 2 still have people milling about.

One thing I have been thinking about is the idea of pacing in games. For a lot of games, the designers expect players to manage their own down time. Playing though Call of Duty for example, if you want a breather, you have to stop the game; the story doesn't have any slow paced sections. I think the idea of of stillness is tied to this: designers are unwillinging to provide a sensorly underwhelming experience in the same way they are unwilling to intentionally let of the action.

I hope anyone who went to GDC had a nice time, some very interesting talks and I can't wait for Fable 3.

1 comment:

Sergey Mohov said...

Stillness is quite frequent in RPGs and MMOs: long walks/flights, reading quests, dialogs, which can be read with one eye and managed with one hand. Then again, waiting in queues for your turn to kick ass on the Alterac Valley :-)