"In many ways I feel like I have reached the outer limits of what is possible, you could say I have reached the speed of light or found the end of Moore's law. At this point development will only yield diminishing returns. This doesn't bode well for the future of games, if interaction really is holy grail. The only solution, is a paradigm shift that can reduce complexity. The question is what that paradigm is."
This post of Eskil's says a lot, and relates even a bit to Second Life, I think. Particularly (although the interdependency isn't the same sort as it isn't a game): "The final problem is that the systems handling all this become so big, so complicated and so interdependent, that they become incredibly fragile. This means that I spend almost all my time looking for bugs, and for every change I make it feels like ten other things break."
I haven't played LOVE for a long time mostly because I have one hand and at one point Eskil upped the AI ferocity and I was killed as soon as I logged in, over and over. Not long after that he lowered it again, but I was tired of not being able to function and wandered away, although I followed LOVE news in various places. It's a great game. It felt like it was becoming too complex, to me, but I recognised that the complexity would be eaten up by a lot of gamers. I'm not at all typical and would never think or insist things should be my way (not that that would get me far - someone on a forum said a non-aggressive mode where users could build and explore would be great, and Eskil bluntly quashed the idea). Rather than saying "too complex" I should say "complex enough." I wonder if consequences/relationships are mapped out precisely, as in real life there's slop in the quotient, a randomness that makes things unpredictable.
As far as there being diversity in the game-creators intentions, so that some studios such as Tale of Tales build artworks in the game format, I think that's right and proper. Not every game needs to be, as Eskil says, "a story that unfolds in response to actions" with a viewpoint from the user side and a high degree of interactivity. Some pieces are more like a visit into the game creator's mind, like a short holiday :-D However, it's clear from what he says why there isn't greater interactivity, and why players have been trained to expect less and even want less: greater interactivity means complexity greater than the current state of game development or perhaps just the state of human communication and organisation can cope with. If it's juggling, we can juggle six balls comfortably, but a truly interactive game is 26 balls and 4 chainsaws. Not only is that work to create but it's work to negotiate as a player.*
* However in my mind I can hear Eskil say something like The greater the true interdependency and the more fluidly the game works it should make the player operate more naturally, not require manipulation and memorised artificial gameploys.
posted by - 10:25 PM
Aside from dying too often, I liked going into LOVE. I was awestruck by the quality of the graphics, the colors were amazing, and the shapes were evocative without being realistic. FAB place. I don't go there any more because it seemed futile, fighting but always outnumbered, building, only to have things smashed up over and over again.