OPINION : YOU are what makes your work great
All the best books, and best movies, find their basis and inspiration in reality. More specifically, the world as experienced by the writer or director.
There’s plenty of examples I can draw from, but I’ll pick one of my favorite directors, Guillermo Del Toro. In a recent interview, he said of his fascination with monsters, that rather than be afraid, he was encouraged to make a ‘deal’ with them as a child that they wouldn’t hurt each other.
From then, that seemingly insignificant seed planted early on has shaped his work. In all his films, the most monstrous and grotesque characters are the good guys. The faun in ‘Pans Labytinth’, The ghosts in ‘Devils Backbone’… Hellboy.
There are examples in games too. Miyamoto grew up in rural Japan, surrounded by nature, caves and vast mystery…When a directors personality is allowed to bleed into a project, that’s when we see the best and most interesting new experiences.
Unfortunately, the best selling videogames still seem to draw their inspiration from movies and television. If making a gangster game, for example, most designers simply watch The Godfather and Goodfellas. In reality, both those films (and books) were inspired by personal experiences of the writers and directors.
Like great art, the story behind the work can be just as interesting and engaging as the work itself. Much of Peter Molyneux’s work is based on the conflict between good and evil. I wonder what story from his past shaped that trend?
Everyone has an opinion about what makes for good game design. What tricks, best practices and techniques you can employ to get the job done. I think the secret to good game design is the same as what makes a great book or a memorable film… it’s you, and your story.
Fuck the rules, splurge yourself all over your work!