Studio 1 was all about learning new skills and learning from making mistakes. Along with mechanically focused game design. Studio 2 is about thinking of other aspects of video games like: Feel, Visuals, Audio, Story, Emotions, etc, and how they interact with mechanics to say interesting and meaningful things. The things we create in studio 2 aren’t going to be mechanically focused, but more emotionally focused, more about meaningful design. Trying to give the player an exact experience or feeling, other than “Whacking s**t is cool”.
My understanding of meaningful design is that everything we design must have intent. If it’s in the game, it has to mean something, or add something to already existing content in the game, otherwise, why is it there?
Much like this black square. It serves no purpose and doesn’t add anything extra to this blog. Unless somehow you can draw more meaning from it than I can.
Rami Ismail wrote a very striking blog on a different approach to traditionally taught MDA (which we’ve been taught since day 1) to IMD – Intent, Mechanics, Declaration. The first sentence of his blog goes a little like this:
All previous games that I’ve made or collaborated on really only had the intent of mechanics and game play for “Yeah this is a game and I can do stuff”. Considering Studio 2 is about how to say something with a deeper meaning this is exactly something that I want to learn. Meaningful game play isn’t just about how systems interact but the decisions that players have to make which creates a dynamic game play loop. Right now I’m familiar with how to create mechanics but not so much on the meaningful game play. I’m hoping throughout studio 2 will allow me to focus solely on creating an experience or emotion, along with being able to experiment with tools and gain new skills that allow me to do so competently. Through learning how to create emotional and expressive design it will enable me to create more thematically consistent experiences.
Until next time –