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“We need to kill gameplay” says Ex-People Can Fly dev

Anthony Shelton November 8, 2012 - 5:01 pm

News: The Astronauts developer Adrian Chmielarz, former dev of People Can Fly, explains why developers should “kill gameplay” in order to create a more memorable experience in videogames.

When a new developer forms, it’s not the expectation that one of the revelatory design ideas is to kill gameplay, but that’s exactly what Adrian Chmielarz, former developer at People Can Fly, is thinking in his blog post.

“If we understand gameplay as something that a challenge is a crucial part of, then none of these moments features any gameplay. You just walk, or swim, or ride a horse, but that’s it. You cannot die. You don’t make choices that have any long term consequences. No skill is involved. There is no gameplay.”

His conclusion notes that if players are to experience a game that wants to be a “deeply emotional” experience, gameplay must be cut, citing The Walking Dead as his example.

“Does it mean that if you want a deeply emotional game, you should drop regular gameplay, with all its core combat loopsgameplay mechanics and other voodoo? Yes. Any proof for that hypothesis? The Walking Dead, for example.”

This is probably a subtle clue of what kind of game experience The Astronauts are looking to give us. This would certainly fall in line with their goal of creating unforgettable worlds, and most certainly their statement mentioning that their game is “hard to compare to anything else out there.” Clearly, the experience is what The Astronauts are going for, but then the question comes to mind: What is a game without gameplay?

BeefJack will keep you up to date with all things The Astronauts.

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Comments (3)

  1. Avatar of ElvisShotJFK

    Either they’re going to be able to deliver all that Peter Molyneux hasn’t (and the game will make one John Romero’s bitch as well, just for extra flavor), or their first game is going to be utter shit.

    Or maybe it won’t even be a game.

    Being vague is okay, but we need something more than buzzwords to describe what your game doesn’t have, else I’m going to move onto something I already know I want to play.

    • Avatar of Tauren Nichols

      It’s an Interesting concept, it sounds a lot like dear Esther in terms of an interactive non-linear narrative. weather they are games or not i don’t know they don’t feel like games, but perhaps i’m just old fashioned

  2. Avatar of andynpc

    Ok, I get it. Stories don’t revolve around arbitrary rules. But here’s the problem; they aren’t filming a movie or writing a book. While storytelling is an enjoyable and possibly necessary part of a great game, it isn’t what keeps us playing games.

    I can tell you that the reasons people bought the games he gave as examples weren’t the moments he listed. You buy Call of Duty because you want to play a console shooter online, and you buy GTA because you want to crash cars into each other and shoot cops. Those cinematic moments like the desert scene in Uncharted was just the icing on the cake.

    Perhaps we need to distinguish video games from interactive stories. The Walking Dead was great, but that doesn’t mean it’s formula can be imported into other games.

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