Breaking from good game design to make a better game- a discussion

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by FAST6191, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Granted the argument could be made that you first have to achieve good game design to before you can think about breaking the rules but I will go there anyway.

    General idea.
    Most creative endeavours have a group of rules that build up on how to pull off something in them, most of us have probably been made to study such things at some point and will have been taught things there (recall terms like three act structure), and breaking from form here usually results in a bad work, hopefully we can leave the what is a bad work and what is an overlooked classic for another thread though it is a situation that exists and has troubled many.
    However there are many cases where breaking from the norm gets you something good:
    Generally narratives are linear- you cut up your film and play it "out of order" or backwards and you might get yourself called a visionary or at least make a film people remember. Depending upon how you want to view it a failure to align your camera properly is not a failure but a "Dutch angle" and is often considered a valid technique.
    You experiment with an interval previously considered dissonant- you create heavy metal.
    Basically every "movement" in paintings that was not a result of new maths and quite a few of those as well. Similarly many painters, or indeed artists of every stripe, have been off their rocker or otherwise disadvantaged and all the more noted because of it.
    Basically every progression it literature, probably more notable in books that pointedly do no end "happily ever after".

    There is room to talk about technical limitations leading to good games, Silent Hill's fog is probably the most notable here, but I will downplay it in my discussions as it risks going off on a tangent. Sticking with horror games though the "tank controls" and generally less than stellar controls of various games also attempting to be horror games would be an example of bad controls possibly making for a better game.

    This is where I probably have to come back to the "what is good game design" type questions. For me the obvious route would be to look into things like game theory, mechanism design, the classical rules I opened discussing, related to that things like Hero with a thousand faces and things it brings up like the hero's journey. However where I could expect to find discussion of those terms in every half decent film, game, TV and book review out there I see it all the time in the developer conference lecture circuit and so very rarely in reviews and such like and as such I can reasonably safely say they have not quite go there yet. This is what would possibly bring me back around to my opening line but I will assume it has been done.
    That said I do often see things along the lines of it is not aiming to be [similar game made with astronomical budget], in recent times this would probably be something like spec ops the line is not aiming to be COD.... To that end something is probably there. Equally all manner of you seem to like "indie" games and looking at the classical creative endeavours above that is where this sort of thing usually crops up.
  2. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    Hmm...interesting thread opening. I can't comment much on it, as I'm not a game designer. But if it's like other fields, I'd say that the rules of what makes a good game are made up based on what games are considered good. As such, game makers need to foremost keep in mind what they want to achieve. Those rules are more guidelines. It's better to study a similar game you're looking to make. For that horror game: it pretty much NEEDS bad controls (as well as a decent blind spot), because 'classical' controls (where the player is far more able to do things than in real life) take away from the feeling of helplessness.

    I'll give this thread more thought throughout the day, but I'm not sure if I can help out with possible ideas to break tried-and-true rules of games in a way that a game could benefit from it.