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Archive for the ‘Freedom’ Category

Final Fantasy IV
One game, many playstyles. I want to give players the power to express themselves in pursuit of their goals, to do what they want, when they want, and to empower them to create beautiful and original experiences in the process.

I’m a nut for beauty in myriad forms. My entire life is devoted to creating it, whether it’s beautiful music, beautiful emotions, beautiful pictures, even a beautiful life. It’s not just visuals, but the aesthetics of absolutely everything.

Most games are showcases of the efforts of people making beautiful things. Designers teach each other about how to make rewarding feedback loops and plan difficulty curves, level layouts, cutscenes. They make games that give you tasks and challenge you to learn skills that will let you accomplish them, or provide puzzles and challenge you to tease out a solution. These games create beautiful experiences, and give you chance to immerse yourself in them. They take your ticket, hold your hand, and take you on a guided tour of the museum of amazing gameplay.

It would be easy for me to get carried away by the current, and design games like that. I tell myself (tut tut, I say) that not everyone loves making things as much as I do, and games that lead people along by the nose are the most mass-market games, the way games have to be. Secretly, when I find the need to tell myself these things, I know it’s because I’m suppressing my passion with false pragmatism. Then someone makes The Sims, Dwarf Fortress, Minecraft, Little Big Planet. BAM. It’s not about difficulty curves anymore. It’s not about cutscenes. It’s not about story, or building a flow channel. It’s about you, the player, doing whatever you want to do, when you want to do it. The world salivates over freedom, and I keep living as a dreamer in denial.

Everyone loves making, customizing, living on their own terms. We play with legos, dolls, action figures. We draw cartoons, write rap lyrics, photograph architecture. We raise children, record videos, tell jokes, plant gardens, dance, sing, pick out clothing, cook food, cheer others up, laugh at jokes, fall in love, build sand castles, play Will Wright games, and in endless other ways, love to make wonderful things, wonderful moments, wonderful relationships, wonderful life. Even when we watch television, we’re appreciating the output of thousands of other creative people, and then we get up and do something amazing of our own.

I’ve devoted my life to creating beauty, and I don’t want to stop with what I can create with my own pen. I don’t just want to make levels, I want to make algorithms that can generate thousands of beautiful levels in the space of a single breath. I don’t just want to create games, I want to create games that empower you to do beautiful things and create beautiful experiences for yourself. I want to empower you to do things I never imagined and have a wonderful time doing it. I don’t want to show off what I did. I want to let you play.

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