A great article by Colin Campbell at IGN exploring the gaming community’s need and desire for shorter yet emotionally fulfilling games such as Journey, Limbo, and Dear Esther.
“… the two-hour narrative game has arrived as something with a definite beginning, middle, and end. It’s a story that is designed to be played through entirely in one sitting. It does not demand the kind of time-investment of a game like Mass Effect 3, nor does it attempt to persuade you to join a sub-culture of online enthusiasts like Call of Duty. Nor is it crafted to ensnare you with addictive tricks, like Angry Birds. It is downloadable and priced at the cost of a movie ticket and a bag of popcorn.” - Colin Campbell, IGN
“… we’ve got this slightly weird situation where it’s all or nothing, right? It either has to be something that basically takes you the amount of time it takes you to have a bowel movement or it’s got to last you for six months. There’s nothing in the middle and that just seems weird and crazy.” - Dan Pinchbeck, Dear Esther
The article also explores developer’s desires to work on smaller games due to the developer’s ability to experience creativity more freely rather than be pressured by massive, corporate controlled budgets and large, separated development teams.
“If you make something artistic you need to reach a very strong coherence in the development team so the game has a singular voice. A very clear vision, so that the audience who experience the game can clearly get that voice or get the vision. If you have hundreds of people working on something there’s no way of working on the game towards the same direction. When you have three hundred people working on something the game just felt like a huge crowd of people singing but they’re not well orchestrated. It sounds loud, it sounds impressive, but you don’t know what they are singing. You don’t know what the game is about.” - Jenova Chen, Journey
A worthwhile read that I can get behind!
Recently, I have found that I have very little time to invest in gaming. When I do find that time, I do not want to attempt jump into a massive story, knowing I’ll likely forget what was going on in the story, forget how the mechanics work the next time I play it, or never finish the game, nor do I want waste my time on grinding in an MMO or flinging birds into bricks.