A game? Yes. "Can you explain it?" I asked.
"No, I can't," he said. "You have to ...
"If you go into any bookstore ... you can learn how to get the ultimate self-confidence, unstoppable confidence, instant confidence; and if you're a dummy, there's a book for you: Confidence for Dummies."
"To begin your world, simply think of a blank canvas, ready for you to paint your picture upon. I find it useful to first think of one location which interests me. What does the terrain look like? Is it a mountain, riverbank, beach, valley, forest, desert or open plains? What type of people live there? In the mountain perhaps they are a mining town filled with many burly men. Or perhaps in a forest paradise with beautiful, slender people. Now we think of the culture and building style. What type of houses do they have? Wooden? Stone? Are they made with fine craftsmanship or do they look like they have been thrown together by novices?"
"The first step to writing a setting is to brainstorm and make lists of various aspects of a setting. Take about fifteen minutes and make a list similar to the following (time, place, environment):
- late at night ... in a haunted house ... dark, damp, creepy and old.
- in the future ... at Cape Canaveral ... heading for Mars.
- in 1620, the Colonies ... stepping off the Mayflower ... cold, forested, rocky beach.
- present day ... waking up high in a tree ... flat plains covered with snow.
- evening ... deserted street in New York ... foggy, rainy and cool.
- early morning ... at home, in your bed ... the house is empty.
"After brainstorming your list, choose the ideas you want to develop and write four settings (each one must be set in a different place and time). After you have written your first four drafts, choose the one that is your favorite, then edit and revise the draft completely. If time remains, have a friend edit the draft and have him or her make suggestions."
"Defining features of open-ended storytelling include expansive worlds that the player is free to explore for most of the game and an extremely large number of optional quests and activities he or she can take part in. Because of how much time and attention are spent developing the setting and optional content, the main plot is often deemphasized, with most open-ended stories having relatively short and simple main plots featuring generic player-created heroes. Some games, such as Grand Theft Auto IV, go against this trend, offering deeper plots and well-defined heroes, though doing so sacrifices a considerable amount of the player control and freedom found in other less plot-focused games like Fable II and The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. Which of these approaches is best is a matter that's frequently debated . . . but as a general rule, the more freedom that is given to the player, the less emphasis can be placed on creating a deep, structured, and emotional main plot, and vice versa."
"The movement of playing has no goal that brings it to an end; rather, it renews itsetl in constant repetition. The movement backward and forward is obviously so central to the definition of play, that it makes no difference who or what performs this movement.
"Play clearly represents an order in which the to-and-fro motion of play follows of itself. It is part of play that the movement is not only without goal or purpose, but also without effort. It happens, as it were, by itself.
"... all playing is a being-played. The attraction of a game, the fascination it exerts, consists precisely in the fact that the game masters the players ... The real subject of the game ... is not the player, but instead the game itself. What holds the player in its spell, draws him into play, and keeps him there is the game itself ... [as such] play is really limited to presenting itself."
"Jonathan Blow, the game's designer, gave a talk titled Truth in Game Design at GDC Europe in 2011, where he discusses his design process and he makes the claim in that talk that much of Braid's design wasn't something he believed he invented, but rather was something he discovered.
" '... it was very clearly the case that more ideas came out of the design process, and ended up in the final game, than I put into it as a designer. The process of designing the gameplay for this game was more like discovering things that already exist than it was like creating something new and arbitrary. And another way to say that is that there is an extent to which this game designed itself.'
"What we can take from this is that in a Gadamerian sense, the designer that works like this is actually creating the game by playing with its rules in his mind. Blow approached the game less with rabid inventiveness and more with the mind of a tinkerer. He played with a set of premises and selected ideas from that set of premises that manifested in its possibility space."