RND/ To imagine a game called #Blocktober, in which largely untextured, ‘blocked out’ in progress levels are presented as ready to play:
3840 x 2160, 256 col .png, images via Twitter
– In which you still see the exact same kinds of developmental (architectural) paradigms at work, and although in modern terms and methods are highly efficient and heavily engine optimized, they still rest on largely un-examined first principles, common shared language (gaming grammars and assumptions) – regarding space, gravity, proportion, usage. Places based on such (often dull, ‘real world’ based) assumptions are still often merely backdrops to the action rather than central characters in themselves, and still very much static rather than dynamic. They just stand there like blocks of dumb concrete (despite being made of pixels and light.)
For the AAA games industry, #Blocktober represents “a beautiful insight into how game worlds are built” (Rock Paper Shotgun) but, rather than some apparently clarifying ‘behind the curtains’ look at how the game sausage is made, is in fact its entirely hidden ideological foundation.
Indeed, why else would so many people spend quite so long tinkering endlessly (and largely uselessly) with getting two adjoining virtual walls to line up ‘just so’? Who should care about that? Is there anything more cosmically boring and overly long winded than level design as it exists now? Just check out the Two Time making his own level. Why isn’t the level being actively designed via instant, dynamic hands-on play, instead of this endlessly anal ‘screwdriver mode’ (as Brian Eno calls it)?
// how to play big science