Video games are all about exploration – about living in someone else's world for a while, learning the rules, learning the territory, and maybe taking something home with you. Ubisoft's Clint Hocking has his ideas about what that means for the medium and anyone who might set out to explore it.
Although the virtual space of a game world is perhaps most obvious, the most fundamental aspect of a game is its underlying systems – the physical laws and properties that govern that space. Exploring those systems is in a sense the scientific method in fast forward, a series of experiments in cause and effect that forms the substance of game play.
The more immediate and tangible the results to the player's experiments, the more readily the player feels progress, so the more rewarding the system feels. "It's supposed to be beautiful," Hocking said. "If you get this part wrong, the rest doesn't even matter."