The Astronauts developer Adrian Chmielarz, former dev of People Can Fly, explains why developers should “kill gameplay” in order to create a more memorable experience in videogames.
What the hell? Kill gameplay? I don't get it?
Sometimes the journey is every bit as memorable as the combat or action scenes. In an open world game, it can be enjoyable to just travel the world and interact with the environment and explore. I don't want to just play on rails. There's no replay value in that to me.
So long as they aren't those horrible "Dear Ester" type games. There's "emotion" and then there's indie games created by artists that refuse to learn to program a game beyond walking, but need to show off their 3D modelling somehow. Regardless, Adrian didn't make the best points or at least didn't make it well. In fact, gameplay easily can be used to add to story and emotion. I wouldn't expect someone who was a part of at least one of the following.... ....Bulletstorm, Gears of War, or Painkiller.... ....to really understand good story telling, anyway.
A great example is Uncharted. Damn, Uncharted 2 was a sucess because of that train and building falling sequence, it's still memorable even today. All you need is to join gameplay and story in a perfect way that it doesn't feel like your playing a game but it doesnt feel like an interactive film either. That's why Unchared 2 was such a success, it was just perfectly paced.
So is he saying environments should be interactive beyond just the gameplay itself? You mean like in GTA when you go and play darts or Jak 2 when you go hover boarding? If he is simply saying gaming should have a lot more interaction with the environment beyond the main gameplay I am all for it. I loved exploring the city in Jak 2 with the hoverboard between missions but if that is what he meant why say it like that. 'Kill gameplay' sounds like he wants the game to have no gameplay at all.
What?! Even after reading his reasoning, I still have no idea what he's talking about. He singles out swimming and riding a horse as not being gameplay. If it's on rails or a cutscene fair enough. In an open world game however, riding a horse or swimming are merely facets of the overall gameplay. They aren't the entire game and they don't have to be. If anything they're designed to add more elements to gameplay overall. By his reasoning driving cars in GTA isn't gameplay. It seems Adrian Chmielarz still thinks we're in the early nineties and gameplay hasn't evolved since then. He is out of touch and is fitting the trend of indie developers saying idiotic things.
It makes sense if you can detach yourself from the emotional reaction it might give you. I for one think gameplay always trumps story, but thats exactly why I don't usually look for story in my games. What he is saying is that if you truly want to deliver a good story, you have to blend all elements together to perfectly serve the narrative instead of "play some gameplay, hear some story, watch some story". David Cage, even though I don't like his games, earns my respect because he completely understands this point, and has decided to double down on it years ago. Thats what makes Heavy Rain so special and so impactful, the fact that there are no parts where you just kill people for fun, or drive around and crash into things.
I have to agree with you on that. The point wasn't that in order for a game to have a good story, you have to eliminate gameplay. Instead if you want a primarily story driving experience gameplay does get in the way of the narrative. The article itself was far too short for this sort of topic. The title is even worst as it provokes an emotional reaction that you don't want when presenting this kind of viewpoint. Not sure who to blame, the dev or the journalist, but the entire point was lost with the use of "kill gameplay". I personally see this as a good idea for creating story heavy, adventure games, but not for other genres.
Somebody never heard of story-telling through mechanics. I can KINDA see what he's saying, but it sounds almost like he's saying that point-and-click adventures are the best way to tell a story. No. That just means you haven't figured out how to properly intertwine story and gameplay.
Half Life 2 does the exact oposite of what he's talking about, and its great. I see both things, you just have to focus. For example, VANQUISH is a game that totally lives from its gameplay and its so damn great. Other games like Heavy Rain are going in a absolute different direction and its also great. Half life combines the two, Portal also does this great. Uncharted is an whole other story, there you get gameplay mechanics that are sometimes just made for one moment, I think that is what he's talking about, those are the moments you will remember forever. Those are examples I can think of right now
WTF? No. Go watch a movie.
Yeah, since I can totally interact with that movie...
And you'll totally be able to interact with "dead gameplay". Go watch a movie.
So Journey is dead gameplay? My bad, I should have remembered most people want to shut off their brains and just use their thumbs...
You need to get your job back and make Bulletstorm 2, is what you need to do.
so take away the game part? crack head devs these days. Wonder if he still thinks People Can Fly..
I see his point and agree. If Journey was bogged down with "Gameplay" it would have lost its touch.
Yeah, it could work for those types of games but I've also had many 'memorable experiences' in video games doing all that the other 'gameplay' stuff that he was talking about. As I said in an earlier post: "Sometimes the journey is every bit as memorable as the combat or action scenes. In an open world game, it can be enjoyable to just travel the world and interact with the environment and explore." But that's why we have games of many different types in order to add variety to our favorite pastime. There's something for everyone.
Journey still HAS gameplay, though. It just so happens that it's not complicated. Journey's simple gameplay meshes well with the overall experience, because it doesn't get in the way. But that can't be EVERY game, and a game with NO gameplay isn't a GAME.
I think he is specifically refering to "complex" gameplay, not just basic walk or jump. I don't think one should replace the other, however, I do feel that their should be room for both. Journey and Chapter 18 of Uncharted 3 moved me in ways I never thought this medium could. Those experiences seemed to make the medium a lot more serious. It would not have been enjoyable at all if I had to pull of some kind of combo.
I have to admit I'm just about done with my first ever playthrough of Silent hill 2 and loving it but I was thinking while playing last night how strange it is that most of the game is just walking around dark buildings and the few enemies you encounter can usually just be ran past or easily killed. I was thinking about how if this were a modern game some giant skeleton demon would have jumped on me from a closet initiating a QuickTime event fight set to crazy loud Psycho violin music about fifty times by now. I was impressed by how the fear doesn't stem from the threat of seeing a Game over screen and having to start again from your last checkpoint but comes from the atmosphere the game creates. It did make me think how I would love to see more games like this, in which the thrill comes from the experience you're having and not from the threat of losing the game. Still though, I wouldn't go as hard line as saying we need to eliminate gameplay and not to be cruel but... maybe this guy should wait until this game is released before lecturing about the industry since the only notable credit his old studio can claim is Bulletstorm.
I don't think he explained what he meant very well.
I've never met an Adrian I've liked or agreed with..
I definitely disagree with him for the most part, but I can kond of see what he means. After playing 999 for the DS, I realized how a good story can carry an experience. There was some gameplay but it was mostly just novel sections and you interacting with the story. Unfortunately for this to work the story must be expertly crafted, something I have really only seen in 999 when it comes to videogames (and hopefully in its sequel Zero Escape).
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