Genre is repetition
Genre is not design, it is mimicry
Genre is safety-- copying proven mechanics as a method of risk mitigation
Relying on genre is reiterating the experiences of an established archetype
Deconstruct genre and repurpose the relevant components to your own ends
Design toward the novel experiences of uncommon characters
Express feelings you've had in your own life; convey them to the player through interaction
Embrace adaptations; use an existing fictional character's arc of experience as an aesthetic target
Utilize the MDA framework; strive to achieve verisimilitude of player response through meaningful interaction
Simulate all facets of a character's experience, not just those that are easy or familiar
I do not want to continuously inhabit the role of the one-dimensional superhuman dynamo gunning down waves of enemies. I do not need more power fantasies, juvenile wish fulfillment, or violent catharsis.
Give me new roles, new worlds, new feelings. Design.
A gorgeously-written review from Edge magazine:
Digital Extremes has created a Frankenstein’s monster that actually works. Its mind is sound, its looks beautiful, its sutures invisible and its stolen parts functional in all the intended ways. It has no soul, of course, nor distinct personality, but that’s the nature of the beast...It's a shame the author is credited only as "Edge."
Easily dismissed as a pastiche, Dark Sector proves that grand vision is no prerequisite for sharp design and arresting play. But it’s a shame to see Digital Extremes, such an obviously talented studio, deferring still to the wisdom of others. One day, this skilled weaponsmith will find a story to tell.
My favorite video game endings. Players who haven't yet but plan one day to finish Full Throttle, No More Heroes, F.E.A.R., The Darkness, Metal Gear Solid 3, God Hand, or Fallout may want to selectively avoid certain entries below.
The inevitability and melancholy of the final scene are incredibly heart-breaking. Sam & Max Hit the Road receives a runner-up prize for its enviro-revisionist fantasy and wonderful credits sequence/shooting gallery.
No More Heroes
The ending matches the tone of the preceding game perfectly, spinning out into a wildly absurd and epically silly finale.
The sheer, deafening power of the shockwave is capped off by a perfectly-timed surprise which left the hugest grin on my face as the credits rolled.
The sorrow and longing of parting with a loved one have seldom been conveyed so simply, sadly and beautifully, especially in a video game. The ending to The Darkness pulled a tear out of me. They could have shown Jackie being tormented in hell, but rolling credits at the last moment he'll ever see Jenny carries so much more emotional resonance. Wake up.
Metal Gear Solid 3
While predictably long-winded and statically filmic, the ending to MGS3 cinched up all The Boss's underlying themes and motivations in a moving way, cementing her as one of my all-time favorite video game characters.
Much like NMH, the end credits of God Hand are hilarious and gleefully ridiculous in a way that perfectly tops off the wild experience of the preceding game.
Another terribly melancholy, downtrodden ending. After saving the people of Vault 13, the player is exiled to the wastes for his trouble, an outcast and wanderer with no home. Seeing the results of your decisions upon the fate of various locations you've visited lends impact to the preceding journey. It's a shame this video capture contains the branch where you kill the Overseer; I much prefer simply turning and walking away, shouldering your burden as you step out again into the sunlight.
Depressing video game endings rule.