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The Development of Braid 27

Gamasutra sat down with Jonathan Blow, creator of the successful independent game Braid. He talks about going through the three-year-plus development cycle as a one-man team, and how his concept of the game changed as he worked on it. He also discusses what he feels is the difference between "natural rewards" and "artificial rewards." "... for the most part, when you're playing Tetris, you're enjoying it because you enjoy fitting the blocks together. Whereas when you play World of Warcraft — and what I'm about to say is a generalization, since different players enjoy different things, obviously — a lot of the appeal of playing World of Warcraft is not in the core gameplay mechanic, because it's boring, a lot of the time. ... I think what keeps them in there is, at first, the level ding, because it's very addictive to get that. 'Okay, I've got more gold. Whatever.' And eventually, they've made this huge time investment and they've got a character there and they know what that level ding feels like and the next one is pretty far off, but they can get there! And it's not any better, because this is like number 67. It's got to be better than 66!"
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The Development of Braid

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  • Re:Simplifying WoW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:19PM (#24992465)

    Getting new stuff is a form of "leveling up", especially when you know (from FAQs etc) what gear you're trying to get and how. In this context (giving player a so called artificial reward) there really is no difference.

  • What? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by daveisfera ( 832409 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:45PM (#24993141) Homepage

    I don't see how someone who has received so much acclaim for his game design can completely miss the boat on a VERY popular game.

    I've actually never played WoW (just don't have the time), but I imagine that the experience is much like Diablo on a grander scale. The enjoyment in a game like Diablo was far more complex than leveling up. The biggest driver for me was the social aspect of the game (playing together online, seeing how friends/others used resources to develop their character, etc).

    I understand that the whole "RPG-style" of games like WoW/Diablo just isn't appealing to some people, but I don't see how a developer like this can completely misunderstand it.

  • Wait a second... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13, 2008 @06:44PM (#24994025)

    So, people are driven by virtual materialism, as if the real world equivalent isn't already our generation's soma.

    How depressing is that?

  • I don't think so (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shevsky ( 1353011 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @03:54AM (#24996765)
    Find me someone who plays Tetris just because they enjoy fitting blocks together.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton