As I walk through my neighborhood, I look at the small details, imperfections, and a nuances that make it look the way it looks, and feel the way it feels. It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing, though; Madeleine uses the word Gestalt to describe similar things lately. Kevin once wrote a song about it, called Synecdoche.
One theory why digital worlds can lack this feeling is that they’re typically created all by a single or small group of like-minded people. They are attempting to emulate a diverse and interesting world, but can only pull from their collective ideas and experiences of the parts of the world that they’ve visited.
My idea is to make it a more collaborative experience. A world’s skeleton and general design is still built by the game developer, but at a certain point in the process, it’s turned over for collaboration with others. Maybe there’s a group or collective of certified level designers that are encouraged to contribute in small ways to all levels being build within the community. Or, depending on the type of game, it’s open up to everyone to contribute to the design.
This is all, hopefully, to produce a more realistic and interesting world design, featuring unexpected details and a more “human” touch to it.
[ Today I Was Playing: Risk and Professor Layton and the Last Specter ]
December 17, 2015