26 July 2005

Better computer games


I remember attending a game development panel at a conference once, and being amazed that the entire panel, as well as the audience, was solely focused on technical issues like improved speed, with no attention being paid to game design. When I asked the panel what lessons game designers should learn from what was then — and maybe still is — the most successful game ever, Myst, they looked at me blankly and asked what I thought the answer was. I said that the attention to look and sound, the cleverness of the puzzles, the coherence of the invented world, and a, for computer games, compelling story had made the game appealing to everyone, not just young males.

That was a decade ago. The industry is finally starting to get the message.