Welcome to the Electron Dance Advent calendar. Each day will bring another post from the archives.
Have you read Those Honeymoon Hours posted on 29 November 2011?
Christopher Lampton talks about the “sublime confusion” experienced at the start of a computer game, before you’ve bedded in and learnt how it works. He thinks this confusion is essential for a game to be great.
Those Honeymoon Hours used Mafia to demonstrate this concept. I approached it from a different angle, that of sadness when the player goes professional, having become comfortable with its systems. Bring on the save scumming. Bring on the min-maxing. You can’t get away from this and I’m not sure it is a good idea to try: think back to Arithmophobia recently where the predictability and familiarity of numbers was celebrated by RPG enthusiasts. But Those Honeymoon Hours are sometimes the best.
From the comments:
- Pippin Barr: “I absolutely cherish that early period when it’s all strange and new.”
- Steerpike: “I wonder if it would be possible to make a series of games that are nothing but first moments.”
- Amanda Lange: “You know, I feel this, but at the same time, I kind of don’t agree.”
- Badger Commander: “I played through the beginning 4 times and then sort of got bored.”