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Warren Spector against tyranny of choices
Editorial - posted by Vault Dweller on Sun 28 March 2004, 22:30:33Tags: Warren Spector
Warren Spector, the champion of morons, has done it again! You may remember him from such games as Deus Ex II and Thief III, adapted and produced for mentally challenged. Anyway, according to this article, Spector gave a speech at Game Developers Conference about stories, open-endness, and choices. Since choices are the trademark of RPGs, I decided to post it here:
For Spector, open-endedness is not the be-all, end-all. As a story design widens out to a free-form system, he argues, the "emergent narrative" (story that's partially created by the player, rather than completely designed by the developer) ends up with a relative lack of direction and emotional resonance. There are fewer exciting, "holy crap" moments, since the narrative can't be designed as easily to flow towards those moments as effectively. Meanwhile, the "tyranny of choice," as he puts it, can threaten to make the player freeze up because they're simply given too many options for things to do and places to go. The player doesn't know the particular rules are of the game--what he or she can get away with, what the long-term repercussions are of "bad" behavior, and the rewards of "good" behavior.
Uh, how about the good ol' trial-and-error method? You do something, and see what happens. No? Too much mental work? Yeah, we understand, Warren. The tyranny of choices and the tyranny of fun gameplay have to be stopped.