The Chinese Room: "mechanics will probably never be our core focus"
I liked Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. The fact that it departed from so many of the mechanics that defined The Dark Descent wasn't a bad thing. To me, it felt as though this departure allowed the developer to focus more on psychological horror than its predecessor.
Apparently, a lot of people outright hated it, feeling it was barely worthy of being called a game.
"We're often asked at The Chinese Room whether we're anti-games, or whether we're trying to deliberately subvert the medium," wrote The Chinese Room's Jessica Curry in an editorial on Edge."This question felt valid after we made Dear Esther, as the game (unintentionally) brought something new to the table and as a result raised some interesting debates. So when Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs was released, we were really surprised to still be facing the question (and sometimes naked hostility) as to whether we are aiming to create interactive fiction rather than games."
"This question," she continued, "rests on the idea that games are purely driven by mechanics and goals, and this seems laughably outdated as a concept. Why do we feel the need to classify and name and label before we can enjoy something? Do I need to know whether or not Bach sits in the classical canon before I can appreciate his incredible music? For me, the key is whether it’s an engaging experience (or not). The increasing breadth and diversity in games – a medium that ranges from Tetris to Gone Home – is wonderful. Why is difference such an enormously threatening concept?”
"Mechanics will probably never be our core focus, as they're not the reason we're driven to create," she concluded. "It's simply us being us."
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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