Amnesia creator says games need the freedom to be shorter - Destructoid


Amnesia creator says games need the freedom to be shorter

7:30 PM on 06.18.2012
Amnesia creator says games need the freedom to be shorter photo

While the mainstream media still somewhat resists the idea, video games have entered popular culture as a valid form of artistic expression and entertainment, capable of immersing us in ways previously unknown, due in part to their participatory nature. However, even as they've emerged as one of the most immersive forms of art, they're also uniquely one of the easiest to disrupt, each carefully crafted scene easily destroyed by the mechanics and conventions of gameplay. In the case of a horror game, this often means losing the edge of a terrifying fictional experience, undoubtedly the entire point of the genre. In a recent interview with Joystiq, Thomas Grip of Amnesia fame expands on the idea, saying horror games can be dulled by these conventions, suggesting that games should be allowed a creative freedom to craft the necessary horror elements, especially when it comes to length:

"Many games are designed to be as long as possible and from the get-go aim at a certain play-time length. This can only lead to bad things in terms of building a good holistic experience. In the horror genre, many of the best works come in the shorter variety, so we are missing out a lot of interesting videogames if the minimum length is eight hours. And trying to extend a two hour experience to a eight hour one often completely removes the impact that it could have had."

Having played Dear Esther, the mod turned retail release made by thechineseroom (their partners on Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs) as well as a number of other shorter titles, I have to agree that a perfectly good game can be ruined by the driving need for a set playing time. It's like demanding a cartoon short become a full length feature film to be considered a valid piece of art. It's not necessary, and it stifles the industry's creativity. This problem often plagues television, in that some series have gone on much further than they should, stretching out the material and ruining the impact in the process (*coughLOSTcough*).

While I think that traditional pricing models need to be adjusted for games that have less content, I'm comfortable with the idea of shorter games with a heavier emphasis on impact to become a norm. It's nice to see a quality game maker get behind the idea.

Scared Stiff: Amnesia and the evolution of the modern horror game [Joystiq]

Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.

Survival Horror

5:45 PM on 04.11.2014
The Evil Within isn't looking very evil so far

A behind-closed-doors play session for upcoming survival horror game The Evil Within wasn't as evil as I hoped it would be. I still have high hopes for the next game from Resident Evil vet Shinji Mikami and his new ...more

9:00 AM on 04.09.2014
Yep, The Evil Within is going to be one super creepy game alright

Oh The Evil Within, how I can't wait for you to scare the every living daylights out of me. Shinji Mikami's past games were my first tastes of the survival horror genre, and I'm quite looking forward to see what he does with...more

6:41 AM on 04.09.2014
The Last of Us PS4 remaster is real, according to a PlayStation Store listing (Update)

[Update: Sony has confirmed The Last of Us Remastered. We can expect higher resolution character models, improved lighting, upgraded textures, and a director's commentary for all in-game cinematics featuring Neil Druckman, Tr...more

View all Survival Horror

Back to Top

All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more