I was going to start a Jelly site for Game Play impressions of games with screenshots and text and what not, But I didn’t want to make anything external to this blog, because no one would check it.
I’m never backing down on my belief that games need to be experienced to be understood, not watched. This was very evident in class as you could clearly hear the misconceptions of those who had never played FFXII versus those had glanced at it. In that example, the game mechanic of scripting and distributing AI to your party members and plowing through game fields areas is a radical step in gameplay. The essence of FFXII is tweaking your AI for your environment, the pleasure is in discovering the effects of simple rules you changed as you let them play out. This is not something you can watch and understand. To see it as another narrative driven RPG speaks only about its genre, and speaks nothing about the heart of its gameplay.
On the other hand, If Frank was suggesting that we should be learned enough to understand the larger structures at a glance, I think he’s definitely right. But I think of it this way: that we maybe, with experience, we can be learned enough to play a game somewhat briefly, and from that glance of a gameplay experience, we might be able to understand what the game design might be driving at. I wouldn’t bet on it, because a lot of games have a sort of progressive narrative of gameplay rules themselves that you can only understand by putting the time in. But a glance is still worth a glance.
Anyway, the next best thing to playing a game to me is to hear or read someone’s impressions of gameplay experience rather than to watch a video of the gameplay. So I’m hoping a bunch of us will be able to play, even briefly, some of the slamdance games and describe our experience in words.
How should we do it? Does that belong on this blog? Should all game impression write-ups be in the comments to this post ? Should they be individual posts , with comments being other people’s impressions on the same game? Should I set up a new site to meet this structure better? Let me know.