Goals/Principles for Groundling Games:
- Develop engaging experiences. Arguable, games do not have to be fun. I know. Heresy. Games need to be engaging. Challenge is engaging. Aesthetic and narrative experience is engaging. Immersion is engaging. Engagement is somehow greater than fun. If a game is engaging, players can continue through the most uncomfortable, unpleasurable, un-fun experiences to something else.
- Develop provoking experiences. Games like Deus Ex or The Longest Journey asked questions that extended beyond the gameplay experience and into real life. Although these questions were never answered within the game world, they were asked in such a way that players were engaged to answer them.
- Develop meaningful experiences. I'll admit it. I've cried playing a game. Sad tears. Not happy tears. The end of chapter 4 in Sanitarium. Was it the melancholy environment? Was it the build the amassing of the family's sadness? Was it my feeling of connection with Max? Regardless of what it was, that experience gifted to me was eloquent and of consequence to me.
- Develop new experiences. Enough already!! I don't want to be an axe-welding dwarf or a laser-shooting space pilot. It is as if developers have only read Lord of the Rings and watched Star Wars to the point of recitation. That is not to say that these are poor choices for inspiration, or the games inspired by these sources are inherently bad. I am only saying that there are more opportunities for inspiration. ...Oh yeah, World War II. Can't forget, World War II.
- Develop focused experiences. Fullbright's post "Single-A Games" said it quite well. Games that focus on a central mechanic or aesthetic have the potential for "individuality, experimentation, and immediacy."
- Develop unconfined experiences. Watching both indie and professional teams develop games, one of the first things I hear is its genre. "It's an action-platformer!" or "It's a first-person shooter!" This definition does help to explain the experience. However, this definition, if held too firm, can act to confine the experience and potentially force the game to becoming something that is not.