Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Game Design Quote of the Week – Calvin French (“The Real Texas”)

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 21, 2013

realtexas“Creating dungeons or levels is quite hard. In particular, it’s hard to know where to begin. What I do to get started is I try to hold to a certain constraint which is that map areas (including dungeons or levels) should exist geographically first. It should have an ostensible purpose outside the confines of the game.

“The design of an overworld or dungeon should tell a story about itself, indirectly, and not just be a
connected series of islands filled with challenges.

“This constraint can be at odds with building puzzles or other challenges, but I think it helps avoid areas that feel too contrived. If every room and every hallway only exists for a well-defined, game-mechanical purpose, then there is nothing there to fuel the imagination or cause a sense of mystery.”

— Calvin French (“The Real Texas“)

This one’s from Calvin French, taken from “Five Years In Happy: A Designer’s Notebook for The Real Texas.” I’m not sure where you find the design notebook other than at GOG.COM, but since it’s one of the four or so copies I own through various deals and bundles, I grabbed it and spent several minutes enjoying his recollection of his design and development of this action RPG.

I don’t know if I’ll manage to get a game design quote up every week, but I thought it would be a fun – from both a developer’s perspective, and a gamer’s perspective.

Filed Under: Design - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • McTeddy said,

    I just wanted to say I love the idea of game development quotes.

    It’s always good to hear the opinions of people who are smarter than I am.

  • Cuthalion said,

    Hm. I think part of the diehardity of the LotR fanbase is due to this very thing — everything exists for an in-universe reason outside of strictly the plotline itself. So it creates this sense of mystery and imagination.