Gaming Auteurs are a dime a dozen in this day and age. When they do appear they provide such amazing pieces of entertainment or literature that we could use their work as case studies for game design or simply how we view entertainment. People like Hideo Kojima, Toby Fox and Suda 51 are all such prolific artists in their space due to the way they view games and how they believe it can convey a message or meaning to their audience.
Of course by doing this we get some pretty weird games. Kojima’s upcoming ‘Death Stranding’ already looks like a very odd experience with Norman Reedus holding a tank fetus/baby in his suit and strange scenarios taking place in the footage that we have seen. However what is important to note is that games can be weird but also not great games. Some view Undertale as a fantastic narrative experience but don’t like the gameplay. Other experiences like LSD: Dream Emulator are bizzare think pieces that are generally regarded as bad games to play. It’s all about having a balance between being an art piece and a piece of entertainment that will keep players engaged. Personally I am a huge fan of games that break the standard mold, even if those experiences tend to be shorter or shallower than other similar titles. Undertale was a short game for me in the grand scheme of things but due to the content of the title it has quickly risen to becoming one of my most favourite games. Another similar game that does this is Pony Island which is a bizzare puzzle/platform game which was also short and yet the story (and especially the soundtrack) stuck with me too.
It’s interesting to look at these games where the developers behind them clearly viewed their work as a passion project rather than simply molding to the standard that the public want. Sometimes we get the greatest pieces of gaming from when people simply do their own thing. I just hope we don’t see this type of development die out over time as the industry becomes more monetised and corporate focus, that would be a sad day indeed. What do you all think about the idea of deliberately weird games? Do you enjoy them or are you more akin to standard but polished gaming experiences? Leave your opinions in the comments below! That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.