Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
The fewer resources that a designer has, the more he must focus his
efforts into a smaller number of values. By competing on fewer values, he
increases his chances at winning one of them. An indie game made by two
people might only offer one or two values, but if it does these things better
than anyone else, it can still attract players and be profitable.
For example, Garry's Mod is a simple first-person game that drops
players into a physics sandbox with an unlimited set of wild and wacky
tools. Players can make anything in Garry's Mod . They can spawn any
object or character, stick them together with physics constraints like ropes
and glue, and set up triggers so that they can activate rocket engines, bal-
loons, or explosives. Players build wild contraptions, like flying buggies
powered by dynamite, and strange make-believe worlds constructed of
sheet metal and bombs. They pose characters in funny situations, take
screenshots, and make comic strips to post on the Internet.
Here's our graph with Deus Ex , BioShock , and Garry's Mod together:
Garry's Mod is a first-person game, but it doesn't compete with
BioShock or Deus Ex on any of their key values. Instead, it sidesteps them
by offering something they don't: wacky creativity . None of what Garry's
Mod offers is possible in Deus Ex , BioShock , or any other major game. Had
it tried to compete directly against games with a hundred times its devel-
opment budget, Garry's Mod would have certainly failed. Instead, it carved
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