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November 21, 2019
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Crafting, creating and procedurally generating | This Week in Videogames Blogging

by Critical Distance on 10/13/16 06:19:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


I am always resistant to arguments that suggest that technical achievement is the most important thing about game design change. These pieces offer a different way of thinking about the significance of technical limitations, focusing instead on how it affects the people who make games.

Affective payoff

"Some of us like to think that we pursue deeper, more complex pleasures than the nearly comatose Candy Crush-ers and Clash of Clan-ners at the airport. Crafting systems provide the same affective payoff—another completion; another checkbox—and beg the question of whether that payoff is the only thing we really want. Do we want games to make us feel things, to move us in complex and surprising ways, or do we want them to give us stuff to do?"

Distinguishing what's possible

"ASA would have to take into consideration that those marketing materials were only showing the “ideal” results of the game’s systems. PC Gamer adds that no trailer or screenshots could possibly show the breadth of what the game offered and that the ASA has to accept that all procedurally generated content is inherently unpredictable. And so, according to the lawyers that PC Gamer spoke to, the most logical and likely approach to this investigation will be attempting to distinguish what’s possible and what’s a certainty in the game. If what was shown in the marketing materials is possible in No Man’s Sky, then Hello Games have done nothing wrong, but if the version of the game that was released doesn’t allow for those possibilities then there’s a potential issue."

This is an extract from a full weekly roundup posted on Critical Distance. To see the full post and other great writing and podcasting from the world of games criticism, check out

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