Even though I have no intention of becoming a game designer or creating games, I find it quite fascinating to learn about the thought process behind it. The whole creative process is not so different from the way I approach songwriting, which is something I do as a creative outlet.
Yesterday, my friend visited me and wanted to watch me play games so I picked Virtue’s Last Reward (PS4 version) of all the games because I find this game quite relaxing to play on a lazy evening. As my friend and I were solving puzzles together, one particular part stood out to me: the pinned photo.
In this section, I understand the importance of creativity in games. In the Crew Quarters, there are four rooms, which contain four lockers. I have to find all the passwords to unlock the lockers. In one of the rooms, I was given a coin, after entering the right set of numbers into a locker. The coin is used to scratch off the woman’s clothes which reveal a different set of numbers to a password for a different locker in a different room. At that moment, I was thinking, indeed, I’m playing a scratch lottery ticket. As I was so focused on scratching off her clothes, my friend, (who is a prim and proper type of gal) looked at me and accused me of being a pervert. In my mind, I was just trying to find all clues so we can progress in the game. Even though I am not a guy and can never understand what’s so appealing about half-naked women, the experience was exciting as I was one step closer to solving the mystery underneath her clothes. To my surprise, the numbers were never underneath her clothes, they were located on her arms and legs! It was then, I realized a great game is highly creative and can engage the player against his or her own will on a subconscious level. I say this because I am not a gambler or a pervert, but I was lured and trapped in the developer’s craft. And strangely, it put a smile on my face and made me laugh.
After completing this section in Virtue’s Last Reward, I realized that authenticity is important to creativity, which is the intent to create and capture the audience. In some ways, I think developers should have more control over the medium and listen less to the consumers, but please be mindful. Honestly, I don’t think consumers know what they want. They just want to play a good game. Lastly, I want to make an argument that a game is a game, a medium to itself. All the fancy stuff such as the art and music only enhance the overall experience and bring it to life.
[To my friend if you are reading this] Sorry this was supposed to be a secret between you and me that we found ourselves playing a pervy game, but it was a lot of fun solving the puzzle together.