What’s on my mind? Gone Home. I started around 8:30 tonight, and just finished the game. It was gorgeous. Not in the sense of shiny graphics, or golden mechanics, or killer sound effects, but in the sense that it is an honest game. It does not try to be something it’s not, and it does a great job being what it is: a story. In my opinion, this is how games like this should feel. The soft music, the guesswork at overall ending, the pace of the experience, all were perfect. This is the kind of game I would like to develop, and the kind I am glad to have played.
Time to go below the surface, to an important question. Does something have to be fun to play a game? What is fun? Gone Home is not an experience you smile through. It’s not pure euphoria at leveling, it’s not fast-paced combat or colorful characters. It’s dark. It’s a story, as true to life as the developers could go. It’s riveting. It’s emotional. It is what it needs to be to get its point across. Just as developer flair is important, so is developer restraint.