And then I listened to Randy Pitchford simplify the ingredients of a video game on the Nerdist Podcast, and he simplified the way I see games. Games are made of story, style, and design. Each of these elements feeds into and off of the others. No game can exist without one of these. A triangle needs all three sides to stand; without one of its edges it’s just a flat-line. Story inspires a game’s style, its style aids its design, and the game’s overall design informs the flow of its story, and so on.
When I write game reviews for this site, I won’t bother assigning a numerical score. That’s not to say I don’t see the value of a quantifiable scoring system (is there a pun there?). Instead I will focus qualitatively only on these three criteria to determine if the game is ultimately engaging, pleasing, and fun.
Writing game reviews can be difficult. I did it before, years ago. (Shout out to Doug Flowe and gameculturemag.com! Wherever you are!) This simplified system of looking at a game’s story, style, and design gives me a much clearer direction.
If you want a further breakdown of Randy Pitchford’s game philosophy, I urge you to listen to the Nerdist Podcast, episode 378.