Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Hippocratic Game Design

Every week The Escapist publishes a series of articles online covering digital entertainment culture. Today one of these articles, titled “Hippocratic Game Design” and written by Tom Endo, takes a look at BioWare’s founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk and draws a link between their origins as practicing medical doctors and the profound sense of empathy common to BioWare’s games.

It’s an entertaining read and an interesting look at why BioWare’s games have generally been so well received. To pull a couple of quotes from the article:
Aside from Zeschuk's training software, medicine and gaming rarely crossed paths for the aspiring developers. However, Muzyka and Zeschuk's experiences as doctors provided the philosophical foundation of BioWare that has been instrumental to its unique success.
For Muzyka and Zeschuk, the process of developing a videogame is akin to practicing medicine in that they are both processes larger than one doctor's abilities or one designer's talent.
They're keenly aware of the line between influence and imitation - BioWare's projects will always remain in that same pantheon of games that Muzyka and Zeschuk currently enjoy.
Particularly that last one offers some hope I find myself lacking regarding The Old Republic, particularly stemming from the fear that they will imitate World of Warcraft on too many fronts making it feel like that game “with more story”. But perhaps I’m reading too much into things.

Regardless, the article is a nice read about BioWare’s founders and their approach to game development (in very broad terms).

No comments: