Former Uncharted 2 Designer Urges Indie Devs to Experiment

One accomplished designer urges indie devs to reach for the stars.

You should never be afraid to try new things. That was the core message behind Richard Lemarchand's Global Game Jam 2014 Keynote video.

As reported by GameSpot, the former Naughty Dog Lead Designer urged independent game makers to "take risks" and develop interactive experiences that are unique and innovative. He says that while familiarity is okay, it's always a good idea to break free from an established mold:

"Every year loads of really fantastic games come out of the Global Game Jam, but quite a few of them are variations on old games or familiar genres. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you accept my challenge, you'll be agreeing to take a risk this weekend by trying to create what we call an experimental game, a game that does something entirely new, in a style that we've never seen before, or with a core mechanic that is completely unique."

Those who played and enjoyed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will be interested in this tidbit: Lemarchand cited Tale of Tales' The Graveyard as the inspiration behind the "peaceful village sequence" in the Uncharted sequel. He added that many developers and publishers keep an eye on the experimental game scene at IndieCade, IGF, and GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop.

" shouldn't be afraid to fail."

Lemarchand's final piece of advice for future development superstars: Don't be afraid to fail. Even if the experiment doesn't work out, you'll still learn new things about making games. Then you'll be "much more likely to make something truly brilliant." That's a given. Trying and failing is part of the creative process; it's guaranteed that all successful designers have suffered their fair share of disappointments.

Lemarchand is currently an associate professor at the Interactive Media & Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Jan. 26th 2014

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