Theoretical processes and game development: The odd couple
‘Agaporni Games is born in the heart of the academy and doesn’t refuse its purely commercial nature’. For us, this assertion implies an ideology regarding video game development, objectified, especially, in its relationship with the theoretical processes arose around this smart device. Let’s set out this argument in a clear way: during our profound relationship with game studies, especially with the ludologist side of them, rarely have we found a theory based on commercial video games played by most readers.
On the contrary, theoretical processes suggested by these authors are based on invisible games, asteroid-like games that do nothing to promote the consolidation of an intimate and useful video game theory for those interested in the medium. They rather encourage an epistemological inbreeding by reverberating ideas which can only be decoded by the authors themselves, along with an exiguous academic cohort with whom they usually share research center, corridor and even office. In other words, a videoludic theory independent of the mainstream isn’t better, more serious or accurate than a theory based on commercial games. Can you imagine a film theory based merely on movies that are watched exclusively by critics?
Our game, Dissident, doesn’t conceal its purely commercial nature, but neither does it hide that it’s been a test lab, our personal ‘Aperture Laboratories’ where we’ve been able to play with different game mechanics and look into the possibilities of narrativizing the game experience: theoretical-academic adventures that consumed much time and effort during the project. Now, we are able to confirm that the video game theory has been very present in the development of Dissident: Survival Runner, a game with no other aim than entertainment which, regardless of commercial success, will give cause for a scientific literature we are already working on. It’ll be the result of our experience, an experience that’ll be understandable for everyone.