In a new feature interview, indie developer Steve Swink tells Gamasutra
that the highest purpose he sees for making games is to make something that "inspires you to create."
Says Swink, "The purpose is to make something, hopefully, that can be really interesting and beautiful and make somebody's life better. I think the highest piece of praise you can give to a painting, song, movie, game, is that it inspires you to create."
"If you make something that inspires kids to want to be game designers, that's the highest possible praise you can ever give to someone."
According to Swink, "That's like a symptom of making something that's that good. And I still feel like we lack the language in order to describe what's good about games like that, and why they're so good."
"And so when I play a game that I think is that good, I'm always just trying to gather all this data together to form some picture so I can understand better and try to articulate why it works the way it does."
Swink speaks, in the interview, about the games that inspired him with Shadow Physics
, including Braid
, and Mario 64
. He studies these games to find inspiration for his own title -- not in copying their mechanics, but instead understanding how they function at a deep level.
Once he's studied the game, he says, "that's sort of like the whole thing coming together -- it's that desire to make something beautiful before my hours are up; to make something that is meaningful.
"And so ultimately, I think that should be the metric by which we judge whether or not a game is really good -- not how much money it makes. You know, by how many people's lives it touches, which is an impossible thing to measure."
In the full interview, which is live now on Gamasutra
, Swink goes into much greater depth on the inspirations and philosophies that drive the development of Shadow Physics