The Stanley Parable Helpful Development Showcase: Mistakes

The Stanley Parable Helpful Development Showcase is an extremely insightful and informative look into what it takes to make a video game. This week: How to admit that you've made a mistake.

The Stanley Parable Helpful Development Showcase is our way of connecting you to the development of The Stanley Parable by giving you a small look at what's been going on behind the scenes. Each week we'll give you a tiny peek into what it takes to make a game like The Stanley Parable, the creative challenges we come up against in the course of development, and how to not judge yourself as a person for the quality of choices you've made in your own life. These are just a few of the topics we'll cover in this incredibly useful blog series.

This week: Admitting that you've made mistakes

Almost everyone is human, which means that almost everyone makes mistakes. Sure, the pain of making a mistake so wretched and vicious it's nearly unbearable, but it's even more painful to have to admit your mistake to others. Today I'm going to show you how to communicate your errors to your teammates in a healthy and graceful manner.

First let's look at the mistake I made. The texture on this floor needs to be carpet instead of wood. It's a simple change.

Instead, I accidentally delete the entire map.

In a blind panic, I save the file. Everything is lost.

I've made a mistake. Again, it's important to remember that everyone makes mistakes and you are still normal and that I love you.

But it's also important to regain composure and handle the situation with precision if you want to do any damage control. This can be resolved if we stay calm. Let's think about the situation logically:

  1. Everything that was lost was inside the map file
  2. If the map file doesn't exist, no one will know you deleted everything in it

The only logical answer is to delete the map file.

Perfect! Or is it?

Look closer. Isn't is suspicious that that's the only missing map file? Weren't you supposed to be editing that particular map? If anyone sees that this file is missing they'll know without a doubt that it was you who fucked up.

Our only option is to delete the rest of the maps as well.

Good, this is much better.

But I'm still uneasy. I'm not worried about being caught, I'm thinking about what kind of man I am. I'm a real man, I own a real shirt, I built a house once. When I start something I follow through, and right now this feels to me like a half-assed job. That just doesn't sit right in my stomach.

I think I'm going to delete every file in the entire game.

Be sure to empty the recycle bin!

Outstanding! You've just permanently erased every file from your team's shared Dropbox.

High five yourself.

Uh oh, here's William, the lead level designer on Stanley Parable. It seems he's discovered my “mistake” and wants to talk. As a team leader, this seems like a good opportunity for me to discuss the game's radical new direction with him.

It seems he's exhibiting a “negative” response to the news. Let's do some damage control: what can we say that will convince him there's no possible way you could have been responsible for erasing the game?

Well played.

Shit, he's catching on. Damage control.


Next week, we'll talk about hiring new team members.

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