From Davey Wredon, the creator of The Stanley Parable, The Beginners Guide is a (roughly) two hour experience that consumed me completely. Wredon narrates through a series of small, very crude games created by someone known as Coda that break standard rules in game design. Coda began creating these games in 2008 and suddenly stopped in 2011. Wredon compiled them together and talks you through each one.
Initially I thought this was just going to be a collection of strange minigames but it's so much more in that there is a really compelling arc and journey to this 'experience'.
The Beginners Guide presents many interesting questions about game design, questions that are so much more engaging because I was actually experiencing what was being discussed.
At one point Wredon talks about a time when he and Coda would get into arguments regarding if a game by its very nature should be playable, to which Coda sent him a CD a few days later titled '100 playable games' in which all you do is walk around a square room.
As Wredon puts it, games can be very telling of a person. The games as a compilation shown in chronological order become an intimate document of a person's feelings. To me personally this was a incredibly compelling topic for a game, even the very fact that someone is talking to you whilst you play (and it not just being a DVD-style commentary) felt both unique and special.
It's such a simply made game. Like his former game it's essentially just walking down paths and passing through invisible triggers.
Yet, the idea is so strong and unique that it held my attention throughout, which for anyone even remotely interested in being part of the game development community is incredibly inspiring. I have since emailed Wredon to personally congratulate and thank him for creating something that I just know will stick with me.
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