Why Less Is More In Games by Pantelis "Porkotyler" Kassotis

Pantelis "Porkotyler" Kassotis on HackerNoon

03-04-2024 • 2 mins

This HackerNoon article by Pantelis Kassotis was published on July 29th, 2022.


Let's begin.


Wednesday Addiction: Why Less Is More In Games


I remember wanting to create entire worlds when making my first steps in game development. I had a real God Complex while brainstorming ideas. Then actual development came and smacked me back into reality. Making games is hard, especially triple A ones.


It takes entire teams of experienced professionals to make them, ranging from software engineers to level designers, and even then studios are working on them for years before releasing them. Why even bother competing with them? It makes no sense.


What you really want during those early stages is to learn as much as you can and showcase your skills. This is why I love experiencing indie games on platforms like Itch.io because I get to see what people are truly capable of on their own.


I’ve played many games that try to be too many things at once and they always fail. My favorite ones are those that take a simple concept and play around with it. Games that rely on a maze or some other kind of puzzle to get from point A to point B but they all do it in their own unique ways.


One of the best experiences I’ve had in a while came from a new horror game called ROMUT. According to its developer this game was made in a single day which really sounds impressive at first considering how atmospheric it seemed from the screenshots but at the same time it could also be rushed and unpolished.


I wasn’t about to give up though. The screenshots looked great so it had to be a good game. I gave it a try and what I found made me want to write about it as soon as possible. Here you can see me playing the game for the first time. It genuinely terrified me:


ROMUT is the perfect example of “less is more” in video games. Even though it’s a short and straightforward experience, it manages to leave an unforgettable sense of danger and disorientation long after you play it.


The game lets you jump from level to level where you have to find and destroy some skull-like entities. It makes a great use of faint light and film grain to immerse you while also using creepy sounds to guide you through its mazes. A simple yet solid concept.


So if anything could be taught by playing this game as a developer is that you don’t need much to deliver a great title. All you need to do is focus on your strengths and throw in a little magic.

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