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Video: Frog Fractions creator finds value in keeping secrets
April 8, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

April 8, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
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"Stumbling on an unexpected secret makes the world feel more like a real space, and less like a crafted amusement park ride."
Jim Crawford, the man behind Twinbeard Studios and the creator of Frog Fractions (as well as the Kickstarted sorta-kinda-maybe-a-sequel Frog Fractions 2), shared his thoughts on how and why developers should cultivate a sense of mystery as they go about developing, hyping and selling their games in a recent presentation at GDC 2014.

That talk, "Preserving a Sense of Discovery in the Age of Spoilers," was given as part of the GDC 2014 Career Seminar but was not recorded for archiving in the GDC Vault.

Thankfully, Crawford took time after the show to record himself delivering the talk and has published it online in the form of a Vimeo video with accompanying slides. We've taken the liberty of embedding it above, because it's worth your time to watch.


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Comments


Jesse Tucker
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This was an amazingly novel and fun game to play.

Kenneth Blaney
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Are there any specifically effective advocate techniques that you might know? Further, do you just want to astroturf the game as mysterious and awesome, or do you specifically want to seed some questions/answers into the community through your advocate?

Don Whitaker
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I like the ideas you present here. I'm currently working on an arcade-style game (http://CrashedLander.com). I'm doing my best to put a little mystery into the game - while still promoting and sharing my work as I progress.

One problem I'm having is that a lot of players seem to want everything spelled-out for them. I want to encourage people to make little challenges for themselves and goof around a bit while playing. But many people don't seem to be picking up on this vibe and they end up feeling a little lost. Maybe it's a failure on my part, not making the gameplay compelling enough to warrant exploration.

Any ideas on how to encourage players to goof around, explore, and worry less about the main goals of the game?

Maria Jayne
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I think the surprise should be in the game, not the details on how it's made or what it will be. When I don't know what I'm spending money on, there are many other uses for that money.


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