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The 'unstructured, creative process' that brought  Inside  to life

The 'unstructured, creative process' that brought Inside to life

May 15, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

"All the efficiency and organization was dropped in favor of a purely creative, open, and iterative process."

-Artist Jeremy Petreman describes the unconventional creative flow that brought Inside to life. 

Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun, Petreman explained how some of Inside’s most memorable moments evolved through this freely flowing and highly iterative design process. The interview touches on some moment-to-moment decisions made by the team and offers an interesting glimpse at Playdead’s less-than-conventional methods in action.

“Without much discussion, one of the other artists might then take that [environment] and go with it, evolving it, sometimes even radically changing the layout," explained Petreman. "Then I might take it again and iterate on those ideas, and pass it off again to someone else down the road.”

Petreman says that the team outlined the basic, overarching story for the game ahead of time but, outside of a few key plot details, the game was constantly evolving. For each area, the core narrative idea would stay intact, but the way environments communicated that idea would regularly shift and change. 

“Occasionally, some little corner that I’d worked on for weeks and secretly fallen in love with would just get overridden by a different idea. It was something that was a bit painful at times, but we definitely learned to accept it,” he says. 

“Over time, I think that we all came to this point where we realized that the process was working, and that by letting go of those desires to hold on to any one favorite spot, the environments as a whole were improving. The good ideas just sort of rose to the top, and the mediocre ones ended up naturally falling away.”

For more on Inside’s constantly evolving design, including images from different points in development that catch these changes in action, take a look at Rock Paper Shotgun’s full interview

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