This month’s Symposium, hosted by Patrick Holleman, is on the game Hotline Miami. Quoting Pat:
One of the first things that designers discovered about videogames was that failure makes the game more engaging. With checkpoints and quicksaves, game failures have been atomized to the point where failure simply becomes a step in the player’s iterative process of solving the problems a game presents. With that in mind, we’re going to look at a game that takes it to the ultimate extreme: Hotline Miami. This is a game where the player will fail (and suffer a gory death) hundreds if not thousands of times on the way to completion. While plenty of games have examined the disregard for human life and suffering that action games often employ, few of them use failure way Hotline Miami does. In this game, those thousands of deaths (of both players and enemies) actually give us, as players, a supra-lingual sense of what kind of person the protagonist really is.
I recommend that everyone try to complete the game as far as the hospital level, which I think is the emotional climax of the game.
We’ll meet this Thursday at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT; voice chat over Skype.