I finished Myst the other night, and started on Riven. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things, including the relative complexity of Riven as compared to Myst, and especially as compared to newer games like Dream Chronicles and Enlightenus. I’ve also been thinking about the passage of time.
As I walked around the islands of Riven last night, I really enjoyed the distant cries of birds, the trickle of water, the buzz of insects. The scenery was stunning, even at 640X480 resolution, even after all these years.
I also found myself rushing along the path, moving quickly from one screen to the next to reach a puzzle or interaction. At some point, I realized that I’ve changed and games have changed. The journey has become less important than the end result. I wasn’t enjoying the scenery of Riven the way I used to, because I have become unaccustomed to lingering.
It’s ironic because my personal project is called The Journey. I’m sure it will be renamed at some point, or at least subtitled, but that’s what I’ve called it for years. It’s a story and world that I can’t forget, a project that has been started and restarted more times than I can count.
While I work on the first 3D scene for The Journey, I’ve started watching Michael Palin’s Around The World In 80 Days. He talks several times in the episodes about how plane travel changed the world, that travelers no longer enjoy the journey or understand the distance.
I think the same thing is true for games, and for my life. I’ve become so focused on the end result that I don’t think about the experiences along the way. It’s one of the primary goals in creating a new world: The Journey is a journey for me as well.