If you’ve played the terrific Thimbleweed Park ($9.99), you’ll know that’s a great adventure game. What you probably also know if you’ve read any coverage on the game is that the game is usually talked about within the context of nostalgia, especially given how the team behind it includes people who worked at Lucasarts and are behind some of the greatest adventure games ever. In a recent interview though, Jenn Sandercock, a game designer involved in Thimbleweed Park‘s development, cautioned against having nostalgia be the linchpin of any discussion on adventure games and talked about how you can use the same mechanics as older games and still allow the genre to progress.
After pointing out that the team behind the game includes people newer to the industry (and not just the Lucasfilm alumni), she talks about how adventure games have been evolving like any other genre, but many often dismiss games like Thimbleweed Park as simply a throwback game that only hardcore adventure gamers will love. First person shooters, she points out, have tweaked their mechanics but at their core are still the same games as many years ago, just like adventure games. And yet people don’t often separate content or implementation issues in adventure games from those core mechanics like they do in other genres. A very interesting interview that raises some important points on how adventure games always seemed to be critiqued in the contest of nostalgia.