Davey Wreden isn’t done making you sad. He co-designed The Stanley Parable and directed The Beginner’s Guide, and now he’s heading up a new team with the aim of producing games “that are beautiful, meditative, thoughtful, and sad”. So like the games he’s already worked on, but with fewer jokes.
Details about the next game are thin on the metaphorical, ‘probably a big allegory for something’ ground, but let’s have a rummage through these two job ads. Look, it’s gonna be third-person. That’s a start.
The first ad is for a “gameplay programmer/game feel designer”. Wreden’s looking for someone “who can prototype, implement, and polish various tiny mundane tasks such as watering a garden or pouring tea, to give them a sense of charm and whimsy”. Is it a Victorian tea party game? It could be a Victorian tea party game.
Wreden also mentions the tea-designer should be “self-directed in figuring out how to make the core gameplay loop feel enjoyable”. I can’t help but wonder if this is an elaborate ruse, designed to weed out applicants that would rave about “core gameplay loops” in a story ’em up like the Beginner’s Guide. Or maybe this is the grim language game development applications are always written in. Or maybe Wreden’s just having some fun.
The other role is for Systems Engineer, and significantly less informative. It does mention that the role involves “building storage for the game’s vast amount of content and data, such as character dialogue”, and that “the game will pull from this data pool at random times to create a generative series of events”. I’m not well versed in game-dev speak to figure out what that means, but it sure sounds like something that might mean something to someone.
The job listings are here, if you fancy having a dig yourself.
Whatever the game ends up being, I’ll play it. The Beginner’s Guide is arguably more interesting than it is successful, but a few key scenes have stuck with me. Go on, have a pop if you haven’t already.