Why Cliche?

This entry was posted on Dec 18 2010

A friend of mine recently asked why we chose the name Cliche Studio.

Well, the main reason is that Ant and I like bad jokes.

But, there is more to it than that. Games are a powerful medium. They can do things that no other medium can do, and we are going to explore that.

Recently, a spate of games have been described as cinematic. But we don’t want cinematic games. I don’t want to have to stop and watch little movies with any regularity (like damn Xenosaga). If we want cinema, we’ll watch a movie. Instead, we want games. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good cut scene, but I don’t want to sit and watch what my character is doing. I am the character, so I want to decide what I do and how I react.

See, what games to do that no other medium can is create systems. In gaming, you can build systems for telling stories, systems of economy, and whole new sets of physics. True, in Star Trek they have Heisenberg compensators, but in games you can create rules for them that make sense and sets boundaries of their capabilities.

That is what we are going to do here at Cliche. We are going to create systems that play to the strength of games as its own, distinct artistic medium. Though that may be a grandiose statement, I am not going to make more of them by claiming that we are going to take over the world and do it all now. Rather, we are going to tackle this in pieces, so that we can perfect each aspect and make sure they are fun to play. We are doing it this way because fun is the main component of gaming. Gameplay is everything, and bad gameplay overshadows all aspects. Who cares if you have a great story if no one plays long enough to experience it? Who cares how you can change the world of the game if it is difficult or boring to do?

By taking the time to create and perfect gameplay for the many different aspects of gaming, we will create new narratives, new tropes, and new cliches that better suit the flexible and infinite medium of gaming.

About jkempf

James Kempf, CEO of Cliché Studio, has made two games for Mercury Retrograde Press, learned from managing the comics at Criminal Records that John Stewart is the best Green Lantern, and once happily played a 12 ft. dwarf in Rifts.