"Love" will feature lush, impressionistic, procedurally generated worlds.

I’m a bit late on this one, but mad genius Eskil Steenberg has a post up on his blog that hits some of the topics I grumbled about in my post on wonder, mystery and MMOs.

Discoverable content is all well and good, he argues, but the content itself has to be fun in its own right, not just satisfying because it was challenging to ferret out. His trip to E3 led him to question whether game players really want surprise more than quality.

I loved scribblenauts, but I want to show it to my friends rather then play it for hours and hours. Getting Super Mario Galaxy 2 may feel like a disappointment in terms of innovation, but then again, getting more form one of the most innovative and best games we have seen in years clearly cant be bad. A lot of indie games are becoming one trick pony freak shows, screaming out “look at me I’m different!”, rather then providing gameplay that is fun to play rather then to discover. I don’t care that much that Nintendo keeps remaking the same games given that they are still so amazingly good.

Steenberg’s one-man-opus of an MMO — “Love” — is based on gorgeous, abstract, procedurally generated worlds. The very random nature of the content and terrain would seem to be one answer to the question of how to insert the wonder of discoverable content back into a genre where answers are as close as WoWhead or Allakhazam.

I’ll have more to say on procedural content and other solutions to the wonder problem in later posts, but I think Steenberg gives us a great jumping-off point. Hidden or difficult-to-find content is just frustrating if the content itself isn’t worth finding.

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