Welcome back to the second part of our interview with Jonathan Blow, creator of the indie smash Braid and the upcoming The Witness.
In this episode, we begin the discussion of what it means to spend our time playing games. Paramount to this: our discussion of "achievements" and how they feed into creating structures that presuppose challenging design.
I didn't think about H.E.R.O. in general or my record specifically for a full month after that long night. Then, due to happenstance, I found myself cleaning out some boxes from my mother's home over Christmas, ruthlessly disposing of anything I'd ever been graded on. Near the bottom of a box of sundry tossables, I came across this...
After a few false starts over the course of a week, getting my score into the 3-4 hundred thousand range, then getting controller-throwingly furious at abruptly losing half an hour's work when I got myself killed, I was almost ready to give up. After a particularly dispiriting series of losses I had the classic "1 more game" moment at Midnight on a Wednesday. This would, naturally, prove to be an unbelievably stressful decision.
So, some background to start. H.E.R.O. was an especially beloved game from my childhood, largely because it was my game. I'm sure anyone with siblings will recognize the phenomenon of shared game consoles and playing time, and the special joy that comes from having a game that is not only one's own property, but that holds no interest for siblings, so playing it offered a safe haven free from fights over controllers.
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