July 6, 2012 9:30 PM | John Polson
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Sometimes video games are at their best when they offer a bit of a sadistic kick. Online games prove that players love griefing and inflicting harm on others, and they're not the only ones. Bennett Foddy, the creator of eccentric Flash games QWOP and GIRP, claims that his favorite part of making games is griefing the people who play them.
"And I think players like being griefed too!" Foddy said during a presentation at this year's Independent Games Summit during GDC 2012 in San Francisco. "I think they like being confused as long as it's part of the game. I think they like being humiliated as long as it's the developer or another player who's humiliating them. And I think they like being frustrated, which is becoming almost a rare delicacy in gaming."
He jokes, "You can get tea-bagged by a 13-year-old when you're playing Halo online, but it's reasonably rare for the game developer to tea-bag the player."
Foddy's own games go out of their way to manipulate, tease, and frustrate their players. It might not seem fair, but that's the point. Foddy thinks more developers should grief their audience, since it can make their games more interesting, and more fun.
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More Free VideosIn addition to this unconventional session, the GDC Vault has added two extra free videos, covering the extensive localization of StarCraft II and a postmortem on Zynga's Indiana Jones Adventure World.
In "StarCraft II - Carte Blanche Localization," Blizzard senior manager William Barnes details how the major studio ensured that StarCraft II was ready for its worldwide launch. Along the way, he shares some creative solutions for in-game lip-synching, working with geometric text, and translating a game to suit a variety of cultures and demographics. [GDC Vault free video]
Elsewhere, Zynga designer Seth Sivak offers a behind the scenes look at one of the social giant's latest releases in "Indiana Jones Adventure World: Making Core Gameplay for Everyone." Here, Sivak explains how Zynga designs its major social games, and outlines some important challenges the Zynga Boston team faced and the lessons it learned along the way. [GDC Vault free video]
About the GDC VaultIn addition to all of this free content, the GDC Vault also offers more than 300 additional lecture videos and hundreds of slide collections from GDC 2012 for GDC Vault subscribers. GDC 2012 All Access pass holders already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form.
Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can send an email to Gillian Crowley. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.
Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more free content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from upcoming 2012 events like GDC Europe, GDC Online, and GDC China. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC and the GDC Vault are owned and operated by Gamasutra parent company UBM Technology.
[This article originally appeared on Gamasutra.]