Rethinking failure with Hades

Game designers think a lot about success. There have been numerous books, research papers and GDC talks exploring the ways in which players can be rewarded for their victories. The player's desire to chase a sense of accomplishment is a fundamental driver behind how much of video game design works. In focusing on this though, it’s easy enough to overlook just how much time players can spend failing in games. Without proper consideration and balancing, failure can quickly become something demoralizing for players. If one of the core experiences of playing a game is to fail, shouldn’t designers also ensure that failure is something that leads to interesting experiences in itself?

This is obviously territory that many designers have been exploring for decades, and particularly so in the rogue-lite genre. This interview with the lead designer and writer of Hades, Greg Kasavin, offers some great insights into how the game approached defeat and failure as a core part of the game experience.

Full interview available here