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Stanley Parable Dev Showcase: Making Mistakes

The Stanley Parable Helpful Development Showcase is our way of connecting you to the development of The Stanley Parable by giving you a small look at what’s been going on behind the scenes. Each week we’ll give you a tiny peek into what it takes to make a game like The Stanley Parable, the creative challenges we come up against in the course of development, and how to not judge yourself as a person for the quality of choices you’ve made in your own life. These are just a few of the topics we’ll cover in this incredibly useful blog series.

This week: Admitting that you’ve made mistakes

Almost everyone is human, which means that almost everyone makes mistakes. Sure, the pain of making a mistake so wretched and vicious it’s nearly unbearable, but it’s even more painful to have to admit your mistake to others. Today I’m going to show you how to communicate your errors to your teammates in a healthy and graceful manner.

First let’s look at the mistake I made. The texture on this floor needs to be carpet instead of wood. It’s a simple change.

Instead, I accidentally delete the entire map.

In a blind panic, I save the file. Everything is lost.

I’ve made a mistake. Again, it’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes and you are still normal and that I love you.

But it’s also important to regain composure and handle the situation with precision if you want to do any damage control. This can be resolved if we stay calm. Let’s think about the situation logically:

  1. Everything that was lost was inside the map file
  2. If the map file doesn’t exist, no one will know you deleted everything in it

The only logical answer is to delete the map file.

Perfect! Or is it?

Look closer. Isn’t is suspicious that that’s the only missing map file? Weren’t you supposed to be editing that particular map? If anyone sees that this file is missing they’ll know without a doubt that it was you who fucked up.

Our only option is to delete the rest of the maps as well.

Good, this is much better.

But I’m still uneasy. I’m not worried about being caught, I’m thinking about what kind of man I am. I’m a real man, I own a real shirt, I built a house once. When I start something I follow through, and right now this feels to me like a half-assed job. That just doesn’t sit right in my stomach.

I think I’m going to delete every file in the entire game.

Be sure to empty the recycle bin!

Outstanding! You’ve just permanently erased every file from your team’s shared Dropbox.

High five yourself.

Uh oh, here’s William, the lead level designer on Stanley Parable. It seems he’s discovered my “mistake” and wants to talk. As a team leader, this seems like a good opportunity for me to discuss the game’s radical new direction with him.

It seems he’s exhibiting a “negative” response to the news. Let’s do some damage control: what can we say that will convince him there’s no possible way you could have been responsible for erasing the game?

Well played.

Shit, he’s catching on. Damage control.


Next week, we’ll talk about hiring new team members.

February 20, 2013 by Shane Sweeney 30 comments

30 comments. Add yours!

  1. Sebastian 2 years ago Reply

    God, these are just fantastic! They always make me laugh so damn hard, how many more can we expect?

    • davey 2 years ago Reply

      Hopefully until the game’s launch! Or as long as I’m able to keep up the momentum 😛

      • Sebastian 2 years ago Reply

        Fantastic :) keep up the good work, can’t wait for the release :)

        • wiktor 2 years ago Reply

          That sounds like if you don’t wanna see any more of those in this context xD

  2. Chris 2 years ago Reply

    I don’t think I did this right. I set about correcting a mistake I made in a map I was doing as per these instructions, then looked away, and when I looked back, my computer was gone.

    • davey 2 years ago Reply

      The problem is that you do not exist. Try unthinking yourself out of non-existence and boot the map up again.

  3. Benny 2 years ago Reply

    I just read this post and the previous post and now I can’t stop laughing.

    Thank you.

  4. Darin 2 years ago Reply

    You sir, continue to amuse greatly. Though even joking about deleting uber important files makes me cringe horribly, ha. As if it wasn’t already evident before, you are clearly an expert of mind games.

  5. JS 2 years ago Reply

    Don’t forget to boot all others from the Dropbox folder and delete your Dropbox account so that no one can revert all deletions.

  6. Stevoisiak 2 years ago Reply

    Or alternatively, you could use Dropbox’s “Restore Previous Version of File” feature to get all the files back.

    But that wouldn’t be nearly as funny, now would it?

  7. SPYmaps 2 years ago Reply

    how is it possible to delete a entire map when you only want to take out a texture on a floor, or the whole floor for that matter??!! i am a mapper, so i know the difference between the 2.
    that said, even when you should delete the entire map, then still nothing is lost, just your last 15 min of mapping, just go bac to the map in the autosave folder. still, you never should rely on that. one of the first things you learn as a mapper is that you need to save your map each time you did build something to it, under a different name (map1, map2, etc)/. so should something go wrong, then you always just go back to the earlier version.

    quit a beginners mistake when i may say so, when you save each time with the same mapname, and not know that you level is also autosaved. just really surprice me to read this here!!!


    • davey 2 years ago Reply

      Hello SPYmaps, I believe you may have missed the joke. Though I appreciate your concern for the project :)

  8. Tony 2 years ago Reply

    Quite surprised you guys aren’t using proper version control. Git anyone?

    • Sam 2 years ago Reply

      In a way, Dropbox can be used as a simpler version of Git… painless to set up, still keeps all the revisions and it’s really user-friendly. Nowhere near as powerful though

  9. James 2 years ago Reply

    Well I just tried to use this technique with my project manger and he gave me the ending response that if I’m not real, I’m fired… I am unsure how to continue this. Do I delete him and then his family or do I keep trying the I do not exist approach?

    • Bigbigcheese 2 years ago Reply

      You are not real. How can you be fired if you are not real, unless he is also not real and thus being in the same dimension as you. Yet this creates the problem of there being no project manager, which means no project. Thus nothing to be fired from. Therefore you cannot be fired, otherwise the project doesn’t exist, and if the project doesn’t exist there is no use for a project manager… Thus firing you will be almost as effective as firing himself, also known as quitting.
      Thus the only logical conclusion is that he has to resign his position as project manager.

  10. ShaunJS 2 years ago Reply

    I love this in every imaginable sense of love. Probably even a few more than that.

    Am I the only one who read “It’s a simple change.” In the same voice as the “Making of SP” video saying “It’s a futile task. (Bees, Can’t read.)

  11. Anonymous 2 years ago Reply

    Halp, they restored the file from backup on dropbox. I tried to delete dropbox but I couldn’t get rid of the server without stopping all the routers and now the internet


    • davey 2 years ago Reply

      it’s okay don’t worry everything will be

      first you should

      okay, now simply stop doing the problem and everything should be fixed!

  12. Anonymous 2 years ago Reply

    The Stanley parable hd remix looks like the best game ever…

  13. This post was linked to from

    Designer Weekly March18 » Live. Play. Design

  14. Indigo Code 2 years ago Reply

    Whenever I read these, I read it in the narrator’s voice… strange…
    “Say ‘hi’ to the Internet, William!”

  15. Sleepy Corpse 2 years ago Reply

    Calm under pressure with the damage control *claps*

  16. the glades 2 years ago Reply

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  17. coyote 2 years ago Reply

    You do know I have to ask: Was the response genuine? 😛

  18. Tristan 1 year ago Reply

    I actually heard the Skype call sound when I looked at the picture of William’s Skype profile.

  19. This post was linked to from

    Top Indie Game Trailers of October 2013 - Kert Gartner's Roundup | blog.kertgartner.com

  20. Michelle 1 year ago Reply

    I think they should make you work only under that “Davey Stuff” folder from now on, haha.

    Just out of curiousity, did this actually happen? Or was it set up?

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