This is the story of a man named Stanley. Stanley worked for a company in a big building where he was employee # 427. Employee # 427’s job was simple: he sat at his desk in room 427 and he pushed buttons on a keyboard. Orders came to him through a monitor on his desk, telling him what buttons to push, how long to push them, and in what order. This is what employee 427 did every day of every month of every year, and although others might have considered it soul rending, Stanley relished every moment that the orders came in, as though he had been made exactly for this job. And Stanley was happy. And then one day, something very peculiar happened, something that would forever change Stanley, something he would never quite forget. He had been at his desk for nearly an hour when he realized that not one, single order had arrived on the monitor for him to follow. No one had shown up to give him instructions, call a meeting, or even say hi. Never in all his years at the company had this happened, this complete isolation. Something was very clearly wrong. Shocked, frozen solid, Stanley found himself unable to move for the longest time, but as he came to his wits and regained his senses, he got up from his desk and stepped out of his office.



The Stanley Parable Helpful Development Showcase: Forklifts

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.

Let’s take a piece of reader mail, this one comes to us from Franklin I. of Michigan:

I’m starting to learn game design and the biggest hurdle I keep running into over and over is knowing how many forklifts to put into my game. Could you give me a specific number? It would be a huge help, thanks!


Hey Franklin, let’s get one thing straight: There is no “specific number.” The appropriate number of forklifts is an art, you hear me? What I do is art. I’m an artist.

Okay! So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s dig a bit deeper into the correct amount of forklifts to place have in your game. First, open up your map.

So far your game is pretty terrible. That doesn’t necessarily mean you are terrible as a person, but it wouldn’t hurt to lose some sleep thinking obsessively about it.

Now let’s add a single forklift.

Right now you’re probably thinking:

One forklift looks pretty good, time to add a second!

Woah there cowboy! What did I just say about the number of forklifts being an art? You can’t just rush into a decision like that.

Why don’t we take some time simply to be with the number of forklifts that are currently in the game? Let’s feel it out by meditating on it our current game for one week.

Okay! One week should have passed since you were last here, so let’s return to our map and see how we feel about it now.

You’re right, it does need more forklifts.

Again, it’s important to take some time to feel out the emotional weight of this decision. Let’s take another week of reflection and deep self discovery.


In that week that just passed, something stirred in me.

Something profound. I feel…affected.

Is it the intangible nature of our mortality?

Is my spirit swelling, ballooning the fabric that holds the universe together?

Who am I?

What is my purpose?

Life is so short.

I don’t yet know what this all means, but there could be no better way to express it than through the act of creation. I feel like I finally see what this map is trying to become, let’s take it there now:

I’m an artist.

February 13, 2013 by Davey 19 comments

19 comments. Add yours!

  1. ISB 3 years ago Reply

    I would normally hope that all of those forklifts are prop_physics, but then that would probably ruin the delicate balance of forklift placement you have going here

  2. DAN 3 years ago Reply

    Perfect forklift composition.

  3. Seesfu 3 years ago Reply

    Neither of you guys are doing it right, you need to engage in the reflection.

  4. Mutank 3 years ago Reply

    You’d better export that map in HDR.

    Or else it’s useless in Source Filmmaker, and all that breathtaking work will go to waste.

  5. The Narrator 3 years ago Reply

    I think it’s vital to get the right brand of forklift. I myself like riding a Doosan. Or if I’m slumming it … a session with a Lift-Rite Pallet Jack suffices.

  6. Mister L 3 years ago Reply


    • John A. 2 years ago Reply

      By god! he is right! now we know the truth.

  7. Sephiebb 3 years ago Reply

    I am interested in how your work as an artist combines with your work as a scientist, ensuring doors are not malicious towards humans and such. Do you ever consider the metaphorical implications that can arise from how a red door holds back a torrent of forklifts? Or do you instead prefer to simply allow the emotions of the scene to exist as they are first created?

  8. Lawyer 007 3 years ago Reply

    I represent the Forklifts United Commonly Kind and we are complaining about the misuse of the forklifts in that piece of “art” you have created. Although humerous to humans, video game forklift world-wide find this offensive and wish you to blank out each forklift in the picture. Thank you for your understanding.

    Lawyer for Video Game Characters

  9. Jordan 3 years ago Reply

    After a good bit of reflection and a nice cup of tea, I’ve come to agree that this is a fine number of forklifts (not that it’s much of a surprise, really). The thing is, I can’t help but feel that this would have a larger emotional impact were a few, maybe two or three of them, were painted green as opposed to yellow.

  10. jack 3 years ago Reply

    what source game are you making it with? portal 2. half-life 2. which game?

  11. Livonor 2 years ago Reply

    NO! Those comments below are too good to be made by regular random people on the internet, they must be made by the author of the post/game, if my comment don’t get posted that’s a proof that I’m saying the truth (and if it gets posted it’s just a trick made by the author to make you believe that I’m not saying the truth).

  12. thecreepersbane 2 years ago Reply

    *sniff* beautiful… just… beautiful… i cant take it! *sob*

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