Art is the material thing that happens when someone manages to release the pole around which, to a selfish person, the entire universe seems to rotate. You feel your own sense of importance slip away as your grip on that pole loosens. That loss-of-self is right at the heart of any kind of performance. This is why people who are really good at it frequently come across as simple-minded or pretentious when asked to explain how they do it. They don’t know, because they weren’t there. Now, fear is the art of selfish times. Fear is what is produced by people gripping ever more tightly to the pole at the center of themselves. Fear of losing what they take as evidence that they are, indeed, themselves, and so the center of everything. It’s usually money, but any source of prestige that can be quantified will do. Racial purity (full-blood, half-blood, quadroon, etc.) is another example.



Stanley Parable Dev Showcase: Pressure

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: How not to give into pressure

As a highly-recognized celebrity game developer, I’m under constant pressure from the people around me to modify and make additions to my game simply to serve their own needs. These are people who think only of themselves and have little or not consideration for Art. They might not even know what Art means!

If you came to this blog to find out what Art means, let me point you to this excerpt from

This definition is what I turn to whenever I’m uncertain about the quality of my work. It gives me the strength I need to shoot down other peoples’ opinions mercilessly.

Let’s look at one example of how I respond to pressure from the public to steer the direction of Stanley Parable one way or the other. Here’s a screenshot from the game’s Greenlight page:

See how I got all excited and acted as though I was going to use Smithy’s idea?

That’s because I did. It’s in the game.

It’s a great idea.

I’m not going to turn down great ideas.

Here’s another example of the tough-love attitude you have to take when members of the public try to get their dirty fingers all over your creation.

Obviously this one is also going in.

The guy sounds passionate about squid. Don’t you see it in his words? In his words between the words? He isn’t just asking me to put squid in the game, he’s telling me that for him, squid IS the game. Will he play this game and see anything but squid? Or rather, can he look at a squid and see anything but The Stanley Parable? I can’t answer that question, nor do I intend to. All I can do is bring this young boy’s dream to life.

Here’s another example of a suggestion from the public:

Mr. Foots needs to be in this game.

The Stanley Parable needs Mr. Foots.

Mr. Foots the mathematical wizard, deconstructor of numbers, of the universe. He who sees it from all angles, who can manipulate the fabric of time to his will.

Why is he so tall? Did he choose this height or was it forced on him? Will he ever be shorter? Does he measure himself in inches or in quarter-inches? These are the kinds of unanswerable questions that get to the root of what Stanley Parable is all about.

Mr. Foots is an enigma, he sees without seeing, he knows without knowing. He is everywhere and nowhere. Is it a stretch to say that he IS the stanley parable? No, no it is not. No stretching required.


These suggestions from fans, they’re so pure, so genuine…it’s like they know my own game better than I do…

Once again, I turn to the public for help:

Slowly, in response to my request for ideas, a cohesive picture of what The Stanley Parable should be begins to emerge:

I include all of these suggestions and more, and already the game feels much more cohesive. I can tell it’s coming together now, it’s got life to it.

But it’s still missing something.

I turn to the only real source of wisdom any of us have in our lives.

Minutes later, I get an email back:

At last, hope! Could this response hold the answers I’ve been looking for?

Eagerly, I go to and pull up the definition of Art:

He got me again! I’ve fallen for that one too many times.

So perhaps all of my questions haven’t been answered, but that’s okay. Sure, there are times when I’m uncertain of my work and doubtful of my abilities, but it’s probably healthy to be at least a little bit skeptical of yourself. Otherwise how would I be able to accept when my work isn’t up to par? That’s why I keep good friends and community close at hand, to keep me in check and watch my back. It’s these friends who guide me ever on that eternal voyage toward completely genuine and intensely vulnerable artistic expression.

I’m gonna go get a picture of Mr. Foots tattooed to my forehead.

May 29, 2013 by Davey 29 comments

29 comments. Add yours!

  1. SergeiPMedv 4 years ago Reply

    Well, this one is much better. I`m satisfied.

  2. footsfan420 4 years ago Reply
  3. Stevoisiak 4 years ago Reply


    • Dragons in Parable. 4 years ago Reply

      It’s a thing. Respect the thing. (As long as there’s dragons in this game, all will be well.)

  4. Cristan 4 years ago Reply

    Add a German speaking cyborg monkey to the game!

    • Cory 4 years ago Reply

      He must be named “Herr Bananas,” and he must speak with a Central German accent.

  5. derp 4 years ago Reply

    Another wonderful showcase, keep it up! I liked this one more than the previous.

  6. Wheatley 4 years ago Reply

    add a submarine to the game its going to be epic

  7. MilkMaster 4 years ago Reply

    Spit milk all over my computer screen.
    Pure gold.

  8. Cirdain 4 years ago Reply

    This is outstanding, this is a truly outstanding literary style you have here. I, I’m stunned.
    I’m really looking forward how understanding what about understanding the parable brings to understanding the conventions of understanding. However I truly fear that understanding the ways that understanding understands will be way over my head because I don’t often find books that funny. However, I found this hilarious so there may still be hope yet.

    Also, would you kindly ask Valve if you could put small hints to the whole application of the game being a vetting process employees have to go through in order to have been a crew member of the Borealis.

  9. KageSpartan 4 years ago Reply

    Pretty sure I was trying to be sarcastic in response to another poster. I’d have to look.

    Certainly, I’ve seen stranger things running about in games. Hell, a couple of mine have a talking cat.

  10. Them 4 years ago Reply

    Whatever you do… DO! NOT! PUT! A! BOX! IN! THE! GAME! That is all.

    • Us 4 years ago Reply

      Well, wasn´t that a Little to much caps, don´t you think? Your going to be in the box for a very long time for this…

      • Them 4 years ago Reply


        • Us 4 years ago Reply

          Do you never learn? That was in all caps. Never mind us! Them is back in the box now. He won´t bother you again. You are all safe.

          • Someone 4 years ago

            You know, I really enjoyed the way you dealt with that uncomfortable situation and gave a suitable punishment for his wrongdoings. Although I was almost sorry for him having to go back into the box, it really was his own fault for not taking things seriously and talking in all caps. Perhaps by now he has learnt his lesson, and will be able to act responsibly in a way that won’t get himself thrown into a small wooden box.

          • YOU 2 years ago

            I am all safe. Let’s thank Us for that!

  11. Sam00197 4 years ago Reply

    Please include frogs.
    Giant purple frogs.
    Yours sincerely


  12. Sam00197 4 years ago Reply

    in fact scratch the frogs, put my best friend joshua scourfield. make him run around and scream your face. That would be nice

  13. Invective 4 years ago Reply

    I have a vague feeling that Davey is being serious on some level and will put at least one of these ‘suggestions’ into the game.

  14. acebud 4 years ago Reply

    YOU should put in chocolate in the game! a chocolate that is purple!

    thank for looking at this random suggestion


  15. acebud 4 years ago Reply

    wait scratch the chocolate put in a kangroo! and put in a rabbit that leaps at you and rips off your head ( most of these suggestions are from my friends:p ), a Necromancer called acebud and thats all

    thanks for looking at this random suggestion

    • Funness 4 years ago Reply

      How about were you can eat stuff and the more you eat, the fatter you get meaning you walk slower and if you eat to much the commentator says “In the end, Stanley exploded from eating to much”. Then you explode.

  16. Zantier 4 years ago Reply

    You’re right, something is missing from the game.

    Put something in the game and that should fix it.

    Also, a button that pulls a cage up from on top of another button. The second button does nothing, or alternatively, if you’ve made the right choices in your life (outside of the “game”), lowers the cage.

  17. Aaowferson 4 years ago Reply

    I was very disappointed after playing the Stanley Parable and not seeing any of this stuff being implemented into the actual game.

    You lied to all those people, you know. You gave them a false sense of hope.


    • B-Man99 3 years ago Reply

      Mr. Foots is in the game. What are you talking about?

  18. Joseph Bigham 4 years ago Reply

    I’ve been having issues downloading said game from Steam. It keeps saying I don’t have an internet connection, but I have perfectly clear internet connection. Is anyone able to help?

  19. Tristan 4 years ago Reply

    I have come the conclusion that this is the best website on the internet. You should include a Scene in which Stanley finds out that he was all along.

  20. B-Man99 3 years ago Reply

    That bit with Barack and “Gotcha!” is abotu the only thing that has kept me smiling for the past 9 days. I’m not laughing, or smiling with like an evil grin or something. It just makes me so wonderfully, beautifully happy.

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