An article describing Patrice Désilets' new studio caught my eye this morning because even though my response to games like Assassin's Creed is mixed and the sequels to the previous-gen reboot of Prince of Persia seemed to go in weird directions, I've liked some of the philosophy coming from the Ubi Montreal studios.
The first time I noticed was reading that the time mechanic in Prince was inspired in an attempt to reduce the frustration of death in videogames. Maybe Patrice wasn't the individual that came up with the idea, but I gave him the credit, and this is the kind of thinking I wish I saw more of. Challenging basic assumptions is an amazing source of inspiration, that often leads to novel ideas, interesting evolutionary twists, or at least a better grasp of design. In game development, I am surprised at how infrequently people take a step back from what they were doing to dissect it, ask why, and really push those boundaries.