The Stanley Parable

Stanley Parable Dev Showcase: Signing Off

July 24, 2013

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 to drop everything and quit

It's a question that's been asked over and over, throughout the ages, by every person who's ever set out to create something:

Is now the right time
to abandon everything I've been working on
in an emotional rage?

Everyone handles this question differently. Some people flip a coin, some people flip hundreds of coins in a series of multi-tiered coin-flipping tournaments, and there are even people who meticulously craft their own same-sided coins in order to guarantee a particular outcome.

But these are generally considered to be ancient methodologies, outdated and obsolete in this modern era. For the contemporary craftsman there is only one truly reliable source for answers, one that can be trusted to deliver without any concern for failure: Rolf

Rolf lives on a 12'x12' island located in the very center of Indonesia:

There he has a single desk and computer. He has committed himself to two things: helping creatives figure out when to quit in a huff, and never dying. Rolf will be there for our children, and our children's children, and the people our children's children dress up in children's clothing to impersonate their biological children.

Rolf is single-handedly responsible for nearly every major decision to completely abandon one's work in a violent rage over the last 4 decades or so. He's become a touchstone in the creative community, and to speak personally for a moment, he's shaped my own development process in countless ways.

Here, for a minute let me share with you some of the exchanges between myself and Rolf that demonstrate the impact he's had on my game development:

Rolf didn't give me an answer because he knew that the real answer was inside of me, that I had to search deep within myself for the true path forward. I didn't quit development on that day, because Rolf taught me to think for myself, to not give up on my pursuits.

And your questions don't always need to be just about the right time to quit everything you're doing, Rolf is delighted to answer any questions you may have!

Rolf is wisdom, Rolf is guidance.

Here's a more recent email exchange between the two of us:

Just as always, Rolf had the perfect solution to all of my problems.

The only hard part now is going to be putting it all into action. And I think I know just where to start.

Click for full size image

My work is complete.

I've done everything I could.

All I need now is the final approval from Rolf.

He alone knows whether I can quit.

Whether I can abandon the HDS recklessly.

Have I done enough?

When his email arrives I tear it open with shaking hands:


The Helpful Development Showcase has been so much fun to make and to share with all of you I couldn't even possibly say. Thank you for joining me on this little experiment! There are many more experiments out there left to tackle, and right now I've got a big one left to wrap up. The Stanley Parable will be done before too much longer, and I'm absolutely bursting to share it with you all.

So that's where I am going to be putting all my time and energy for the next few months, into finishing the game. We've been working on this thing for quite a long time, and I'm just about ready to put it to a close.
Let's make a video game. Let's make a video game.

Love y'all!


45 Responses to “Stanley Parable Dev Showcase: Signing Off”

  1. blex says:

    It’s been a pleasure, Davey. An absolute pleasure.

  2. Franz says:

    this has been a blast davey, cheers on giving the finger to creative boredom!

    p.s. i wish you couldve trained those hitmen out of your own pocket

  3. ShaunJS says:


    Bravo. Awesome from start to finish. As sad as it obviously is to not be able to expect more of something I legitimately loved – possibly more than I loved the original game that brought me here – I think you’ve timed it’s end perfectly. Now it will always be “That awesome, hilarious blog post series that Davey Wreden wrote while he was making TSP” and never has to risk getting stale, or losing what made it special.

    Not to mention more coal for the development train!

    The end is never the end is never the end is never the end is never the end is the end yeah I said it this is the end no really this is it this is the end. The end.


  4. Sam says:

    My roommates are complaining about the ongoing applause.

    Thanks Davey, for creating the funniest blog I’ve ever read in my entire life. I know this compliment is both cliché and probably untrue (I didn’t put a lot of thought in it, to be honest) but that doesn’t matter, right now at this exact time (16:51) it’s true and that’s all that matters.

    Now finish up the damn game, you beautiful bastard!

  5. modded says:

    All good things must come to a close.


  6. TarAlacrin says:

    Phenomenal. Simply Phenomenal. Sending the Helpful Development Showcase with not only all the pomp and circumstance it deserves, but also the pomp and circumstance it needs. Suck it Gotham.

    I’m sad to see it go, but at the same time; Happy to know that it Dies in glory, just as it lived.
    A truly amazing sendoff.

  7. A lover, not a fighter says:

    I love you Davey, Rolf, Franz, Kirk Hamilton, Barack Obama, William, Mr. Foots and ALL those cruising, dancing hitmen.

  8. SeekerPsycho says:

    A round of applause for you, this website, and Rolf. What a brilliant send-off. This has been one of the best dev showcases. Just brilliant. For your brain twisting work and humor, a thanks. And if you were ever worried about your fans’ reactions, I for one support your decision. If doing what you love becomes a chore, it will show. Everyone benefits if you save yourself the strife.

    Can hardly wait for the game. Go man, go!

  9. Ace says:

    Great I was addicted to HDS and now that you quit I’m going to die. Hope you are happy. Will still buy the game.

  10. nobody says:

    And so it ends. This was perfect and beautiful in every conceivable possible way.

    Hope you have a blast making the game!

  11. Rolf says:


  12. Nick says:

    I’m a lurker that’s been reading these posts and never commented on them before, but now I’m compelled to just applaud you for the best send-off I’ve ever seen for a blog ever.
    I was worried that the last post would leave me with a bittersweet (but mostly bitter) tang in my mouth but now I just wanna clap, whoop and dammit I can’t stop smiling
    Thank you for this wonderful blog, I’ll be sure to come back to it and chuckle heartily when my life feels humorless and dull. I officially dub this “one of the things on the internet that is proof we are taking steps toward a new golden age.”

  13. Saito says:

    First time writer long time reader- I honestly started playing your game because of the blog- I didn’t know about the game until I was referred to the site by a good friend. I felt that the way you orchestrated everything was genius and kept people entertained in game and out.Thanks for the memories! Hope to play your next game in the near future!

  14. Jack Blithe says:

    Mother of fuck.

    I have to give you my highest regards, being the only blogger on the internet, who, on many separate occasions, had said what I’d been dying to say about the creative process, & you are the only person I admire whom I do not hate the guts of for his success. So…congratulations. You have managed to be humble, witty & an admirably hard worker, all things I wish I could say about myself, but am entirely too humble, handsome, & deliriously charming to admit. I certainly hope that the HDS becomes an essential read for everyone.

    But you never replied to my spammy askthenarrator email. I was so looking forward to being taught in the ways of omniscient voiceover. Ah, well. There is a time for answers & this is not it. Perhaps the day will never come. Now that the HDS is done, all I know for certain is:

    Now…is the time for flan. I offer a toast with our burning flan cups, & keep up the amazing work.

    • Davey says:

      Hi Jack! I’m extremely flattered by your very kind words! I also wanted to note though that if there really are other people whose success does make you hate them, to remind you that in my experience, almost all creative people tend to feel very similar to this! Everyone wants their work to be liked, everyone wants to personally be liked, everyone’s afraid of their art becoming stale or boring, if there’s any difference with me it’s that I focus a lot of energy on how to effectively convey those particular feelings, I try to be extremely vulnerable about how that comes across in my work.

      Other people perhaps don’t prioritize conveying those emotions, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel them! If you think a person creating work TRULY doesn’t want to be liked or TRULY wants to piss off others or TRULY thinks they are perfect and that their work is beyond reproach, I’d speculate that there’s a lot more to the situation that you’re perhaps not getting the chance to see.

      I’m not going to speak for everyone, this is just my experience of creatives in general! And I don’t say this to reprimand you, just to remind you that creation can be an intensely difficult and emotional process, and there’s so much happening on a personal level below the surface. Getting to know those people and see what’s really going on in their heads is the fun part :)

  15. Matt B says:

    Im sad to see it go, the HDSs have been hilarious. I have looked forward to it each week. I thank you for writing them. Alas Stanley needs your attention. Anticipation is killing me. Good luck with the final stretch. We are all counting on you….

  16. Georgia says:

    This sucks!
    YOu suck!

  17. Die Kabelgesellschaft says:

    Wait a sec the kotaku article refers to your blog “fake?(Pain article)”date 25 July. You wrote this HDS July 24. July. You are a timetraveller… How is HL3?

  18. ACSilva says:

    All good things must come to an end, I suppose. But why did you stop the HDS before the release of SPHD? Nevertheless, you are a true genius, both when it comes to video game design and writing hilarious blogs!

  19. Doug says:

    Absolutely love these things but totally get why you would stop doing em. I was amazed every time you posted one how much creativity and hilariously thought-out illogical logic they were filled with. It totally makes sense that you want to put that time to the game but allow me to reinforce what you already know, that these were a great use of your time while you did them for fans like me to read. Also saw your talk a few months back online and thought the exact same thing, that this dude puts out more quality ideas and hilarious monologues than most could in a lifetime. Cant wait for HD stanley!

    • Davey says:

      Well the reality is just that I became kind of tired of writing them! I’m able to make these the insane yet somehow cohesive pieces you enjoy because I care about what I’m doing and I put energy into it. When I feel that energy dwindle, I run the risk of giving you crap. I think every creative endeavor just has a certain halflife, and for me that happened with the HDS. I enjoyed working on them less, and the less I enjoy making them the less you’ll probably enjoy reading them! This is my way of making sure we never get to that point.

  20. ThePaSch says:

    On one hand, I can nothing but agree with your decision to end the HDS if you really became tired of writing them. You yourself have explained it better than I could, so I’m not even going to try.

    On the other hand, GOD DAMN IT. I’m usually not much of a laugher, but every single one of them cracked me up to no end. If only there was a way to get an endless stream of this stuff without it ever becoming stale (yup – no way, that’s how the world works! Why can’t we have nice things?).

  21. Michael says:

    I just have to say that HDS has been the funniest thing I have ever read on the internet. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to create and and bring a crazy amount of laughter into the world. I wish you the best of luck with the Stanley Parable and your future endeavors.

  22. Midduh Chawdluh says:

    I like stuff because I don’t but when I do nope yup lel k bye.

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