5. The Critical Engineer recognises that each work of engineering engineers its user, proportional to that user's dependency upon it.

This article of the The Critical Engineering Manifesto talks, in my eyes, about the symbiotic relationship between a work of engineering (or indeed art) and its creator. As creators, they feel that a work of engineering is just as much a part of the engineer as the engineer is a part of their work. On top of this, the engineer learns more with every work they produce, growing their own capabilities. This is the heart of the symbiotic relationship: the work feeds the creator as much as it is fed and grows into fruition. It is the goal of the engineer to become the best they can be, and the only way of doing such is by engineering works.

To me this is interesting because as artist's I feel we should always be striving for better as we create works and learn as we go along. I personally find myself bogged down in my outcomes so heavily a-lot of the time that sometimes I forgot what I have learnt on the road, and for me this article was a succinct reminder that the road is just as much a part of the journey as the destination is.

Example: look at any artist's oeuvre through time,  their own growth in skill and ideas is evidence of this article.


Bastion (by Supergiant Games), Published 20th July, 2011

Bastion remains to this day one of my favourite video games. It follows the exploration of 'The Kid', who you play, through the post-apocalyptic world as he tries to piece together 'The Bastion', one of the last safe havens. For me it was an eye opening experience in the re-working of narratives, the full extent of the power of the soundtrack as well as the capabilities of an small indie publisher with only about 7 people to produce a well defined glossy and fabulously fun project. (I believe it took they two years to finish the project). This combined with the fact that they were working in two different cities to piece it together makes it one of the core works in my library of favourite works. I also feel that Bastion was the first time I fully absorbed the quality of such an individualistic art style for a game, which is very apparently continued in their other games.

I am uncertain of the software they used, but being an indie developer's first project I don't imagine they would have used custom software. The lead developer of the art style was inspired by Japanese isometric games, like the early Romance of Three Kingdom Games. Supergiant Games has produced two other similar third person narrative driven games and I imagine will continue to do so. - This is a link to Supergiant Games' Bastion page (it has videos and images of the work on there as well, including the trailer).  

(Credit: SealedSun Youtube Channel (, Bastion Gameplay, Youtube Video, posted August 16th, 2011, retrieved 5th September 2018)