Lockpicking is a frequently maligned component of many games, but as FPS minigames go I’ve always had a soft spot for it. I’d rather pick a thousand more locks in Oblivion than hack another Pipemania computer terminal in BioShock.
Enter Museum Of Mechanics: Lockpicking, a curated, playable exhibition of lockpicking minigames throughout the history of videogames. It’s now available via Steam, with a bunch of new additions since we last wrote about it.
The exhibition features recreated lockpicking mechanics from a range of popular games, letting you crack open locks in the style of Deus Ex, Thief, Oblivion and many more. Over the past year, developers Dim Bulb Games have expanded its roster with many more, including Gothic, Mass Effect and its sequel, the modern Wolfenstein, and Pathologic 2.
As an exhibition, its first rate. The recreations are impressive, and as a collection they push you to consider the numerous design approaches developers have used to tackle the same fundamental concept. A lot of games have come up with their own take on lockpicking, it turns out. Each minigame is also paired with an analysis “from a professional game designer.”
Museum Of Mechanics: Lockpicking was built by Dim Bulb, aka Johnnemann Nordhagen, who previously created the narrative adventure Where The Water Tastes Like Wine. Nordhagen also previously worked at Fullbright on Gone Home, and before that on BioShock 2 at Irrational.
Given the structure of the name, I hope we see future Museum Of Mechanics games. Although this begs the question: what game mechanics deserve their own exhibition? I vote for inventory management.