Monday, November 10, 2008

Discussions of game design.

I was having a discussion with my dear friend Eric, when the subject of Fallout 3 came up.

Apparently, his roommate is upset that the game wasn't perfect or up to whatever standard he expected, so the retribution he garnered was to get angry and play the game int he most exploitive fashion possible. ('Efficient' was the word used.)

This seems indicative of the consumer side of the gaming industry as a whole. They bitch and moan about how they can't turn off various frills or features, and this some how ruins the entire game. But they cannot actually vocalize what it is they DO want.

Take, for example, the menu display in the above mentioned game. Your character raises his arm, and looks at his pipboy. I'll pause for the gasps to pass.

Now, there was a complaint lodged in the discussion that you could not skip this brief graphic before the menu was displayed for you.

My only response to this is: Bethesda makes graphically impressive games, so they tend to stick in a lot of graphical bells and whistles. If you do not like graphical bells and whistles, then Bethesda does not make games for you. You are not the intended audience, and so would probably find another game fun.

There has been an argument long raging as to how much is necessary for a game.

Two camps have come about, as well as a six million mile gray area in between the two. The first, is the bare essentials, minimal graphics, game play focused. The other went for a more cinematic, movie like approach focusing on immersion in a world or story instead of new or innovative game play mechanics.

I don't particularly care for chocolate pie. So, instead of going to one of the best chocolate pie bakeries in town and telling them about how displeasing their product is, I go to the eclair shop and purchase their delicious confections.

See, it solves the problem, and sends a very clear, concise message to the pie baker that his product is not going to earn him my money. Then, when a product comes along that you do want, you do appreciate, then you give them your money, and keep them in business.

Seems to me to be a far more grown up way of dealing with a situation.

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