Jul 30 //
Agent Oli It's taught at primary level education, when you want to simplify an equation in algebra you remove all unnecessary expressions. The same method of deduction holds true in games, examples include recent disappearances of the HUD in games such as Dead Space, Mario Galaxy, and Red Dead Redemption, helping the player focus their attention on what's important without the distraction of numbers and bars. This doesn't mean that developers are being lazy by taking things out of the game. The HUD is merely in hiding until needed, or being communicated differently. For example, a characters physical health can be displayed visually, as can the items equipped. And you don't have to be constantly aware of how much ammunition or money you have. Madden is a shining example of how reducing focus by adding extra features creates more value, often a few new features warrant new release of the game. If Madden 11 were a pie, it would be the fanciest pastry in the entire pie kingdom. Simplifying the next release of Madden only by reducing its content would make it tank in the market. But if the game's core mechanics were given a greater sense of value at the same time, maybe not. Let me give the example of this game made by and 8 year old named Ross, it is barebones and simple, but its focus on core mechanics makes it worthwhile for its short duration. http://thunderandlightninggames.com/ There is a general rule of thumb in the industry that a player should only have to press the "A" button (or click the mouse) three times in order to start a game from the main menu. Any more than that and you are just overcomplicating the menus and wasting the player's time. Assassin's Creed for PC infamously required 11 clicks to quit the game, and this complete lack of respect for the player could be seen as one reason why the port achieved lower review scores than on other platforms. Loading takes place in most games, while good developers strive to reduce these mandatory waits with optimization they are sometimes inevitable. However, in a similar way designers hide the HUD, load times can also be hidden. An early example of this where in early PS1 games where loading was lush and plentiful, tutorials and reading material where placed alongside loading bars to keep the players mind off the wait. Now, hiding load times has become more of an art, coming in the form of suspiciously long elevator rides such as in Mirrors edge, and doors that are a little bit slow to open in Metroid Prime. The current trend of installing games onto consoles may often take a long time, and is quite annoying. But people see the benefit in of time saved later. Examples in gameplay such as mundane fetch quests and backtracking are sometimes seen as a waste of time. Artificially increasing the duration of a game through cheap detours is seen as a way to add face value but at the cost of overall game experience. A short game at full price is acceptable only if the game experience is excellent. When a player learns the rules of a game world everything gets simpler. Simple rules lead to faster learning. People have a lot of preconceived ideas about how games should play. This can be used to a developer's advantage. For example, John Blow chose to make Braid a platformer because most people already knew how to play platform games. This meant he did not have to waste time on a tutorial, and could steadily teach new mechanics off the back of what every gamer knows already. On the flip side, Final Fantasy XIII spends twenty hours on what seems like a tutorial. This long process of learning is boring, receiving negative feedback from gamers, who often say the "good bit" of the game is discovered later. Square Enix could have allowed all features to be available from the start, letting players teach themselves, and provided optional tutorials. This would have resonated well with those already familiar with the franchise. Sometimes objectives and controls become so simple they do not require explanation. Indie games such as Blueberry Garden haven't been going through a trend of being too cool to tell you what you're supposed to do, or why. In reality they are trying to communicate objectives differently, and are another example of how developers hide what they feel is not necessary. In summary: This hasn't been about casual gaming or avatars, but a set of rules that can be applied to all games that attempt to successfully employ simplicity. Many designers have spent years in the pursuit of creating games that are simple to learn yet hard to master. This is blog serves as a starting point for those on a similar journey to me and for anyone just interested in games design generally. Thanks for your time!
[Agent Oli, a self-proclaimed amateur game developer, shares his thoughts on game design, and points out a few things he thinks current game developers are doing wrong. He also shares some neat little drawings of Mr. Destruct...
Shinta MGO's pretty fun! I suck at it though. I mostly hang back and just mark enemies and get the occasional sniper kill. It's pretty fun to be semi-useful with a very hands off role like that. Love my avatar character guy too.Mike Martin Fuck Insecticonsnanashi they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food https://youtu.be/t-mKHCMhkEURobo Panda Z I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.KyWii Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xDAvoclefo Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yQlDnIAR14[/youtube]Rad Party God AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'OverlordZetta N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!OverlordZetta Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?VIRGO Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game. gajknight Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go. CJ Andriessen My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiiboGoofierBrute Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #SpookySr Churros It is coming fast AAAAAAH http://blogs.sega.com/2015/10/06/3d-sonic-the-hedgehog-2-included-in-the-sega-3d-classics/Fuzunga The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!El Dango Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.Mike Martin [Youtube]https://youtu.be/2ccP8sUyT4w[/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long. ashamasha i have almost all the pieces i need to build my own Arcade machine... and the last one arrive this Saturday! Soon, one my childhood dream will became true!RadicalYoseph Interviewer: Konami, why are you selling cosmetic DLC for MGSV?
Konami exec: I breathe through my skin.RadicalYoseph What is the Dtoid chat room?