Feel the Hate Washing over You

15 Nov
November 15, 2012

I’ve working on a more meaningful post, but for now, I’m just going to leave these two links here. Not even going to say anything about them. Just read. And feel the hate washing over you.

Why We Need to Kill Gameplay to Make Better Games

The Truth About Challenge in Games

6 replies
  1. C. says:

    Don’t feel any hate after reading that stuff. Poor writing and poor argumentation? Yes, but he is not totally wrong.
    Don’t have time for this discussion, so just one point. There is distinctive overemphasis placed by some parts of hardcore gaming community on “challenge” in games as the most defining feature of good games. And while in some games “challenge” was indeed important for enjoyable gameplay, this overemphasis is more often silly and wrong.
    It is silly, because it often comes with some totally unjustified feeling of intellectual superiority. Every time I spot this aura of superiority, I know it comes from a person who have no clue about uhhm.. real intellectual challenges. There are plenty of those in real life, ranging from enjoying good poetry (which is far more challenging than playing XCOM) to designing engineering solutions to proving math theorems and composing music.
    And it is wrong, because neither “challenge” itself makes games significantly better, nor lack of traditional “challenges” makes a game poor. Two examples. In quite a few old school rpg games the so called “challenging” combat is a boring, unimaginative slugfest and nothing more. AoD’s demo is one such example – “challenging”, but boring and devoid of any real intellectual component. The other example is Ultima series: combat was extremely easy and there was no difficult gameplay that I can recall, but the world of some of Ultima games was so well crafted, it made those games one of the best in genre’s history. Just exploring the world of Ultima 7 was enjoyable and memorable experience.
    Modern AAA titles are often devoid of any challenge, but that is only one of many reasons why they don’t appeal to me.

  2. Diego Doumecq says:

    That second link you’ve got there … I kinda agreed with the guy for the first half of the post but those last statements … WOW, that was a VERY f*cked up and twisted way of looking at life and videogames.

    However, there are some interesting thoughts in the first link. Yeah, sure, he goes way WAY out there with his procalamations but if you’re willing to dig deep, he makes a few good points. One of them is that action challenges usually force the player to focus on the challenge itself and forget the context.
    He does overgeneralize too much though. Many of his points are based on the mediocrity of current AAA games. Pointing at the industry, saying that it sucks and that it must suck because videogames suck is … not a very good argument.

  3. Daniel says:

    This one is off topic Gareth but did you hear? Activision pulled a map off of black ops 2. I fucking pre-ordered that shit and now just as steam finally downloads it, they fucking revoke it, dog’s bollocks. I’m sorry I vented on you, I just feel indies like you are the only decent people left in the Games industry.

  4. Daniel says:

    Here is one of many links to this crap: http://www.examiner.com/article/black-ops-2-nuketown-2025-gets-pulled-from-rotation

    My good will as a customer has been violated, I feel.

  5. gareth says:

    @ C &Diego : Agreed, my post title was a bit hyperbolic, he makes some points that I agree with, but tends to fuck it up with a conclusion that takes things to ridiculous extremes.

    I will write some posts about my own viewpoint on these issues in a bit. I think there is a bit more nuance here than that author goes into.

    Daniel : That is pretty shocking, although sadly less shocking in the context of Activision. It’s not even just that it’s unethical, it’s poor business sense. How anyone could think that it was worth pissing off that many fans, for the cost of a single map, is beyond me.

    Remember the days of free map packs and and a general feeling that game companies loved their community as much as the community loved them and their games?

  6. Daniel says:

    I remember those days Gareth, I remember them fondly. 🙂


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