May 25, 2020, 12:31:52 PM

Author Topic: Controversial statement  (Read 314 times)

Offline Matty

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Controversial statement
« on: April 16, 2020, 02:04:46 AM »
Greetings people.

Here's a potentially controversial statement by me about video games, both my own and others.

But first let me illustrate a point.

Games are toys.  Entertainment products.  Therefore there is technically no right or wrong way to enjoy them.  One of my favourite games on the original Xbox was Bloodrayne.  I never played it properly.  I cheated the whole way through-and on finishing it would go back and play level 2 of the game over and over...because you had access to all the game mechanics from that point in the game and the key game ideas were all presentin that second level.

Over 30 years I have played and created a lot of games.  Most of my creations were of low quality.  And also short development times.

However 5 of my own stand out as highly engaging to the point I still play them, despite their lack of polish, commercial success or reception and as exciting products that yes perhaps no one else enjoys but I can thrill out of them still after hours and hours and years or decades of playing them.

There is only a single commercially available game that has the same draw or pull on me, which is SmashTv on the arcade classics compilation disc on the original xbox.

My games, which I still play and are enthralled by each time are:

Star Dancer - 6 to 10 months development time, every few weeks I boot it up to watch space battles for some instant spacey gratification.

A Knight's War from the 2018 game competition-I play a battle and muck around with some moves now and then whenever I feel by clicking a link on my website.

Blood and Plunder, Goblin Head go Squish Squish.  Written in 2005 and looks ugly as hell but plays like a charm.  Gauntlet clone.  I must have played some levels a thousand times.

Lockdown Necrosis.  Written over 8 weeks at work in 2011 I'd still play today if the app worked on modern android versions.  Zombie shooting, top down shooter with immediate action right from the start.

And Warlock.  Written most recently. 

The thing that every single one of my games has, that commercial titles don't, is that the core enjoyable game mechanic is available almost immediately without having to 'play' (work?) through half a dozen tutorial like introductory levels or follow the script methodology before you get to that one good level.

Secondly they are all instantly accessible through a simple device such as an app or browser easily accessed quickly in a single link.

For example, Star Dancer which I know many love to argue was a failure-Id play that ahead of the PC Homeworld game any day of the week.  Why?  I  Homeworld there's maybe a dozen missions played in sequence, with a drip feed of new shipa and abilities as you go.  You possibly have to play seven or eight missions- work - just to get to the first 'free' level where you have access to normal stuff without restrictions in a standard battle.  That's over five or six hours of 'gameplay' (or is that work?) before you are allowed to enjoy the core game design.  In Star Dancer I can go to the game, press 'Battle ' and immediately play the core game mechanic right from the word go with all features accessible.

Typically my games, the good ones that I enjoy, take 6 to 8 weeks development time and when played as a start to finish experience take around 1 to 2 hours to finish with full access to all game mechanics from the word go and can be replayed over and over instantly whenever and however you want.

Put simply, just as with commercial game SmashTv-my games do not present the player with five to seven hours of dissatisfying work as a prelude to that one level that gives you what you want with some level of freedom to enjoy it.

This is why my games-while not being publicly successful nor graphically remotely of the same calibre as anything found on Steam are in my mind good games.

The simplistic reason is this:I find commercially available games to mostly be work and effort to play to get the rewarding bits,  where as mine are simple toys that you can enjoy fully close to immediately.

They have sufficient complexity to keep me engaged but are simple enough that they don't require headaches from learning how to jump through the hoops that other games use.

I do play commercial games in various platforms and invariably I return to my own as no matter the polish of the commercial ones they almost always end up feeling more like work than playtime.

Here endeth the commentary.

Thanks.

Offline Pfaber11

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Re: Controversial statement
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2020, 12:46:50 PM »
My games tend to take 6 to 8 weeks to put together and are not that great or highly polished . Some of them are pretty ok  to play though. Haven't done any programming in a few months and was not sure whether to continue or not but I seem to be getting my mojo back and am preparing to start a new game or some educational software . Was thinking this could go down well . OP have a nice day .
Celeron N3060 1.6 ghz duel core  4 Gb ram 32 gig storage  HD400 Graphics 160 gig external hard drive....

Offline Kryzon

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Re: Controversial statement
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2020, 03:45:27 PM »
Interesting take on it! Are you suggesting those other games were more successful because they made sure to have a UX of build-up -> payoff, whereas yours are just the payoff? 

Having contrast is a good idea in art. Music, for instance, will create a tension through harmony, then resolve it. 
Maybe a game is more interesting if you have to do a bit of "work" to get to the fun part -- the challenge is then finding the right balance, not making the game feel laborius laborious.

Offline Matty

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Re: Controversial statement
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2020, 05:42:07 PM »
Quite possibly.

Offline braxtonrivers

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Re: Controversial statement
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2020, 10:21:32 AM »
Hi Matty,

I really liked Star Dancer, thank you for making it, for me personally it is one of your best creations, and I was more than happy to support you when it came out.

Thanks
Braxton

Offline grindalf

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Re: Controversial statement
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2020, 01:58:32 PM »
Homeworld there's maybe a dozen missions played in sequence, with a drip feed of new shipa and abilities as you go.  You possibly have to play seven or eight missions- work - just to get to the first 'free' level where you have access to normal stuff without restrictions in a standard battle.  That's over five or six hours of 'gameplay' (or is that work?) before you are allowed to enjoy the core game design. 

That is something I can agree with there. There are a lot of games that I have loved over the years but I cant be bothered to play them again because I cant be bothered to go through the endless drip feed of game features which I know are there to get you used to using those features but once you know means a very boring mission and there are normally hours worth of these boring missions/levels. Sometimes I wonder if its just to drag the game out for an extra few hours worth of gameplay.

 

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