Gamer talk on game design: Magic of the overworld maps

I recently completed Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut and had a blast with it. But with the recent Fallout: New Vegas DRM-free re-release on GOG it made me think about something that felt missing from quite a few RPGs of recent years, something that was so common in both jRPGs and cRPGs that it was arguably one of the minor defining features of the genre – the overworld map.

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Gamer talk on game design: Detached, indifferent

To get more people interested, games now use focus testing, insert hints into hints, show the way even in the most linear levels, set very short term objectives to the player. Yet, with all this, i feel, games not only fail to get more people interested, but make some people, who already love games, loose interest. I mean, sure, they do get easier to understand, more appealing to people, get more game elements and mechanics. Maybe they sell better (while still somehow failing with 3 million sales in the opening month). But i said interested. For a very long time I couldn’t understand quite why this happens. But it seems, I’ve got it now. As always in my posts, I’m speaking from my experience and my knowledge, telling my own opinions, but usually I find some support beforehand or write about some topic, I’ve seen discussed before. This time, what I write might be true only to me and some of my friends and I might be completely wrong in my assumptions. But let’s see, if whomever reads this can relate.

Gamer talk on game design: Fuck Earth

How many times have we saved planets, worlds, universes and all of their inhabitants, or watched them die, when something goes wrong? You’d think, we will get so used to it, we shouldn’t even care and just go through motions with every storyline like that. Yet still there’s a game from time to time which has familiar character personalities and storylines but makes us care about them, live with them, believe in them and love them. A game which understands, that it needs to motivate the player to do all that. Which knows, that it’s not enough to just  assume that the player will just start caring on his/her own.

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Gamer talk on game design: Forced “cinematic” experience

I have noticed this thing a lot, but recent Max Payne 3 became the last straw and I can’t stay silent about this issue anymore. I don’t understand, why exactly so many developers force their “great cinematic moments” in our mouth, completely ignoring the magic the player creates while simply playing the game. Why do they doubt the power of the medium they create in?

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Gamer talk on game design: Killin’ me softly

Quite a while ago i started posting a series of post about design choices in games from my, purely gamer perspective. Since the posts are completely in russian i won’t just repost or even simply translate them, but will write here similar musings.

Dying in a videogame is a simple and common thing. Your character/s might and will die in most of the games. It’s a vital part of the gameplay itself, and it’s surprising how usually underdeveloped it is. It is still used like a crude punishment for failing, which annoys more than it motivates you to try again. And even though not every game treats you with the “wow, you lose!” attitude, most of them still don’t try to make dying less annoying.

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