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An Open Letter to Game Developers

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Dear Game Developers,

Average Joe Gamer here. I realize, along with my fellow gamers, that competition in the videogame market can be brutal, so here’s a few tips that might help you one-up your rivals…

1) Don’t release your games until they’re finished. I know that’s a tall order and a novel concept. However, the gaming community actually enjoys slapping down their hard earned money for games that aren’t riddled with bugs. I know, right? Crazy. See, you’re learning some stuff here!

2) Fix your in-game camera. Don’t get me wrong here, when I’m jumping around a cave from stalagmite to stalagmite (or is it “stalactite?” Whatever.) over a river of lava, I don’t necessarily need to know where I’m going, but some people do. For them–not me, remember, them–the in-game camera can become quite a frustration.

3) Show actual gameplay in your trailers. Okay, this one does bug me, personally. It’s very simple — movie trailers show scenes from an upcoming movie and game trailers should do the same.  Movies aren’t interactive, but games are.  Gamers want to see what they’re going to pay for, the worlds in which they’re going to spend their time and what it’s truly going to look like when they do. They can’t do that without actual gameplay scenes. So to sum up, remember: movie trailer — actual scenes from movie, game trailer — actual gameplay from game.

4) Lose the Quick Time Events. You’re down to your last round or drop of magic. You’re nearing a checkpoint.  All of the sudden the action switches to a cut-scene where a huge monster appears.  All of your previous concerns go out the window because now you’re trying to remember what buttons to push.  Let’s face it, guys.  Quick Time Events are copouts.  The player isn’t playing his character anymore, he’s just mashing buttons.  The grueling battle has become something akin to a music game, where you furiously mash the indicated button.  And if you should push the wrong one, the event starts over.  I can speak for the entire gaming community when I say “no more.”

To some up, it’s not difficult, guys. Make a game that you would be proud of, that you would pay good money to experience. If you have done your best in that regard but are still coming up short, do yourself a favor – don’t release it half-baked.

And replace your QA testers.

Just sayin’…

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  • jo

    Great article.