Thursday, February 01, 2007

unequal opportunities: a good thing

Just a brief reprint of a comment I made over at Sara's:

It is not necessary to offer every player the same range of available gameplay experiences. Look at the roles of individuals in real life and society. The trick for developers is to create and arrange possible player roles so that they interconnect and augment one another in compliment. One player’s experiences do not have to be as complex as another’s.

Among other things, this means that it is not necessary to force the amateur gamer to accept a pro’s control scheme.

Certainly per situation, if not on the macro level, it is alright for two players in an adventure party to have vastly differently levels of demand placed upon them.

For example: In reality, it's generally just fine with me that I'm driving and having to actively engage traffic while a friend is merely being an idle passenger or navigating. I still appreciate his or her company, despite that pressures upon me are greater than those upon my friend. And, of course, if I get into a wreck, my friend will get to share that, too. ;)
From the passenger's perspective, it can be perfectly entertaining to simply observe, converse, and be of only mild help to the driver.

I believe this works on the scale of extended gameplay as well, with one player's character being essentially different in range of expectations and capabilities throughout that player's entire gameplay experience than another player's.

In fact, one might even apply it to visual presentation. There is already tremendous difference in presentation between the gameplay experience of a player using a "High" graphics setting and a player using a "Low" graphics setting. In EQ2, alternate vision types were made toggleable for particular races; vision types like ultravision, nightvision, and infrared. If a game were designed so that alternate characters were encouraged, then it might be viable for a character to have such a vision-type permanently. In Oblivion, some races see better in the dark than others. Things like this that affect the very essence of individual experiences are a welcome addition for exploration-oriented gamers, like myself, if not most gamers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.