Tuesday, October 05, 2010

FPS by degrees

I won't name names, but I've recently played a few shooters with some friends and in every game outperformed them by leaps and bounds. In fact, in Modern Warfare 2, my friends simply couldn't perform well enough to enjoy the game. While I was sniping this player and stabbing that one, my friends were dying and dying some more. At the end of a five-minute match, they had racked up only a few kills each, whereas I had twenty or thirty.

My point is not that I'm that good. At times, other players mop the floor with me, and I'm not playing in the elite matches.

No, my point is that a wide variety of gamers enjoy shooters, but their shorter histories with shooters, lesser skill and different playstyles are rarely acknowledged in gameplay design.

I'm not asking for flag football here. But how about some more games that don't pretend everyone wants to be a pro? Some people just want to blow stuff up and shoot each other in the face.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

used market helps the industry

I'm sure there are more than a few reasons the used games market is good, but there's one in particular I want to point out. The used market encourages quality.

The games you're least likely to find used are the games of highest and longest-lasting quality. If a game is fun, polished, dynamic and offers lasting value through replayability or the sheer scope of experience, then most buyers will hold onto their copies.

The games most often found used are the ones that are mediocre, short, redundant, buggy, etc.

I like the industry's trend toward DLC and exclusive content for new copies. But I hope used game sales stick around for decades to come, because that market encourages developers to aim higher than they might otherwise have to.