Sunday, 16 February 2014

Post of the day: mistakes that video game developers make

After studying Design Theory Fundamentals for over half a year now I notice mistakes made in the industry more and more often. These are such basic things that I can't believe that these mistakes are even getting made. I'm going to highlight a few of them in this blog. The ones that crossed my mind recently. I might make a part 2 and part 3 to this sometime later, because I'm absolutely sure that I'll forget to mention a bunch of mistakes today.

First levels are meant to interest and pull in your customer. Make them the best levels out of the whole game. 

Recently Angry Joe did a first impressions video on Elder Scrolls online. His first impressions were not positive, so he started getting comments like these:

A game should not require to take time to get into. If I play for an hour and don't enjoy it, I consider putting the game down and not play it anymore. If I'm testing out a game in a beta, or playing a demo, I'm likely not to buy it. According to some people on the comment section the game gets good after level 10. It will require you 6 hours or more to get there. How many people will sit trough that many hours not enjoying themselves just to get to something good?

Let's compare it to Guild Wars 2. Let's say I created a new asura character. The first thing that I will have to fight before going out to the open world is going to be this:

A big portal monster that is flailing his arms all around.

The point of all of this? First impressions really do matter. Don't allow your customers to have a bad first impression, because they probably won't have the patience to get to the good bits.

Take feedback. Don't be precious. And don't try to censor the Internet

Recently a youtuber named TotalBiscuit has put out a review of an indie game called Guise of the Wolf. The review was negative. This article writes about the events that happened afterwards. The creators of the game are now threatening TotalBiscuit with legal action if he does not take his Twitter and his youtube channel down. Now if you search youtube for "Guise of the Wolf" in the first page there are already two videos discussing the situation instead of showcasing the game. Now if you google "Guise of the Wolf" this is the second link that comes up. It's right there on the first page of your google search.
Now what kind of reputation do you get for acting in such way? What will such acts do to your sales?

Develop for your customer. And don't cut corners.

A lot of gamers over the years had to put up with excuses for laziness. Percentage always translates to cash and how much cash you'll lose after those people won't buy your game.

For example GRID 2 released with no cockpit view because "only 5% of players use it and it eats up too much memory that we can instead use elsewhere." Well modders in a few days after release already had a working cockpit view prototype.  So what was the point in alienating 5% of your player base and making sure that they won't buy your game?

These are just a few discussions that I have encountered today that made me think. I am sure that there are far more games out there with far more mistakes and I'll be sure to write about them when I'll run into them.

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