Recently on Quora, a user asked game designers what the main challenges in game design are over the past year. This question was answered by one of the creators of Warcraft 3 and WoW David Fried. However, the game designer was drawn to revelations, and he spoke about the main problems of the entire industry from his point of view as a developer. We analyzed his words and, returning to the topic of summing up the results of the year, together with David we will analyze the main problems of the gaming industry of the outgoing 2018.
The first problem, Freed said, was the large gap between the launch of the game and the beginning of the gameplay. The creators of AAA projects adopt the experience of Hollywood and significantly delay the opening intro, making it cinematic, which makes the gamer sit and wait for it to end. Luck today, David says, is if you play before you sit through the intro of 5-10 minutes. We can add that sometimes we also have to watch long cutscenes both before missions and during their passage. Adventurers especially suffer from this disease.
In his opinion, many major developers forget why people prefer to play games rather than watch movies. Games should tell the story through mechanics right during the gameplay. This is much more interesting than having lore shoved down your throat in your intro.
Lutoboxes, DLCs & Season Passes
The next and most exciting for the developer was the problem of distributing additional content and serving the game itself.
“Believe it or not, there was once a time when the game was released as a fully finished project. It was a completely complete story, sometimes with multiplayer, sometimes with other features that would make it interesting for you to play it again, ”the game designer recalls.
Over time, things like day one patches have appeared, which in their essence are ironing out problems and holes in the game code at the last moment, and have become commonplace. After that, there was such an interesting idea as DLC, but it turned into a way to pump more money out of the player.
Addons used to be the ideal form of continuation of the game, he said. They were created on the basis of the aces of the original game and were a completely independent, but small continuation. A good example is the addons for the TES series. They greatly expanded the lore of the game, and we didn't have to pay for them to get the game over. They don't feel like they were cut out at the last moment.
A bad example of what DLCs weren't supposed to be is the add-on to Bioshock Infinite (Ken Levine, why are you so with us, we loved you so much, and you ...).
While the third installment of the franchise itself is beautiful and was the best game of 2013, its additions are the real ending, revealing the main raft of the twist of the entire series. If you want to know the real ending - pay separately, in other words.
Today, DLCs also present useless kostemization kits (the developer sarcastically recalls Bethesda's horse armor), additional levels and all sorts of items. All this led to a new evil - seasonal passes, which for a fee give access to all this extra. content.
But David considers loot boxes to be the main problem of modern games. Many developers use them to make gamers pay for the same content over and over again, constantly hoping to win a cool item. In fact, the probability of knocking out a valuable item is 0.001%. Fried compares them to the Japanese pachinko submachine guns, which, as it were, are not "one-armed badnit", but in fact they are.
In DLS, you can at least choose what you get, and loot boxes are an outright gambling product. According to him, this harms both the players themselves and the developers, because the leaderships of the countries pay attention to this and introduce bans for offenses. And let's not forget how all sorts of guys from the government love to look for any mistakes of the games in order to demonize them and blame them for all the problems of humanity.
Press E 200 times quickly!
Another blunder the game designer considers QTE (quick time events). According to him, they should be used in a balanced and appropriate manner, and not added everywhere to create the illusion of interactivity.
“When used in moderation, they are not so bad, when for example you have to press a certain button to break free from the clutches of a monster. Today, for the sake of cinematography, some games have turned into running from one QTE to another, ”David analyzes.
Let's remember a couple of examples. Jurassic Park immediately comes to my mind from the late Telltale, which was filled with stupid and useless quick time events. Press this to start running away from the dinosaur, quickly press E 100,500 times to chop tree leaves along the way with a machete, and so on.
From reasonable use, a good example is Assassin's Creed 2. There, during cutscenes, relevant quick time events constantly appeared, which simply did not let you get bored. You come to Leonardo's workshop, and the cut scene begins with his story of how he first bought coffee from a Turkish merchant. Suddenly he gives Ezio a cup and offers to try. At this time, you need to have time to press the button. I did it in time - I tried the coffee and heard Ezio's comment about this drink, I didn't have time - well, it's okay.
Viscous toffee Finally, David highlights the problem of excessive enthusiasm for sequels, which do not expand the universe, but on the contrary are non-innovative products. The game designer calls this stagnation and believes that the industry today is resting on the laurels of successful originals.
He sums up his long monologue with the phrase: "I hope everything will change when gamers begin to demand changes, something new and unusual." Well, apparently everything is in our hands.
The Topic of Article: Current problems in the gaming industry - the opinion of a Warcraft developer.