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Blog: "When focusing on fun fails" - Thomas - 01-06-2010

Shows some examples when the wrong focus makes the game detract from the wanted experience:

RE: Blog: "When focusing on fun fails" - Skaruts - 05-12-2010

There's a lot of this going on all around. But no game is perfect, and I think sometimes the true intentions from the devs get overthought and fail at some point and act the other way around. I think like this when thinking about indie games mostly, because when I'm thinking about AAA games it always comes to my mind the budgets and the fancy suit executives behind big companies that don't give a damn f*** about anything but the sale revenews and statistics, which in most cases is the only thing they really know about in the gaming busyness.

But I think some things must be mentioned about in reviews, as long as developers don't get too distracted by those things while deving. This is due to the diference this media has on other media types: Interactivity.

Gameplay is worth mentioning in a review, although it shouldn't be one of the affecting factors for the overall judgement. There are cases in which gameplay isn't very friendly but still doesn't affect the overal game experience at all (as a quick example, Both Call of Juarez games and Arx Fatalis felt kind of weird gameplay to me, but all are extremely recomendable by me).

I only made a review in my life, about Assassins Creed, and I know I focused it on some technical aspects that ruined my own game experience, like some too-mechanical things, and voice acting, but I also focused on some important content aspects like repetitiveness.

I'm usualy a person who doesn't really believe reviews until I actualy experience the game. Most times when the review congratulates voice acting, I still find myself getting bored because of it while playing.

But I do the same on books and films. I recently recomended a book to a friend, saying that dialogues were a bit childish in some parts but the overall content was very worthy. And usualy I say that the actors in films totally suck for not looking like they are real persons in a real situation.
Also I often get happy when some one tells me the film I'm about to watch is 3 hours long, or the book I'm about to read is 500 pages long.
So from a consumer's point of view there's some important aspects are and should still be in reviews (Of course, knowing that models are very high poly and textures are very high res and physics engine is this one or that one, and that there's 50 ways to choose where you want to go or there's 5000 weapons to be collected, bla bla bla, is not at all the things I want to know when reading reviews... and it often happens...).

But yes, I agree many developers seem to dive into a swamp that they tend to not be able to get out for long while deving. Would that be because that's most of the feedback they end up getting from everywhere (including consumers)?

My review on AC was partialy made with that kind of belief in mind, and this gets more to the point you're trying to show. I was thinking they have lost at least 60% of their time making the cities beatiful and the movement/combat/climbing remarkable, but then they either forgot or didn't have any more time/money to make the game really interesting to play. The very same thought came to my mind when playing Oblivion - 4 years to make a world that imho is way too big and poorly functional and varied - Doom 3 - simple logical things like holding a flashlight in one hand and a pistol in the other are not possible. And very little time spend on how to scare the player? It's always 100% dark, which isn't scary, just frustrating. - and Bioshock too - Repetitiveness, immersion breaking non-deadly system... felt like playing Super Mario with the 1st level tiles repeated over and over forever, and with infinite Lives/Continues.

RE: Blog: "When focusing on fun fails" - Kaese - 05-12-2010

While I agree to the opinions of most of the blogposts, this one strikes me a little weird.
In the first part you make it sound like making a game "fun" is the worst thing someone could do.
How does that make any sense?
The biggest goal of all should be to make a game fun, why would I want to play a game I dont enjoy and have fun with.
Yes, there are different kinds of fun, but you can pretty much tell if a game is good if you had fun with it.
So while Resident Evil 5 for example has a weak as hell story, no horror feeling at all left, tons of unlocks requiring multiple playthroughs to get it still was damn fun to play.
I had a blast running through it multiple times with some buddies.

How does an awesome story make a game better if its no fun at all playing through?
I can see your point if it is about "horror"games like in one of the older posts.
Combat should not be fun if the goal is to create a true horror game. But on the other hand something else in the game has to be fun, be it the atmosphere or story.
Making those fun and completly skipping enjoyable combat is hard to do tho.
Most games don't even try anymore and the videogameworld gone "casual".

I am also a completionist that always has to find all the secrets and get all the unlocks.
So how about just playing through the game without worrying about hidden stuff and enjoying it and then coming back later to get all those coins/diaries/diamonds/weapons/whatever.
Adding replay value to a game does not make it bad, you just have to focus on the game itself on your first experience with it.
On later playthroughs you already know the story, you already know specific encounters, so if a game is completly focused on story without any of those forced in replayvalues there is no point to play it again.
It is like having just finished reading a book and starting over again.

You can hate or love all this unlocking/leveling/collecting, but seeing how fancy games like Modern Warfare 2 (Having you level up 70 to unlock all weapons, then resetting you to level 0 again and removing all your weapons to make you level up again 10 times for some useless titles and badges) sell, there have to be some people enjoying these things.

edit: just realised this thread only got necromanced

RE: Blog: "When focusing on fun fails" - Skaruts - 05-12-2010

From what I understood of him, he means that putting too much effort into something, possibly ends up in making it worse. If you try too hard to make a game be fun you maybe fall into the mistake of overdoing it and get a boring game instead, despite your true intentions.

Ye I'm kind of The Lord of The Bumps Big Grin Happens to me in every forums... cuz I use the search engine a lot.
I don't do it on purpose. I often don't notice post dates... sry about that, but this is about blog posts anyway and it didn't have any feedback. So I guess it's ok.

RE: Blog: "When focusing on fun fails" - Thomas - 05-12-2010

Regarding fun as a bad thing:

Is the movie Schindlers List "fun"?

What I mean is that fun is often associated with a feeling of bliss and of pleasant emotions. Since this does not encompass all emotions that one wants to express with a media, striving for ultimate fun can ruin some experiences. I think words like interesting and engaging are better use and are more better to have as goals. So instead of making sure players has fun all the time, they should be engaged / interested throughout the experience.

Not saying games should not be fun, just saying that some games should not have fun as goal.