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View Full Version : Why is trying to appeal to everyone a shitty thing to do



Mihkel
27-11-2011, 07:02 PM
A bunch of games today get simplified or just being made a lot shorter and stupider story-wise just because some people might not like it if it has some depth or a little complex elements. The formula follows: short garbage + passable multiplayer mode = moneymaker. And I've read justifications that more or less literally say: "Well this idiot gaming site had 300 people voting that they hate long games so we make them short."

A lot of developers and/or publishers do not focus on a single aspect of the game, in this case single- or multiplayer. They often include both to maximize their profits, because apparently you need both for something or other herp derp. I don't see any fault getting money for your product but what I do think is wrong is that they go for cheap cash and they don't realize that it's not what makes a steady revenue in the long run, most of them are just fucking greedy. What does give you a steady income is making a genuinely good game and focusing on a single aspect, especially if you're a dev with none or one game under your belt.

The fact of the matter is that there are going to be ppl who do not like your game. The notion that one piece of media is going to be universally liked is retarded. I do get there are some things that work so well that most will like it but imitating that piece of gaming, movie or whatever is not going to bring in same results except if you retain the few elements. I think Glen Schofield is a very funny example here. He was deeply involved in Dead Space development, a game that took some successful elements from a game or two and was very well recieved. He then went on to Sledgehammer Games (the dudes who made MW3) and when their game was released he saw what general public on metacritic was saying about it. The public got wise to the same old shit mechanic and therefore was pissed off. What Glen did next was so incredibly retarded - he went on twitter:"I don’t usually do this but, if u like MW3 go 2 Metacritic.com & help our user score. It’s suspiciously low. Be honest but help if u agree." Why do you do this Dominic Purcell lookalike, what do you fucking expect?

Other thing is adding shit to your games when it does not belong. Battlefield 3 here is a good example of that. "Woah guys Call of Duty is coming out with this Elite stuff so we better make our own version of it called Battlelog. No matter that we have NEVER gotten our netcode straight in a game so lets even more complicate the matter!" Cue DICE devs opening another bottle of fucking vodka or whatever cuz no sober person would make that choice. Also adding single player there wich basically qualifies as a glorified tech demo but still takes time away from development to make a POLISHED game. I know that Bad Company series had single player and I really don't have that much of a problem with it because these are not true Battlefield games anyway and DICE was experimenting with single player at that time (also Mirror's Edge) and to be honest BC1 singleplayer was nice in that Kelly's Heroes sort of way. And now thanks to all that shit Battlefield 3 is a buggy fucking mess that I personally regret buying for fucking 33 euros.

I also have a problem with this "getting Call of Duty audience" mentality. Why would you want to get that if you have a solid fanbase already? Main culprits here being fucking Bioware with their tripe called Dragon Age 2. AWESOME BUTTAN HERPA DERPA HHHHÖÖÖÖÖ. It's not a bad game but it's so mediocre that they lost their core fanbase (customers lost) and they gained a temporary audience who's there for shite romance and button mashing and if a year or 2 passes they won't be getting Bioware products anymore because they will have grown up by then. So you have no proper customers anyways in the end, nice going you fucking lonely nerds and spineless creatures. I fully know why Brent Knowles left those assholes. I guess you get tired of keeping retards in check after a while and as soon as he left you get Awesome Age 2: Everybody's Fucking Bi and Horny with a Shit Story That Doesn't Make Any Sense Except In a Masturbatory Way to Some Lonely Basement Dwellers.

So in the end what's the point of all this? The point is not to lose all your integrity, dignity and generally good human traits and try to give some soul to your product. No matter how buggy a game might be it still is recognized because people put some love and thought in it (Vampire Bloodlines and KOTOR 2 for instance) and genuinely tried to craft something instead of going the cheap greedy bastard money way.

Nalano
27-11-2011, 07:08 PM
Other thing is adding shit to your games when it does not belong. Battlefield 3 here is a good example of that. "Woah guys Call of Duty is coming out with this Elite stuff so we better make our own version of it called Battlelog.

You know what I hate most about global stats?

The moment you're good at something, you don't wanna try any other thing lest you fuck up your win/kill ratio.

Mihkel
27-11-2011, 07:10 PM
You know what I hate most about global stats?

The moment you're good at something, you don't wanna try any other thing lest you fuck up your win/kill ratio.

Hahah yeah man. There's a platoon in Battlelog for instance that doesn't let ppl in if they have a KDR ratio that's below 1.0.

psyk
27-11-2011, 07:12 PM
K/D needs to be removed from any team based game and W/L pushed to the front.

metalangel
27-11-2011, 07:13 PM
Really? I thought Battlelog was just meant to be an FPS version of Autolog, the online racing leaderboard that nags you!

archonsod
27-11-2011, 07:31 PM
The problem with criticising the development process behind games like Battlefield and CoD is that they shift a silly amount of games. So you'd need a damn impressive argument for why your way of doing it is any better than theirs.

Mihkel
27-11-2011, 07:36 PM
The problem with criticising the development process behind games like Battlefield and CoD is that they shift a silly amount of games. So you'd need a damn impressive argument for why your way of doing it is any better than theirs.

How about not adding pointless shit to hinder your development for DICE/EA and how about trying to increase your development time and working with your imagination for Sledgehammer/Activision. Not really that hard if you're not churning out shit and focusing on something. Also not that Activision is a so small publisher that it couldn't afford a year or two extra development time.

Patrick Swayze
27-11-2011, 07:40 PM
Autolog is probably the best thing to happen to Battlefield in the history of the series. Battlefield has been doing stat pages for a few games now, and the integration with Battlelog is superb.

Can nobody remember Battlefield2/2142/BadCompany2 and their horrendous game menus?

Wait, you used Gamespy? OH NOES LIKE SEPARATE PROGRAM IN A BROWSER FOR LAUNCHING GAME!!!1!



PC gamerz why u no like change!?

Mihkel
27-11-2011, 07:47 PM
Autolog is probably the best thing to happen to Battlefield in the history of the series. Battlefield has been doing stat pages for a few games now, and the integration with Battlelog is superb.

Can nobody remember Battlefield2/2142/BadCompany2 and their horrendous game menus?

Wait, you used Gamespy? OH NOES LIKE SEPARATE PROGRAM IN A BROWSER FOR LAUNCHING GAME!!!1!



PC gamerz why u no like change!?

The Battlelog itself isn't a problem. The problem is that it adds more complications on the netcode of the game and DICE has never got one right. With the addition of Battlelog it creates more problems bug-wise etc. I would have no problem with it if they would have done it as a sideproject and implemented it later on a WORKING game. But as is they just fucked themselves and the players over.

Gnoupi
27-11-2011, 07:50 PM
Autolog is probably the best thing to happen to Battlefield in the history of the series.

Patrick9009 beat your time for the tank race on Caspian Border. Click here to play this challenge!

metalangel
27-11-2011, 09:46 PM
Patrick9009 beat your time for the tank race on Caspian Border. Click here to play this challenge!

You forgot 'Battlelog Alert!'

All Autolog did differently from any other game's online leaderboards was tell you someone had beaten your time, something you could easily do yourself if you really cared about beating your friends' times anyway (unless you're a psychopath who needs to know that XxXB4dg3rM073st3rXxX beat their time too, in which case, again, you'd be checking yourself anyway)

Oh, and it had an Arsebook-style 'Wall', so you could brag about pointless accomplishments to a disinterested audience who'd 'Like' it out of instinct rather than genuine affection.

Fumarole
27-11-2011, 09:47 PM
I'll just link here (http://www.cracked.com/article_16258_5-awesome-movies-ruined-by-last-minute-changes.html) as a reason why the lowest common denominator can be a Bad Thing.

Huxleykrcc
27-11-2011, 10:08 PM
How dare developers practice good business.

I don't blame them for wanting to make money. If you honestly love video games so much that you would rather make good games than profitable ones, rad. But I'm betting in the shoes of developers and publishers, you wouldn't. Their liveihoods depend on these games succeeding, and who doesn't want to make a fortune?

I don't always like it either, but I accept material greed as a fact of human nature that is just as evident in me as everyone else. Not too mention, some complaints about games getting dumbed down is just pretension. Mainstream stuff is usually kinda dumb, but people also like to attack it because it makes them feel superior.

Nalano
27-11-2011, 10:15 PM
If you honestly love video games so much that you would rather make good games than profitable ones, rad.

They are not mutually exclusive! They are not fucking mutually exclusive!

Whatthefuck!

pakoito
27-11-2011, 10:17 PM
You know what's even worse? Bioshock 2's multiplayer. El ou el.

zookeeper
27-11-2011, 10:22 PM
I'll just link here (http://www.cracked.com/article_16258_5-awesome-movies-ruined-by-last-minute-changes.html) as a reason why the lowest common denominator can be a Bad Thing.

Grr!! I am Legend still makes me angry when I think about it. The first half had so much potential!!

Anyway, back on topic...

Mihkel
27-11-2011, 10:23 PM
How dare developers practice good business.

I don't blame them for wanting to make money. If you honestly love video games so much that you would rather make good games than profitable ones, rad. But I'm betting in the shoes of developers and publishers, you wouldn't. Their liveihoods depend on these games succeeding, and who doesn't want to make a fortune?

I don't always like it either, but I accept material greed as a fact of human nature that is just as evident in me as everyone else. Not too mention, some complaints about games getting dumbed down is just pretension. Mainstream stuff is usually kinda dumb, but people also like to attack it because it makes them feel superior.

I'm not against making a profit. What I am against is this blatant churning out of subpar crap. What I've seen is that a good game makes a profit by default. I wouldn't bet that them Bioware, Ubisoft, EA or DICE devs are so in the shitter with their lives that they need the cash so bad that they would resort to such business ethics.

I wouldn't call dumbing down pretension. Lets take Splinter Cell: Conviction for example. That game has 8 hours worth of gameplay (that's story mode and coop mode combined). It's down to 2 visibility modes (either you're seen or you're not), whereas Chaos Theory had a light and sound meter that had various levels wich all corresponded well with the game and how the player operated in the environment. In Conviction you have to kill people while in Chaos Theory you have the option of killing, making people unconcious or totally sneaking by them and the game rewards being sneaky. Interrogation in Conviction is you trashing everything in the room with the interrogated person (wich really defeats the element of being stealthy in a game about stealth), in Chaos Theory you can interrogate everyone and some enemies even have some cool stuff written for them and Sam dialogue (the guy who thinks Sam's a ninja for instance). So much stuff has been taken out since Chaos Theory that in the end you're left with this actiony empty shell of a game called Conviction.

Huxleykrcc
27-11-2011, 10:28 PM
They are not mutually exclusive! They are not fucking mutually exclusive!

Whatthefuck!


Of course not, but this thread seems to be discussing cases where they are in conflict.

Sorry, my phrasing was expeditious to the point of oversimplified. Calm down mate.

Huxleykrcc
27-11-2011, 10:43 PM
I'm not against making a profit. What I am against is this blatant churning out of subpar crap. What I've seen is that a good game makes a profit by default. I wouldn't bet that them Bioware, Ubisoft, EA or DICE devs are so in the shitter with their lives that they need the cash so bad that they would resort to such business ethics.

I wouldn't call dumbing down pretension. Lets take Splinter Cell: Conviction for example. That game has 8 hours worth of gameplay (that's story mode and coop mode combined). It's down to 2 visibility modes (either you're seen or you're not), whereas Chaos Theory had a light and sound meter that had various levels wich all corresponded well with the game and how the player operated in the environment. In Conviction you have to kill people while in Chaos Theory you have the option of killing, making people unconcious or totally sneaking by them and the game rewards being sneaky. Interrogation in Conviction is you trashing everything in the room with the interrogated person (wich really defeats the element of being stealthy in a game about stealth), in Chaos Theory you can interrogate everyone and some enemies even have some cool stuff written for them and Sam dialogue (the guy who thinks Sam's a ninja for instance). So much stuff has been taken out since Chaos Theory that in the end you're left with this actiony empty shell of a game called Conviction.

But you're against making "bad" (and don't get me wrong--mainstream gaming is becoming of less and less interest to me) games for the sake of making money. At least, that seems the essence of the issue to me--that commerical and artistic (professional? Not quite sure how to articulate that)concerns often conflict and it frustrates you. If I'm misrepresenting you, I apologize; please clarify for me.

If I have you right, I don't even philosophically disagree, but I think that you're being unrealistic, simplistic, and probably hypocritical.

And no, I don't like Conviction either. That you're right in one instance is sort of beside the point, since I said "often," not "always."

And yes, Chaos Theory is a bad game--I don't think it was very successful either, though I don't know.

Mihkel
27-11-2011, 11:13 PM
But you're against making "bad" (and don't get me wrong--mainstream gaming is becoming of less and less interest to me) games for the sake of making money. At least, that seems the essence of the issue to me--that commerical and artistic (professional? Not quite sure how to articulate that)concerns often conflict and it frustrates you. If I'm misrepresenting you, I apologize; please clarify for me.

If I have you right, I don't even philosophically disagree, but I think that you're being unrealistic, simplistic, and probably hypocritical.

And no, I don't like Conviction either. That you're right in one instance is sort of beside the point, since I said "often," not "always."

And yes, Chaos Theory is a bad game--I don't think it was very successful either, though I don't know.


I'm against making bad games in a sense that bad is to cash in on every turn where one has a chance to make a quick buck (instead of focusing on something and trying to genuinely make a product that one would be proud of selling), to try and appeal to everyone by adding pointless features to a game that doesn't really need them just because some dude might buy it if it's in there and removing defining features of the said game because somebody found it too hard or too complex or whatever the subjective reason and all at the cost of alienating your loyal customers who fed you from the beginning. The games that often come out of this process aren't literally bad but just so mindnumbingly boring that it's a waste of everybodys time and money in the end. I do agree that I'm being unrealistic in a sense that this thing stays around for a while and nothing is really going to change but I just felt sharing this opinion I have on the subject matter on this forum. Also sorry for taking your dumbing down comment out of context.

soldant
27-11-2011, 11:38 PM
A bunch of games today get simplified or just being made a lot shorter and stupider story-wise just because some people might not like it if it has some depth or a little complex elements. The formula follows: short garbage + passable multiplayer mode = moneymaker. And I've read justifications that more or less literally say: "Well this idiot gaming site had 300 people voting that they hate long games so we make them short."
I think the biggest problem I have with this block is that people seem to think that "dumbing down" means removing obtuse and ultimately pointless features to make the game easier to get into. I love a good simulation as much as the next person, but if a game has a ridiculous interface with an unnecessary number of keys, I'm not going to hail it as a "good game" just for having needless complexity. Look at anything (Dr) Derek Smart has made. Universal Combat was just as bad as the previous Battlecruiser games; huge scope of play with a key layout to rival a DCS title, completely incomprehensible interface, and a broken manual to boot. If that's where "complexity" gets you, then I'm glad that games are becoming "dumbed down".

I can't understand why people want to cling so tightly to the earlier days of PC gaming when we had keyboard overlays so we knew what all the keys did, or spent ages memorising statistics or procedures just to do simple things. That sort of stuff belongs in simulators. Short garbage (like MW3) is worthless crap in my opinion, but I don't hold that up as an example of "dumbing down" because it's following the rest of the series, it's obvious they're pushing more and more towards MP. Also I agree that in games which should have a strong story there's too much ridiculous nonsense creeping in designed to appease people who can't follow a handful of plot points, but by the same token a convoluted mess of a story with a hundred different threads leading to nowhere isn't much better.

Basically, most gaming communities sound like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY7gFETtKbE) to developers who are aiming for large-scale appeal. Look at all the suggestions people toss at Notch for Minecraft, which isn't a AAA studio game. It's all well and good to make a niche title but if the majority don't want something, you can't force them to accept it. If you don't like mainstream gaming, don't play. I hate casual games, so I don't play them.

DigitalSignalX
28-11-2011, 12:02 AM
I'll just link here (http://www.cracked.com/article_16258_5-awesome-movies-ruined-by-last-minute-changes.html) as a reason why the lowest common denominator can be a Bad Thing.


Grr!! I am Legend still makes me angry when I think about it. The first half had so much potential!!

Anyway, back on topic...

Agree, that ending was such Hollywood shit. Conversely though, while I loved the directors end to Blade Runner, I *also* loved Harrison Ford's narration at the beginning. The deadpan delivery is in perfect synch with the idea of "this is everyday bullshit" while the audience's eyes are bugging out in amazement with every pixel of the "future L.A." going on around him.

back on topic:


A bunch of games today get simplified or just being made a lot shorter and stupider

Consoles, and the people who only play consoles. When someone posts "Hi, I'm new to gaming on a PC" a part of me dies inside.


... adding single player there wich basically qualifies as a glorified tech demo but still takes time away from development to make a POLISHED game. ... And now thanks to all that shit Battlefield 3 is a buggy fucking mess

Be honest with yourself, BF3 would still have been a buggy mess even without the SP campaign.


I also have a problem with this "getting Call of Duty audience" mentality. Why would you want to get that if you have a solid fanbase already? Main culprits here being fucking Bioware with their tripe called Dragon Age 2. ... they gained a temporary audience who's there for shite romance and button mashing ...[and] Everybody's Fucking Bi and Horny with a Shit Story That Doesn't Make Any Sense Except In a Masturbatory Way to Some Lonely Basement Dwellers.

They did the same thing with Mass Effect frankly. As good as Me2 was, it was a simplified version of Me1 with even more silly romances. Don't get me wrong, I loved ME1 and 2, but like you pointed out in Dragon Age, you can put your finger all the elements of each game and see a downward slope in terms of the creative. I'm positive Me3 and DA:3 will continue in that trend. Fuck me though, I'll still buy em.


So in the end what's the point of all this? .. the cheap greedy bastard money way.

You answered your own question, we'll still buy em.

Grizzly
28-11-2011, 07:03 AM
Hahah yeah man. There's a platoon in Battlelog for instance that doesn't let ppl in if they have a KDR ratio that's below 1.0.

I get Ace Pins in BC2 with K/D ratios below 1.0 0_o

Nalano
28-11-2011, 07:08 AM
I get Ace Pins in BC2 with K/D ratios below 1.0 0_o

If such is the case (and such should be the case), why are K:D ratios counted?

If it doesn't pertain, then at best it's a huge red herring, and at worst it's a giant troll.

soldant
28-11-2011, 07:20 AM
If such is the case (and such should be the case), why are K:D ratios counted?

If it doesn't pertain, then at best it's a huge red herring, and at worst it's a giant troll.
Because they put in the work, and it's all for the kids?

People obsess over statistics, the CS/BF community are some of the worst for it, while the TF2 community obsess over items, and the MMORPG communities obsess over... everything. Where have you been? It's not about fun or a score that indicates how useful you were to your team. It's about the NUMBERS. Either you're killing noobs or you're not playing properly. I know it says Conquest or Rush but we all know it's just a deathmatch where half the server doesn't attack you.


Or to be more serious... actually no wait that's fairly apt. Most of the servers have a handful of antisocial jet pilots dogfighting, tanks crashing into everything en-route to a minefield, and a load of infantry lining up for vehicles or accusing each other of hacking.

b0rsuk
28-11-2011, 07:21 AM
I've found this somewhere else. Very insightful:




Consider what happens when you’re planning a holiday meal. There’s a range of fantastic things you could cook, but wait: Some people can’t take spicy food, Uncle Bill is allergic to garlic, Aunt Sarah doesn’t eat red meat, Timmy doesn’t eat anything green, ….

Eventually you realize there’s only way to please everyone: Cook something bland, mild, and safe, like chicken and rice. But does chicken and rice actually please anyone? Not really, it was just what everyone hated the least.

Votes don’t converge on something wonderful. Rather, votes are vetoes.

But this isn’t a strategy for startups. Little companies need a niche — a market space they can completely, unquestionably own, not some gray middle-ground where your attempt to offend no one also means exciting no one.

There is “wisdom in the crowd” only when errors cancel out, like when estimating jelly beans or answering pop culture questions. In creative work, votes eliminate the interesting edges, leaving only the boring residue that no one hated enough to vote off the island.

That’s not how great products are made.
http://blog.asmartbear.com/ignoring-the-wisdom-of-crowds.html
It's not an article about game design, but a great article nonetheless.

Nalano
28-11-2011, 07:32 AM
Where have you been? It's not about fun or a score that indicates how useful you were to your team. It's about the NUMBERS.

God, that's like trying to explain the joys of cosmopolitan life using only demographic statistics.

Mihkel
28-11-2011, 07:40 AM
I think the biggest problem I have with this block is that people seem to think that "dumbing down" means removing obtuse and ultimately pointless features to make the game easier to get into. I love a good simulation as much as the next person, but if a game has a ridiculous interface with an unnecessary number of keys, I'm not going to hail it as a "good game" just for having needless complexity. Look at anything (Dr) Derek Smart has made. Universal Combat was just as bad as the previous Battlecruiser games; huge scope of play with a key layout to rival a DCS title, completely incomprehensible interface, and a broken manual to boot. If that's where "complexity" gets you, then I'm glad that games are becoming "dumbed down".

I can't understand why people want to cling so tightly to the earlier days of PC gaming when we had keyboard overlays so we knew what all the keys did, or spent ages memorising statistics or procedures just to do simple things. That sort of stuff belongs in simulators. Short garbage (like MW3) is worthless crap in my opinion, but I don't hold that up as an example of "dumbing down" because it's following the rest of the series, it's obvious they're pushing more and more towards MP. Also I agree that in games which should have a strong story there's too much ridiculous nonsense creeping in designed to appease people who can't follow a handful of plot points, but by the same token a convoluted mess of a story with a hundred different threads leading to nowhere isn't much better.

Basically, most gaming communities sound like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY7gFETtKbE) to developers who are aiming for large-scale appeal. Look at all the suggestions people toss at Notch for Minecraft, which isn't a AAA studio game. It's all well and good to make a niche title but if the majority don't want something, you can't force them to accept it. If you don't like mainstream gaming, don't play. I hate casual games, so I don't play them.

I see what you're saying and I agree but if you think that DA2 or Conviction for example aren't honestly with a blunt force dumbed down then I don't know. Both games here were in the niche market before and after they got the mainstream treatment they made some fast cash but are ultimately forgotten as something bland that ppl do not return to.

Also very nice quote there b0rsuk, I completely agree.

hamster
28-11-2011, 08:57 AM
Far as i'm concerned, if they want to make bland games let them. But DO NOT frickin' use an existing franchise name and wholly revamp the game so it has absolutely NOTHING in common with its prequel. I am looking at you, Ghost Recon. I am looking at you, Splinter Cell Conviction. And you: Rainbow Six: Vegas. And there are probably a ton of others that i haven't played.

psyk
28-11-2011, 09:15 AM
I hear it more like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS7nqwGt4-I

soldant
28-11-2011, 10:41 AM
God, that's like trying to explain the joys of cosmopolitan life using only demographic statistics.
Um... honest question here, but you did realise my post was sarcastic?


I see what you're saying and I agree but if you think that DA2 or Conviction for example aren't honestly with a blunt force dumbed down then I don't know. Both games here were in the niche market before and after they got the mainstream treatment they made some fast cash but are ultimately forgotten as something bland that ppl do not return to.
I've never played Conviction and I agree that DA2 was a step backwards. But Dragon Age: Origins wasn't a niche title, it was mainstream. I'm against screwing up the important parts of a game but let's look at the case of the X series by comparison. Lots of people are complaining that in the upcoming X: Rebirth the focus has shifted from the player flitting in between a multitude of different ships from fighters to capital ships, to focusing mostly on one ship with fighters being replaced by controllable fighter drones, and removing a lot of the micromanagement stuff from stations and ships.

On the surface that does look like a step back... at least until you recognise a few home-truths about the X games, namely that their UI hasn't changed much since the first game, with new features just bolted on in a mess of nested menus. Giving even simple instructions to ships, or setting up groups of ships, takes an obscene number of mouse-clicks. Most people will tend to stay in their favourite ship no matter how many others they have at their disposal, and it's usually a fairly beefy ship because anything less is asking for death in a lot of cases. The entire game was in need of a complete overhaul because it was turning into an absolute mess, particularly in the UI department. Egosoft take the initiative to do so and people rant and rave. It's still a freeform space trading/combat/whatever game with the same focus as last time, but some of the core mechanics have been modified so that it won't be such a mess to control and do what should be simple things.

Everyone decries that as "dumbing down" (or equating "streamlining" with "dumbing down") but it's not. It's just a different direction, and one that the series needs. Kind of like the inventory system in Mass Effect vs Mass Effect 2. Yes, ME2's inventory system is entirely different and only has a few core weapons. But that doesn't mean it's "dumbed down" from the original, because you'd end up with a stupid amount of weapons and upgrades that were absolutely useless, and didn't even have much value for sale because you were rolling in credits all the time (and if you had the Master gear everything else was obsolete anyway). I'm not saying the other decisions were worse (like removing planetary exploration), but the simple removal of a redundant and pointless gameplay mechanic isn't "dumbing" a game down.

bussinrounds
28-11-2011, 10:59 AM
I also have a problem with this "getting Call of Duty audience" mentality. Why would you want to get that if you have a solid fanbase already?
Because they see shit like COD making gazillions of $$$ and they want to drive around in Ferraris too. So in turn, we get the mindless dumbed down crap. It's not rocket science.

So sad to see what great tactical shooters like Ghost Recon 1 and the old Rainbow games (Raven Shield and earlier) have become.

Don't even get me started on modern 'RPGs' and 'horror' games. Ughhh

b0rsuk
28-11-2011, 11:12 AM
Don't buy games at the release. Press reviews are worthless. Wait for a month, and see if people enjoy it. Read their arguments. Base purchases on rational reasons, not on pre-release marketing.

I haven't bought Brink, Might&Magic: Heroes 6, and Elemental: War of Magic. I'm very happy.

DiamondDog
28-11-2011, 11:32 AM
I didn't buy Brink because I read the press reviews.

Mihkel
28-11-2011, 12:02 PM
Um... honest question here, but you did realise my post was sarcastic?


I've never played Conviction and I agree that DA2 was a step backwards. But Dragon Age: Origins wasn't a niche title, it was mainstream. I'm against screwing up the important parts of a game but let's look at the case of the X series by comparison. Lots of people are complaining that in the upcoming X: Rebirth the focus has shifted from the player flitting in between a multitude of different ships from fighters to capital ships, to focusing mostly on one ship with fighters being replaced by controllable fighter drones, and removing a lot of the micromanagement stuff from stations and ships.

On the surface that does look like a step back... at least until you recognise a few home-truths about the X games, namely that their UI hasn't changed much since the first game, with new features just bolted on in a mess of nested menus. Giving even simple instructions to ships, or setting up groups of ships, takes an obscene number of mouse-clicks. Most people will tend to stay in their favourite ship no matter how many others they have at their disposal, and it's usually a fairly beefy ship because anything less is asking for death in a lot of cases. The entire game was in need of a complete overhaul because it was turning into an absolute mess, particularly in the UI department. Egosoft take the initiative to do so and people rant and rave. It's still a freeform space trading/combat/whatever game with the same focus as last time, but some of the core mechanics have been modified so that it won't be such a mess to control and do what should be simple things.

Everyone decries that as "dumbing down" (or equating "streamlining" with "dumbing down") but it's not. It's just a different direction, and one that the series needs. Kind of like the inventory system in Mass Effect vs Mass Effect 2. Yes, ME2's inventory system is entirely different and only has a few core weapons. But that doesn't mean it's "dumbed down" from the original, because you'd end up with a stupid amount of weapons and upgrades that were absolutely useless, and didn't even have much value for sale because you were rolling in credits all the time (and if you had the Master gear everything else was obsolete anyway). I'm not saying the other decisions were worse (like removing planetary exploration), but the simple removal of a redundant and pointless gameplay mechanic isn't "dumbing" a game down.

Again I agree that there's a fine line between actual dumbing down and exagerrating stuff and some games do benefit from making them more organized if it really is such a mess as you described. I also agree that ME2 didn't exactly get so dumbed down because ME1 was a third person shooter to begin with and some mechanics just hindered it in a sense that the inventory system is horrible and other mechanics that really didn't work that well in the game. I don't think ME2 was a massive improvement also because of some story elements, lack of equipment and removing actually getting your companions trust and all that jazz.

But what I mean with Dragon Age: Origins being a niche title I mean that It's a very traditional RPG. It has your stats, lotsa equipment, character creation, very basic fantasy world with a savior of something or other plotline and all this stuff that makes it very appealing to a certain audience and not that appealing to other.

TillEulenspiegel
28-11-2011, 03:17 PM
I liked the pull quote from this Umberto Eco interview:

It's only publishers and some journalists who believe that people want simple things. People are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/27/umberto-eco-people-tired-simple-things

"People" doesn't mean everyone, but it does mean the considerable number of people who have read Eco or might be interested in doing so. Making simple fluff for the general public is fine, but if you *want* to make more challenging things, there's definitely an audience for it.

Kadayi
28-11-2011, 03:41 PM
Do better.

Nalano
28-11-2011, 06:38 PM
Um... honest question here, but you did realise my post was sarcastic?

Yes, of course I did. I was lamenting; not attacking you.

cjlr
28-11-2011, 09:15 PM
I've found this somewhere else. Very insightful:
http://blog.asmartbear.com/ignoring-the-wisdom-of-crowds.html
It's not an article about game design, but a great article nonetheless.

While there's a good deal of truth in that, there's still value in a wide appeal. Obviously that's not the only option, and never should be. But isn't it also nice to have that plain family meal, that everyone can be part of and enjoy? Part of the value in some experiences is that they are shared experiences.

TillEulenspiegel
28-11-2011, 10:16 PM
But isn't it also nice to have that plain family meal, that everyone can be part of and enjoy? Part of the value in some experiences is that they are shared experiences.
As an example, how many of the TV series you love are hugely popular, in the prime slots on broadcast stations? How much of the music you love gets played on top 40 radio stations?

While it's possible to create truly great media that everyone loves, it's extraordinarily rare. Bland mediocrity is far, far more common. The shared experience is now The X Factor and American Idol. And Modern Warfare 3.

Smashbox
28-11-2011, 10:25 PM
Don't forget Transformers, Dancing with the Stars, reality TV hags, horrible chain restaurants, dead eyed presenters blaring at you to buy things, Need for Speed, and shows about crazy egomaniacs who are on television because they're objectively bad people.


I almost forgot about movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make and are based on lukewarm nostalgia for well recognized 80s television shows that were of poor quality.

Nalano
28-11-2011, 10:33 PM
horrible chain restaurants

If popularity = quality, McDonald's (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/09/americas-biggest-fast-food-chains_n_922241.html#s325629&title=1_McDonalds) would be considered top American cuisine.

soldant
28-11-2011, 10:50 PM
Yes, of course I did. I was lamenting; not attacking you.
Sorry, just wanted to make sure :)


But what I mean with Dragon Age: Origins being a niche title I mean that It's a very traditional RPG. It has your stats, lotsa equipment, character creation, very basic fantasy world with a savior of something or other plotline and all this stuff that makes it very appealing to a certain audience and not that appealing to other.
I suppose it is slightly more "traditional" in that it's not an action RPG ("guns and conversation") but it's not hardcore D&D or Wizardry-style, which I think is a better descriptor for niche titles. It had a mass appeal and was a fairly typical Western RPG for the most part... which they proceeded to completely ignore for the "sequel" which went on about nothing at all.

sabrage
28-11-2011, 11:40 PM
I almost forgot about movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make and are based on lukewarm nostalgia for well recognized 80s television shows that were of poor quality.

That was the first thing you mentioned ;)

pakoito
29-11-2011, 12:03 AM
If popularity = quality, McDonald's (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/09/americas-biggest-fast-food-chains_n_922241.html#s325629&title=1_McDonalds) would be considered top American cuisine.
Have you tried any typical american foods better than a McWhatever? Seriously, roastbeef or roasted beef is something my mom prepares every time she has half an hour for cooking. Stuffed frozen turkey? stop joking, you silly.

Nalano
29-11-2011, 12:41 AM
Have you tried any typical american foods better than a McWhatever? Seriously, roastbeef or roasted beef is something my mom prepares every time she has half an hour for cooking. Stuffed frozen turkey? stop joking, you silly.

...what?

10char

Fumarole
29-11-2011, 12:42 AM
Consoles, and the people who only play consoles. When someone posts "Hi, I'm new to gaming on a PC" a part of me dies inside.True story: a year or so ago I was speaking with a coworker who was twenty two years old at the time about music. This person seems to listen only to pop music. I mentioned The Beatles and their response was "Oh, I've heard of them." I too died a little that day.

Fumarole
29-11-2011, 12:49 AM
Bland mediocrity is far, far more common. The shared experience is now The X Factor and American Idol. And Modern Warfare 3.I'm happy to say not with me. I often feel quite alone at work and with my family while being surrounded by people.

pakoito
29-11-2011, 01:21 AM
...what?

10charRephrase. What's the best typical american food?

Nalano
29-11-2011, 01:50 AM
I'm happy to say not with me. I often feel quite alone at work and with my family while being surrounded by people.

I've heard this one (http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/entries/icons/original/000/003/619/Untitled-1.jpg?1288903617) before.

sabrage
29-11-2011, 01:58 AM
The best food is quesadilla.

As long as this topic is losing any semblance of its original intent

cjlr
29-11-2011, 02:51 AM
As an example, how many of the TV series you love are hugely popular, in the prime slots on broadcast stations? How much of the music you love gets played on top 40 radio stations?

I can't afford TV and I live in a basement with no radio reception, so, cop-out though it is, I can't directly answer that question. I don't really follow 'current' trends, anyway; it's way cheaper to play cultural catch-up, and there's about fifty years of accesibly modern media to choose from. And a lot of the stuff I quite like was, in fact, hugely popular in its day.


While it's possible to create truly great media that everyone loves, it's extraordinarily rare. Bland mediocrity is far, far more common. The shared experience is now The X Factor and American Idol. And Modern Warfare 3.

Yes - exactly that - it IS possible. Rarity notwithstanding (and I'd certainly never deny that rarity!). I happen to think American Idol is pure shit, but the Nielson ratings are pretty fucking flawed, so while I think it might just be on top regardless I don't trust the numbers. I don't know how many copies MW3 sold on PC either, but I bet you it's a lot less than a lot of other recent and much better titles.

The other point I could make is more that the best works are those that don't much worry about their audience. Make something good and it'll have plenty of appeal. "Trying to appeal to everyone" doesn't mean "dumbing down", or it shouldn't, or, and perhaps this is the better way to say it, it shouldn't have to. Last but not least, least objectionable isn't going to win any awards, but creating ain't free, so I expect some filler.

Meh. I'm just trying not to condemn too broadly. People (myself included) like plenty of shit, but nobody likes all shit all the time, and having good taste (which I arrogantly and for all I know foolishly consider myself to have) only means you like shit less of the time - we wouldn't have the phrase 'guilty pleasure' otherwise.

Nalano
29-11-2011, 03:02 AM
Rephrase. What's the best typical american food?

http://media.247sports.com/Uploads/Boards/492/20492/204246.jpg

TillEulenspiegel
29-11-2011, 03:30 AM
The other point I could make is more that the best works are those that don't much worry about their audience. Make something good and it'll have plenty of appeal.
Yes, precisely. Make great stuff and you'll find an audience; usually a big one if it's really great.

Focusing on the audience first is well and good for practical products, but it's death to any creative endeavor. You can definitely achieve commercial success by being a hack, but can you create anything of lasting value? Almost certainly not.


Rephrase. What's the best typical american food?
Pumpkin pie. (I can't get the canned pumpkin in Germany, and I'm too lazy to make it myself.) Chocolate chip cookies.

Other than baked goods, most decent "American food" isn't really American, it's derivative of stuff made better elsewhere, like Italy or Mexico.

pakoito
29-11-2011, 12:28 PM
Pumpkin pie. (I can't get the canned pumpkin in Germany, and I'm too lazy to make it myself.) Chocolate chip cookies.

Other than baked goods, most decent "American food" isn't really American, it's derivative of stuff made better elsewhere, like Italy or Mexico.Precisely, and even their typical food is just food for lazy bad cookers. Cut (most of the time buy cutted), mix, bake.

Smashbox
29-11-2011, 03:12 PM
Mmmm, British food.