[MUD-Dev] Continuity of experience in movies

eric ericleaf at pacbell.net
Thu Jun 20 20:08:01 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: "Sean Kelly" <sean at hoth.ffwd.cx>
> On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, eric wrote:

>> This is relevant to game development in many ways however, the
>> immaturity of the participants and their ego, and controlling
>> desires. Most games are linear because the designers are control
>> freaks.

> Even much touted "non-linear" games, such as Deus Ex, are
> generally completely linear.  In the case of Deus Ex, they allowed
> you latitude in how you finished a particular mission, but you
> were still railroaded through the plotline.

Thats exactly my point, allowing the user more control within a
given situation is where you make it personal. I identify with my
character because it is my motive force that moves him, not a
designers plot. When you have a game where missions are solved and
plot contiues only by the rules of a designer you basically have a
slow, more work involved movie. In a movie I have no control over
the dumb person about to go downstairs unarmed because they heard a
noise, even though I would certainly grab a bat at least if I were
in the situation. (Because no doubt I've seen so many movies
where...)

In this case I agree that it involves more work to create more
actions that the player can take, but I don't consider that the be
overly difficult.  Obviously making 50 spell effects takes more work
than 20, but generally that isn't the main issue raised, its more of
a mentality that designers get into. And don't get me wrong you see
this everywhere, not just games. A good example, can I use "take"
and "get" in addition to other forms to get objects in a MUD
world. The only real time involved here would be in the design step,
nowadays its a very small issue to make a larger grammar to, on the
code side its a tiny expense, when you consider the person who feels
more confortable using take, and using take just spits out an error
message, you have spent 2-3 seconds of their time, to save a few
milliseconds in your parser. And add to that how that inflexibilty
will be percieved by the user.

> the content.  I wouldn't say that this is the result of game
> designers being control freaks so much as that they are operating
> on a finite budget and hope to release a quality game in less than
> 5 years of development.

Not so, it is just the scale in which you determine a good game and
a mere okay or shoddy game. The true skill of making games is doing
it within whatever buisness contraints you have. Its not a question
of X features cost X budget. That is in fact related to this term
innovation.





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