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What game designers get wrong


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The biggest problem as I see it, is a poorly defined interface. I know more people who have given up playing good games because of the poor interface.

 

After the first time I open a game, I want to be able to bypass all the companies cutsie logo. Let me press on the screen and jump to the end.

 

Often the interface contains absurdities in playing over the web. I will give you some real examples.

When you request a friend to play, you have to sit and wait for them to notice the invite and respond even though that might take days because if you go off that page the game cancels your request.

One game, the only way to sucessfully register for the game was to fail to register. No matter what you did, you failed to register. About two weeks after giving up, I got an email that my registration was complete and a link to the game. Worse, when you followed the link you ended up in a maze of menus and submenus with no way to actually play the game.

When one game thinks you don't have a net connection, it shuts you out of the game forever (it won't even attempt to determine if you now have a net connection). After contacting customer support, they told me the only way to get back into the game was to request a password reset!? Really? Yeap!

 

When I register for a game, I want it to tell me immediately if my screen name is available or not. Nothing worse than filling in a page of info, including the "I am not a bot" tests only to then be told my name is already in use. They invariably wipe out your password and often more. You have to fill it in again and again prove you are not a bot before you can find out if the new user name is available. Arg!

 

The last one is when they pop up an ad for their company right over the play button, which sends you off to their web site with, usually, no "go back" link. You have to kill the net, and restart the game.

 

I could go on. So many designers and programmers never think about the users and what they want.

 

What are your major issues with online games?

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The "online" part.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Environment puzzles in RPGs.

 

Hell, I'd go as far as to say that the actual puzzle parts of point and click adventure games are terribad as well.

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"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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Environment puzzles in RPGs.

 

Hell, I'd go as far as to say that the actual puzzle parts of point and click adventure games are terribad as well.

Other than the cat puzzle, what other ones? Every game has one awkward one for me (I still hate a few from The Dig), but for the most part they are all pretty easy.

 

Granted there are just bad adventure games, where the puzzles are just bad - see AlternativA.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Environment puzzles in RPGs.

 

Hell, I'd go as far as to say that the actual puzzle parts of point and click adventure games are terribad as well.

Other than the cat puzzle, what other ones? Every game has one awkward one for me (I still hate a few from The Dig), but for the most part they are all pretty easy.

 

Granted there are just bad adventure games, where the puzzles are just bad - see AlternativA.

 

 

I could name _quite a few_ in The Longest Journey off the top of my head:

 

1. The rubber ducky puzzle.

 

2. The "give the cop the candy that was dipped in radioactive goo" puzzle.

 

3. The "arrange the items in the alleyway so that the silhouette looks like a man aiming a gun" puzzle.

 

4. The "make aloe vera to temporarily cure the guy who was turned to stone" puzzle.

 

5. The "take the can of soda to the other side of the city to a power tool that can shake it up so that it sprays into the face of a cop you give it to" puzzle.

 

Seriously, it's as if they make April Ryan out to be Eldrad Ulthran that she's able to unravel the skeins of causality to effect such serendipitous outcomes to her plight. For all I know, there might well be many, many more puzzles that are equally egregious as these (if not more so) since eventually I just gave it double middle fingers and uninstalled it half-way through the story.

Edited by Agiel
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Quote
"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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Crow makes up for any ridiculousness of the puzzles.

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"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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that she's able to unravel the skeins of causality to bring about such serendipitous outcomes to her plight

 

I am very fond of TLJ but this gave me a giggle.

 

 

I made a small improvement to that original post which makes it ever so slightly succinct yet that much more loquacious ;)

Quote
"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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  • 2 months later...

There is only one thing many game developers/publishers get consistently wrong, and from this all other problems of consequence spring...

 

Making games to make money instead of making money to make games.

 

Like so many other things that have issues of quality, it's all in the focus and intent. After all, which would you rather go to? A physician whom went to medical school for money, prestige and an expensive car, or... Someone who went to medical school because they actually like to help sick people.

Edited by Luridis
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Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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Camera was #1 on the list for me.  I've only replayed DA:O 3 times as every time I think about it I get that negative feel about the camera.

 

But then along came Siege of Dragonspear, and I realized just how many games I have in my library (with the IE games at the top of the list) that just simply made you feel welcome in the world.  It's like an unspoken thing between developer and player similiar to a host and guest.  Siege of Dragonspear failed utterly at that, and I'd take a crap camera over that specific failure any day.

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Pretty much everyone gets everything wrong.

 

- J.E. Sawyer

everything is sexist, everything is racist, everything is homophobic and you have to point it all out.

You forgot that everything is hyperbolic, as well. :p

 

My biggest gripe is console/controller UI systems being shoehorned around mouse and keyboard during a port to PC. I wish they were willing to go a few miles extra and at least make some parts of the UI more accomodating.

 

Examples - Skyrim dialogue is horrible if you use your mouse and click. It will misclick the dialogue above or below. You are almost always better off using W or S to highlight different dialogue and then pressing enter or what have you.

 

Another is DA Inquisition which I forgot buying at any point after trying it on a friend's PC because of how awful mouse and keyboard is in the game. It was, and maybe they patched some fixes in by now, so bad I don't have the time or inclination to go into details.

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