Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Member Since 28 Feb 2011
Offline Last Active May 25 2013 01:51 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Requirements prioritization and preserving the creative/core vision

28 October 2011 - 04:55 PM

Disclaimer: I am not speaking from professional experience. If that leads you to discount my opinion, that's alright.

I think this might be more similar to basic management and leadership than you're implying.

It is important that whatever the end product is, that it is a cohesive product. Whether or not it represents the "core vision" that the development process began with is less important because the player is generally unaware of such things. That means that everything going into the project needs to be heading towards the same goal, which obviously becomes a struggle when you've got a number of people working on the same project-- especially creative projects. What this means is that a leader (director), calls shots and prioritizes. Of course, some people put in this decision will do poorly. They will fall in love with ideas and lose sight of practicality, and fail to prioritize with an end goal in mind. Creativity is a slippery devil of a creature that can go all over the place, and it takes discipline and experience to know when to let ideas go.

Similarly, independent of the team of developers, an executive might come in with a business decision that overrides everything else, that compromises the project in some way. ie: "(in the interest of mass appeal) this character needs a more heroic voice" and you end up with a cartoony sounding main character in a game that has a gritty/realistic setting or tone. I am not under the impression that the creative head of a project really has any control over these sorts of issues.

I could be very wrong, but I have come to assume that the video game industry is simply too young and changes for too quickly for *most* people to develop any legitimate level of expertise. Chances are that the people that get the jobs are going to be the ones that can show that they'll get it done. Not necessarily the ones that have potential or talent. I'm sure we've all seen it with AAA titles where the story is both written and directed by someone who obviously has no experience with writing or cinematic storytelling, and you end up with utterly mediocre content. There's something to be said for the fact that expecting a story to even make sense or be well told in a current gen video games is still a luxury.

Anyway, I seem to have gotten slightly off track. I think what it comes down to is good decisions from leadership. Is the progression of development focused, or is a haphazard collection of disjointed ideas? If the leadership does have a focused vision, are they even good enough with management to pull off the project from a practical standpoint? Do they keep tabs on progress and diagnose problems before resources are wasted and entire subsections need to be scrapped?

It's an incredibly similar situation to most office workspaces. Managers usually dont get to where they are because they are good at management.

In Topic: Replayability

28 October 2011 - 04:34 PM

Well, good storytelling is always a good motivator to replay a game for the experience itself.

Another motivator would be for a challenge if the gameplay is good, since you could play on a higher difficulty.

Something that is incredibly important that seems to have entirely abandoned console gaming is variety. If I play the game a second time will anything be different? Will I be able to customize my character in different ways? Will I experience events in different ways? Will I be able to choose different paths? Will I learn things that I might have missed the first time through?

And then a small aspect that I find to be incredibly overused and rarely well executed is new game plus. The only game I have played where I found the feature to be worthwhile was FFX-2, because the level and stat mechanics actually retained balance despite equipment and abilities carrying over.

In Topic: FPS-RPG hybrids and enemy health indicators

28 October 2011 - 04:26 PM

As others have stated I'm sure, an in between option is display damage numbers. By simply paying attention to these, the player can get an idea for how much health an enemy has, and in some ways, allows the player to gauge the usefulness of an attack/ability better than health bar displays, since they dont indicate amount of health, only overall %.

Granted, number displays definitely affect immersion on some level and shift the focus of the gameplay.

An interesting game to bring up here would be Lords of Shadow, since it allows the player the option of turning on health bars and damage number displays. I personally found the game much more enjoyable with number displays (including exp) turned on, but perhaps that's just my personal taste.

In Topic: Talent Trees versus Sets

28 October 2011 - 04:21 PM

Given my experience with what WoW aims for, it seems to me that this makes sense for Blizzard to do. There's no doubt that the potential for customization goes out the window with this decision, but it's not like WoW ever really encouraged it. Right from the start, talent trees were always full of useless talents that no one would ever want to put points into if they ever sat down and thought about it, and while balancing those sorts of things is all that difficult (at all really), Blizzard never, ever prioritized it, and the useless talents remained for months and months until a class redesign occurred.

What I can say is that maybe if there are fewer options, there will be less of an excuse for uselessness, and each choice that the player does make will actually hold weight.

So while I dont like the concept applied to customization in general, it might be the right direction for what WoW is and tries to be.

In Topic: Paid entry level positions?

18 October 2011 - 02:47 PM

Aiming for a QA audio job as a starting point seems like a good idea for me. Do you have any advice on how to go about finding one? Should I actively seek out and contact developers, or just keep an eye out for postings on their websites? Thanks!