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Playing Games in The Name Of Research

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Any of you guys seen that art institutes commercial? Ya know what I'm talking about, the one with the game director for God of War III. While doing some lore work for "This World", his line popped into my head: "...before I played games for hours in the name of research..." and it hit me. That is exactly what I need to do.
I took the aspects of our game and broke them down into the most important aspects: Creature collecting, Turn Based Strategy, and Lore. I got my self a Nintendo DS emulator, a Gameboy Advance emulator, and the following games:
-Pokemon: White
-Dragon Quest IX
-Final Fantasy Tactics A2
-Fire Emblem
-Rune Factory 3
I figure each of these has enough to do with any number of those aspects to be useful for my research, and now for the past two days I've been sitting braindead in front of my computer reading what 16 bit characters have to say about the same exact thing. I have to wonder: Am I really being that productive? Is this really how I want my rpg to turn out? and Why does anybody still pay for handheld games when its so easy to get a ROM?
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Sometimes, its not just about the game (pasion) but about the profit.
Sometimes, just like in war, people need to be controled into playing your game like a cult.
Sometimes, a designer looses its pasion when it can pump out carbon copies every year that will sell more than any other 3 to 5 year original title...

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I think that the type of research you are doing is worthwhile. The reason is that often when someone plays a game or reads a book they are not thinking too hard about it, just enjoying the ride. However, if you approach the game or book with the intention of understanding what the author was trying to accomplish you begin to see it on a different level. You ask yourself, 'what are they trying to accomplish with this?' a lot more and think about consequences of that design decision or where that would take the story. This is also a good way of learning the tricks of the trade.

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I think you both have very valid points, and they are both reasons why i love indie games. They are both reasons why I got into gaming.
I have found this research useful, but it honestly has been in the aspect of understanding how i don't want my game to be. The only game that showed true renovation or kept my interest was Final Fantasy Tactics. But, even saying that, I still found it to have overly repetitive gameplay, which makes me question how interesting my gameplay mechanic is. So now I'm spending the last day of my three say week end developing a new randomized system in order to keep things interesting.

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