Monday, February 7, 2011

Midterms Are Over!

Hey all. It's been a while since I last posted. This quarter of school has been busy...really busy. Perhaps it's because I am trying to really polish my stuff for my classes. Especially my Level Design Mechanics class. I will try and get our latest project (the midterm) up here soon.

We had our critique today in class and my teacher and the TA both brought up interesting points. Somehow we got on to the topic of boss battles and grinds in games. The TA would love to see a game that is nothing but boss battles. This idea is one that could work sometimes but not all the time. Some games need the small puzzles or objectives that lead up to the boss battle but other games could just throw the player into the game and it would work.

The teacher said that he thought that games need to get rid of the grinds in between the really cinematic portions of games. He would like to see games played more like movies...two or three hours in length and really cinematic with a good story. He then backed up his statement by saying that nobody wants to pay $50 or $60 for a really short game BUT if games were made shorter, the cost of production would go down and the cost of the game would also decrease. It would be a little like buying an extremely interactive movie.

I agree with both points. To back up my teachers point, a game that I can see already trying to do this is Left4Dead and Left4Dead2. If you have read my previous posts, you would see that I use Left4Dead for a lot of examples but that's because it fits...and I happen to enjoy it a lot. But back to my point. The Left4Dead games are like several different zombie movies with the same main characters. There may be several campaigns but each campaign (movie) only takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to play through. This is great because you can pick up the game, play it for an hour or 2, and be completely satisfied.

As far as cinematic goes, the Left4Dead games are a bit lacking. That does not mean that it doesn't work. Not being cinematic actually works for this series. Instead of it feeling like you are watching an interactive movie, the player is put into the "movie." So the player is actually a part of the "movie" instead of just playing as a character in the "movie" which, in turn, also helps with the immersion.

Well, that's my thoughts for today. As always, thanks for reading my blog. If you have any suggestions, I'm always open to ways I can improve my blog. If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will try to answer it. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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