The Five Games You Wish Modern Designers Would Play and Why

29 replies [Last post]
Keith Burgun
Keith Burgun's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2010
Dictionary Definition

Alright, so let's see if you ACTUALLY agree with that dictionary definition.

The internet is a game? Playing with a slinky is a game? Watching TV is a game? "I'm PLAYING TV!" Can you please be honest and if you were watching TV and someone said "TURN OFF THE GAME", you would correct the person and say I'm not playing a game, I'm watching TV?

And if someone referred to an amusement park as a game, you'd correct them too.

The dictionary definition is just trying to cover all its bases, but there IS a thing called GAME. Chess is a system of rules in which agents compete by making meaningful decisions. So is football, chess and pac-man. We refer, in normal speech, to these things as games and not slinkies and television and amusement parks, because those things are NOT systems of rules in which agents compete by making meaningful definitions.

I understand what FUN is, but it's not at all useful in a discussion like this. ANYTHING can be fun - seriously, anything. A ball of lint can be fun, but that says nothing about a ball of lint's quality as a game. To say that "wow players are having fun" adds nothing to the conversation, since I was saying that WoW is not a game and that its game-type parts are not good or interesting, but rather boring, long GRINDS. Sure, people can have fun with GRINDS, because they exploit a base human need to consume, or gather. But that is not a defense of WoW's game design.

You're right - neither of us could prove or disprove if wow is "fun", since that's entirely subjective. That's why I never used the word even once in my original points.

>what should we judge by?

Whether or not the game offers us interesting decisions. This is the inherent strength of games, and has been for thousands and thousands of years - since the dawn of history. Games are as old as music - perhaps even older, because they are amazing skill-building machines. We enjoy games when we experience feelings MASTERY over something we could not accomplish before. So, the more interesting the decisions offered by the game, the better the game is at its most fundamental level. Now, there's more to it of course - it's helpful to provide a clear theme/art/rules that help players to understand how to play quickly, because if nobody tries to learn your game, it doesn't really matter how good it is. But the basic quality of a game comes from how interesting its decisions are. And that's why the game-parts of WoW sort of suck, in my opinion.

>but .. as you dont care for it and the new Beth game.. IM alwasy cuorius, waht do you like? what games are your type?

I like X-Com: UFO Defense, Master of Magic, Puerto Rico, Through the Desert, Soccer, 7 Wonders, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Desktop Dungeons(AWESOME), Final Fantasy Tactics, Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer, Tetris, Super Mario Brothers... Super Mario Kart is really good. The original Smash Brothers (64) is also really good and brilliantly innovative... I love all the Civilization games (except 5, sadface). Football is great... Oh, I just learned a Japanese card game called Fairy Tale which I highly highly recommend. Jagged Alliance 2! ICE HOCKEY for NES is wonderful. Also SKY KID for NES, great game. I also do like Fallout 1 and 2 and Arcanum and Wizardry 8 although they don't have much replay value. Now that I've beaten them a couple times I really can't be motivated to ever play them again.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Forum settings and general comments
Cymon wrote:

Why don't these posts merely go in chronological order like every other forums out there? Whatever.

I'm having a hard time articulating exactly why WoW is so off putting to me here. So maybe I'll just say: You think WoW is fun, I guess that's okay. But that's not enough for me to support it because, to me, fun is not enough.

You can set them to sort by any order that you choose. Some of us prefer newest first, others prefer oldest first.

As for the present topic, in general, I think there's a real danger here of us putting personal biases in play when discussing whether a game is fun or not. It's like saying a certain type of music is art or "real music" even though it's unappealing to 99% of the people out there. No, popularity does not make something good, fun or enjoyable, but I think on the flip side if something is indeed popular, perhaps it's better to analyze exactly why it's popular and have a deeper understanding rather than just summarily dismiss something because "we know better" or have identified what we believe are fundamental flaws.

n/a
clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
Straight from Dictonary FIRST

Straight from Dictonary FIRST in the list of amhy things a game is

game: an amusement or pastime

WoW is that.. an amusemnt park is that... not to all people but nothing is the same to all people.

FUN:something that provides mirth or amusement

now many of them might lie, but I bet if you polled most current WoW players they would say they are having fun.. Even some past ones would say it.

We could argue all day if you asked somebody something and he replies honestly or not.. but WoW players think they are playing a game and are having fun.. And you have mentioend just becuase alot of people say it or do it dont mean its true.. I agree... but the world being what it is we have to have a starting point for an evaluation.. just becuase a doctor tells me im sick doesnt make it so ,works the same way.. but there has to be a point where you agree or disagree and go with that..

I think we are arguing about some thing neither of us could prove or disprove.. if a specfic game is FUN.. it will be to one preson and not to another.. so there is no way to judge that.. we get to pure numbers.. so we have to belive them or not.. I take um with a grain of salt.. 11 milllion players lets say half of them are right and really think they are having fun playing a game.. still puts it.. well above 99% of all games sold..

again if numbers dont mean its good (and i do agree with your logic, it doesnt) what should we judge by? if its waht we like.. thats is the best and how i do it.. but then there is no way for me to explain a good game to you, you dont care for wow, I do.. it wont translate. Much like any song.. I like Judas Priest.. many people dont.. who like the better music, which is the better music? to me it sone thing to you its another.. I wont tell you yours is bad Mine is good.. but I will tell you I LIKE MINE :) I think that is what the 11 million players are saying We Like WOW..

but .. as you dont care for it and the new Beth game.. IM alwasy cuorius, waht do you like? what games are your type?

Cymon
Offline
Joined: 09/20/2011
These forums are hard to follow

Why don't these posts merely go in chronological order like every other forums out there? Whatever.

I'm having a hard time articulating exactly why WoW is so off putting to me here. So maybe I'll just say: You think WoW is fun, I guess that's okay. But that's not enough for me to support it because, to me, fun is not enough.

n/a
Keith Burgun
Keith Burgun's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2010
If WoW is a game, then you

If WoW is a game, then you should start calling an amusement park "a game", too. They are both "spaces" that contain many possible activities. You can be social in WoW, you can play games in WoW, you can do many, many things in WoW. A game is system of rules in which agents compete by making interesting decisions. So it's just simply not appropriate to call WoW a game.

>"WoW IS FUN! Just ask the bazillions of WoW players. :-)"

Ok. I think you need to maybe be reminded of what a logical fallacy is. If an argument is FALLACIOUS, that means that it is broken; it carries zero weight. I have indicated several times and even linked to the wikipedia page for this specific fallacy, that states this: just because many people think something, does not mean that it is true. You can keep trying to use this argument as many times as you like, but each time it will have the same amount of impact - none.

Now, I haven't said whether or not WoW is fun. Personally, I don't find it fun, but fun is a very very subjective, and actually not all that useful, term. Really, anything can be "fun" in the right light.

>"Heck, about the "small nuggets of fun" remark, I feel this way about many games, not just WoW. "

NOW we're starting to agree! This is a problem that can be improved upon, but only once we start looking at the fundamentals of what games are and what makes them fun.

>"Before you say something to the effect of "because they are idiots that don't know any better," I invoke the name of MATT BARTON, AUTHOR OF "DUNGEONS & DESKTOPS!" "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority <--- please read this

And you know what, while you're at it, you really should just take a list of common logical fallacies on Wikipedia. You would save a LOT of time by being able to skip those arguments and move to something more useful. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy

But again, I never said WoW was "not fun" in the first place. I said it is not a game - very different things. Amusement parks are also not games, but they are fun for many people.

As to Bethesda, I think they are so bad at designing games that it's insulting. Here's my article on why I hate Oblivion so much: http://expensiveplanetarium.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-i-dont-like-oblivio...

Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/04/2006
WoW is a great game! (apparently) And SKYRIM looks amazing!
Keith Burgun wrote:

>4. World of Warcraft. How many billions of players does it take for people to realize Blizzard has stumbled upon the ultimate secret sauce? It's very simple.

Why is there an argumentum ad populum here? I think if anything, designers should still play World of Warcraft, just to see what NOT to do. DON'T allow there to be no-brainer grinding, and make sure there are actual penalties and ways that you can win and lose.

"Argumentum ad populum" or whatever, large groups of people not only play WoW consistently (for YEARS!), but they PAY for the privilege to do so. Why is that? Logical fallacy or not, I think the number of satisfied customers WoW has makes for a very compelling argument that Blizzard is, indeed, doing something right. They have "stumbled upon the ultimate secret sauce."

My brief experience with WoW has shown me what WoW is not: a hardcore CRPG. It probably does get harder-core the further you get into it, but as of level 5, it looked like light fare to me. But that's okay! Millions of players enjoyed themselves, and I suspect that a great percentage of them have never played another CRPG. WoW has apparently made CRPG's appealing to the masses, while still appealing to at least some of the harder-core enthusiasts.

I think that, rather than looking at WoW for "what NOT to do," it might be beneficial to figure out what works about it, and ask "where do we go from here?" I'm arguing for evolution, not total rejection.

Keith Burgun wrote:

Further, WoW is not a game - it has games in it, but it itself is no more a game than an amusement park is, itself, a game.

I'm curious about your argument that "WoW is not a game." It seems to have all the requisites of a CRPG to me: exploration, character classes, battles, loot, questing, leveling up, choosing gear, and so forth. It also has the multiplayer aspect, which to many adds a whole new level of fun to the game for many players.

Keith Burgun wrote:

WoW is not fun. There may be small nuggets of fun in a very, VERY long course of play, but in general you'd have just as much fun in an IRC chatroom with half the hassle.

WoW IS FUN! Just ask the bazillions of WoW players. :-)

Heck, about the "small nuggets of fun" remark, I feel this way about many games, not just WoW. CRPG's of all stripes are particularly guilty, to me, of making me tediously walk from one location to another. I actually gave up on "The Witcher" and "Oblivion" because of this. From my point of view, when a CRPG boasts "100+ hours of gameplay," I assume a great deal of that time will be spent walking back and forth. Not fun (to me).

So, WoW IS FUN! I'll invoke the logically-fallacious argument as proof: millions(?) of players pay for the monthly privilege of playing it for months, if not years, on end! Why is that?

Before you say something to the effect of "because they are idiots that don't know any better," I invoke the name of MATT BARTON, AUTHOR OF "DUNGEONS & DESKTOPS!" Not only is Matt on record as saying that WoW is one of the greatest games he's ever played, but he has actively "evangelized" to get others here on AA to join him in the game! Certainly Matt knows a thing or two about this whole CRPG thing, and he likes WoW! I'm sure it's not because he's been tricked, or because he is an IRC addict.

Keith Burgun wrote:

Matt, you pre-ordered SKYRIM? Why?! The gamers like you and I who actually understand a thing or two about games should not be supporting Bethesda!

After viewing "Matt Chat 118: Daggerfall," I went over to Bethesda's website to download the FREE Daggerfall game. Upon arrival, I was greeted with gameplay videos of "Skyrim." Well guess what? I thought Skyrim looks BADASS! I haven't seen any reviews, but the gameplay footage looked awesome to me! It actually made me want to reinstall "Oblivion" again and give it another go!

It looks to me that Bethesda has their own approach to the CRPG genre. They are pushing for the "you-are-there" immersion factor, pushing the "realism" as far as they can with today's technology. I think that's as valid an approach to a game as any other; they do their thing very well. If it delivers what it appears to, then mucho successo to them!

The only valid reason I can see for not supporting Bethesda is if they are delivering crappy games, they are cheating gamers, or if they have invasive and crippling DRM. Unfortunately, I have a nagging suspicion that the DRM will be intolerable, but if not, and if the reviews are good, then I'm definitely interested!

Keith Burgun
Keith Burgun's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2010
Did you know that it's a logical fallacy?

All you're doing, clok1966, is saying "LOTS OF PEOPLE LIKE IT THEREFORE IT'S GOOD". This is a logical fallacy. Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

WoW is not fun. There may be small nuggets of fun in a very, VERY long course of play, but in general you'd have just as much fun in an IRC chatroom with half the hassle.

Matt, you pre-ordered SKYRIM? Why?! The gamers like you and I who actually understand a thing or two about games should not be supporting Bethesda!

clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
I dont know why i like and

I dont know why i like and hate it.. The Dagerfall thing comes into play... I guess its a multiplayer Daggerfall to me.. WoW is the BEST game in the world with a freind.. or friends.. especially with voice.. rude jokes.. etc.. its a interactive movie.. The best time I had in Wow was when my Ex GF and me used to play.. I never Open World PvP.. but this 120lb tiny girl was all about PvP.. ganking, etc.. I never enjoyed when i was minding my own business and some 80 came along and killed my 20.. so NO i never did that. (errr ok once or twice)... but we used to got to Duskwood ( when it was 20-30) when wheere level 35ish and the pair of us would kill any alliance in site.. and yes die too.. but ate least it was a semi fair fight.. normally 2 on one.. yes. but in the alliance teritory.. I must admit it was a rush.. Nowdays.. after all the years of guilds... Shitty players.. and I'm not talking skills.. i can live with a poor player.. but asshats.. people who live to make your life harder.. I have made the game a bit more Daggerfall.. the lone guy achivieng his goals..

Dont get me wrong.. I just started again.. and have been playing a week or so.. I joined the 2nd largest guild (guild perks are DAMN nice) and so far.. they have been ok.. not to much flack and Im only 49 (hey i only have 19 hours in so far!) since starting my first goblin.I have gotton help when needed from guild which is nice.. but 80% is solo.. After the last expansion the Old World has all new quests.. even if they just sorta resuffled them.. its new to me in a way. And Goblin is 100% new.. in looks and racials at least. I havent spent the time to equip with Herlooms.. i spose i should but 19 hours to 50? ehhhh its not a problem leveling that i can see.

But.. Why is WOW fun.. I guess the amusment park thing is true.. its a sandbox to me.. I know I try to level fast. But in a way i get the most out of it.. I tradeskill. but not till im max level.. When leveling I just gather.. Miner/skinner (as a hunter) or Miner/herb.. server im on right now has a hugely inflated econemy.. mats are going for astounding prices.. almost any leather form elve 20 up is getting 50G a stack.. most mining mats that are not stone also.. so Im at almost 3400g at level 49 Ihave my first aid, cooking and fishing maxed.. my skinning is maxed, but mining is only on the 250'ish area.. (gotta move to an area with thoruim). I like to level all my skills. I like to play the auction house. Once i get in the late 70's early 80's I will start on pet collecting.. I know how stupid it is.. but I like to get all the vanity pets ( i have a addon that randomly pops them out for me without me doing anything).. And factions.. I alos like all the mounts.. so yes.. Im one of those silly people who will grind all those faction quests.. I want my manta-ray flying mount.. my glass dragon, etc... So not only do I level, I grind faction.. and yes... Its a grind but I dont mind.. the totally useless cosmetic mount is a good enough reward.. Exploring is my other favorite thing to do.. that part was almost gone untill they changed the old world.. Outlands and norhtrend still offer up a suprise or two here and there.. I have only went thoruhg them 10-15 times.. So now old world is new.. sorta again.. so I can Explore. I gotta chcek out 10K.. flooded.. ships... big ships whre the race track was.. some evil along he cliff edges.. but .. I belive I have outleveled those areas already.. so next character? then to make sure you do evry singel Dungeon.. once.. and Heroics.. and drops.. And BG's..

And I have done other things, made games up.. I did Naked hunter.. played a hunter to level 80 with no cloths.. just weapons.. now I must confess that wasnt hard.. I would Guess a Lock would be about as easy.. but it was fun in a way.. I have a tank i am attempting this on (attempting is the word.. i only played him with maxuimum rest.. and he is only in the high 60's).. I have alos seen how fast i can make 80.. (3 days 17 hours played time.. not even close to the 23 hours record). I have leveled a DK only on instances.. this one i would not recomend.. lotta downtime waiting (tv helps).

The game gives me the tools to do as I want. I dont have to follow the rules. But I must say, just grinding throuhg quests gives me enough reward i keep doing it, even if i have done them 50-60 tiems already..

I have said Im a MMORPG addict.. all kinds.. but Fantasy is my prefered style.. World of tanks is playing a close second.. about a month and I havent tired of it at all.. in fact.. i play almost every night at least an hour.. With WoW i had 3 accounts at one time.. you get a max of 50 players per account.. when the max level was 60.. I had my first account pegged.. ever charcter was 60.. so I did the 1-60 level grind 50 times.. in many ways.. you have all the classes.. then (back then) you could only follow one skill tree.. and of course horde or alliance.. (ally is my favorite side).. Now I have one account active.. it has 9 or 10 level 80's.. and a couple level 85's.. I think i took my mian to 85 and a my priest to 85 when the new expansion came out.. then i tried a worgan.. and got burned out.. now a year later.. i seem to be kinda hooked again.

I dont know the hook.. i wish i did.. i would find a way to copy it.. I "think" its much like most say... alwasy one more thing to do.. Youre level 85, then do all the dungeons, or gain your ranks in BF, or arena.. or ? Alwasy one more thing to do.. always....

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
I've been back on WOW off and

I've been back on WOW off and on the past few weeks. I thought it might snare me again, but now my interest is fading again. I was actually able to get back into my original guild, which was a serious raiding guild back in the day (the guild had migrated from EQ). I noticed there was only like 1/4 of the people there than were there a couple years ago. I assume they still get enough together each week to do their raiding, but it was a bit of a downer.

The problem I keep having is "why am I playing this?" Since my RL friend quit, I keep getting that nagging feeling that I'm just wasting time, and why should I even bother gearing up these guys? What's the point? Who gives a flip? There was a time when having characters with excellent gear was a point of pride, but now it just seems like you've got this epic surfboard in Idaho.

There's some new content in the last patch; a couple of quest chains that take maybe an hour or two each and net you epic items. Err...Never quite know what to make of stuff like that. I guess it's awesome you can just have stuff handed to you, but it makes you feel like all the "work" you did getting your stuff was a waste.

It's to the point where I'm looking forward to Skyrim and even pre-ordered it.

n/a
clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
maybe
Keith Burgun wrote:

>4. World of Warcraft. How many billions of players does it take for people to realize Blizzard has stumbled upon the ultimate secret sauce? It's very simple.

Why is there an argumentum ad populum here? I think if anything, designers should still play World of Warcraft, just to see what NOT to do. DON'T allow there to be no-brainer grinding, and make sure there are actual penalties and ways that you can win and lose. Further, WoW is not a game - it has games in it, but it itself is no more a game than an amusement park is, itself, a game.

I think with #5, you were just a little desperate to pick something new? There are plenty of older games that are far better and support the kind of multiplayer interaction you're talking about.

I hate to disagree, but Im the cranky old guy here...

Up to WoW, no MMORPG hd more thant a million. EQ was the gold standard, UO also (EQ was rouhgly 2X larger, and followed the 3D style). Up to that point EQ 750,000 average was AWSOME! it opend the floodgates.. a game that us rubes not only bought for $40, we paid $12 a month to play it. and Bouhgt Expansion packs for $30 every year too!. The goose that layed the golden egg. Now you want to debate game or amusement park.. to be honest you are probely fairly acurate with that.. but .. SIMS is considered a game (the most succesfull game series ever).. etc. People can make a game out of flipping sticks.. SO i would think WoW is a game, about the only thing missing is a "end" so to speak.. And a game that never ends does seem good.. if you are havng fun.

The point is.. WOW has 11 million people playing it.. IN Blizzard speak at least.. its more like 3-5 million.. traditional players (many places estimate the gold farmers to be rouhgly half the population, and if theya re not farmere in asia you pay by the hour and the game is free).. but thats still 5X the ammount the games that influnaced it did.

Simply put WoW did something right.. NO GAME has kept its player base as long.. not MW, NOT COD, NOT HALO.. nothing can compare to its staying power, its player base, its fanatical love by its players.

BUT.....its showing its age.. sounds like the first time in .. 7 years? its down about 400,000 players.. it may have peaked. Personally I enjoy the game.. but i need to take long breaks from it.. I recently didnt play for over a year. (they love me, subscription but no play).. logged in maybe 3-4 times to keep patched and see some changed.. but no play.. recently i been in some as in jut this last week. been in to much IMHO.. but so much changes in teh game in a year times.. its kinda fun to see the changes.

Game or not.. People "play" it.. and its succesfull.. if they are going to make more MMORPG's.. WoW is simpley the yardstick to measure by.. and after playing so many crappy ones.. I wish more would follow its lead.. and a few would not copy it so exactly.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.