It’s my own fault, I suppose.
CoD4 and BF4 both came out in Autumn of last year, but in both cases, I deferred my purchase of them to the Winter, in order to have a couple of other games to play on my XBone, therefore attempting to justify my decision to be an early adopter. As a result, I played the two games’ single-player campaigns back-to-back. There were two problems with this plan. Continue reading
One of the things that programmers hate are designers who can kinda sorta code, and then use that to float wildly optimistic estimates for how long it will take to code a new system. For example, they might say “I can code a minipet system in 3 days!” And then they do. And then they claim the programmers who swore it would take 2 months were sandbagging.
Only it’s not a very good minipet system. The storage is inefficient, the additional pathfinding chokes the server, they somehow break certain boss fights, there’s no GUI for storing or extracting them, they don’t animate when idling, swimming utterly breaks them, etc, etc, etc. Continue reading
Here’s a good example: SimCity launched with technical problems, to be sure, but what offended many people was that the game was designed to be online-only, not just technically but also for some game features to work. It was a clear case where the game design didn’t match player expectations, which is always unfortunate, and in this case, that design was instrumental to the overall architecture of the game. Last March, the SimCity team announced that fixing this would be difficult to do. They now have announced that they are finally wrapping up this change to allow for single-player mode.
Which prompted this headline: “EA continues race to the bottom with unexplained SimCity offline reversal.” Yes, that’s the headline for Maxis COURSE CORRECTING THEMSELVES AND GIVING THE PLAYERS WHAT THEY WANT. Continue reading
This is a good article on Gamasutra that challenges the notion that the $60 box price necessarily creates better industry practices.
Lost in the noise of the holidays was news that Mechwarriors now sells solid gold mechs – for $500 bucks. Despite the fact that these appear to be mostly cosmetic only (one coworker said “you’re paying $500 bucks to paint a bullseye on you on the battlefield”), the community was, predictably, completely up in arms about this. It was, predictably, very similar to the Eve Monocle situation.
Only worse. People right now are still used to the idea of buying a game fully for $60 bucks. Whether its right or wrong, the mental math a gamer does when he looks at the Mechwarrior page is that, to buy everything in the game, you would need to spend $4000 bucks at least – to get these eight mechs. Continue reading
It’s odd, but the worst part about Assassin’s Creed 4 is the part that theoretically has gotten the most iteration and polish, which is to say the movement model of running, jumping, climbing, and attacking, which is oddly fickle and difficult to control. I would say that, roughly, 80% of my deaths in this game are from missed jumps, such as attempting to leap from one mainmast to the other, and instead plunging onto the deck beneath my feet, having jumped in an entirely different direction.
This is especially frustrating because most of the game mechanics are quite good. Killing people is fun, being stealthy is fun (although the lack of crouching seems odd), brute force is fun, shooting your pistols is fun, and exploring the world is fun. Continue reading