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    • It's Just Fun...

      6 years ago


       I've been a gamer for longer than most viewers of this website have been alive. Heck, I can say the same of the propriaters of this website. This does not mean I am any better or worse than anyone. All it means is that I have tons of experience.


      As such, I have learned throughout the ages that some games are just straight up fun. They don't try to be anything else. Are you confused yet? I don't blame you. Here is what I mean:

      Games tend to be categorized quite easily. You have your type of game, your genre, your system, your developer, your publisher and on and on and on. Everything falls into such neat little categories. What developers, retailers and companies tend to forget is to describe how fun a certain title must be.

      Here is where age and experience tend to come into play. I have followed gaming history since Pong. I kid you not.

      There are titles that have advanced gaming and those that have been straight up fun to play.

      I will start with Ms Pacman. Why? Because I rarely play an arcade version of this title that isn't fun. Most cabinet owners of this title turn up the speed. Why? A few reasons. But most importantly, in my opinion, is because Ms. Pacman is a riot to play on super-sonic speeds. Thus enticing me to spend more quarters. Anyone who has met me IRL knows that if I see I MPM (Ms PacMan) machine anywhere, I will play it. It draws me in that much.

      Fun. Good to know. How does this relate to my title? Gald you asked.

      MPM draws me in. Holds my attention. Makes me want more. Companies strive for this. It is there goal (the intelligent companies, at least.) How does this translate to modern times?

      MMOs are desperate to learn this trick since they are based on monthly subscriptions or virtual sales in the case of F2P models. The more they can entice gamers, the more money they make.

      MMOs aside, how can consoles benefit from this?

      Ah...here comes the meat, finally. (I admit, I'm wordy.)

      Several years ago, I picked up Red Dead Redemption due to its reviews. I was thoroughly engrossed in it. Between its story and submissions I was never at a loss for things to do. Even if I had fully achieved it out (360 version, obviously), I could still find things to work on just for kicks and giggles.

      This was not the only title I found like this. The Saboteur gave me oodles and gobs of things to work on. Even after I had achieved it out, I was still willing to restart the game and play it again.

      So what does this mean and what can the gaming industry learn from this?

      Well, let's start from the basics. Control...make your games easy to control.  I can't name a single title worth replaying that wasn't easy to do whatever I wanted my character to do. The major secret to this? Make the halo of whatever 'action command' you choose relative to 5-10 feet in real world space. I see the g**-d***item/corpse/thing, don't make me kiss it before I interact with it.

      Story...make me commiserate with the character I am playing. Give me enough story to want to know what happens next but not so much that I feel like I have to read a freakin' novel to know what is going on.

      Quests. The most easily controlable beast of any game. Give me something to work towards. And when I finish, give me something else to do. Main game related or not....I want a reason to keep using my character.

      This is where the nitty-gritty comes in.

      To you game developers: Make me believe.

      I want to feel like I have a reason to be invested in your main character. He/She has an ultimate mission. Why the hell should I care? Establish a grand mission worthy of my time. Want to make the game longer? Give me reasons/rewards that can lead me towards this ultimate path.

      Okay, now I believe in your protagonist. Is he/she easy to move about or manipulate to my tastes?

      Amazing! Now that I have reason and control of your protagonsit/ my character, what next?

      Story....things to do....quests...reaons to be or exist...my god. Mr or Mrs developer, you have created the perfect game! You have not only given me a  reason to care but also a reason to believe. You have successfully suspended my reality and given me an escape. I will take it from here.

      Sound good? I bet it does. Next step is enjoying myself despite friends'/critics' replies.

    • Origin of an Assassin Clan

      6 years ago


       Welcome to Doc McCray's new blog!

      Don't know who I am? I don't blame you. I've been a regular on Screwatttack for a while now and have finally found a reason to make life semi-public. And yes, it does involve video games.

      For many years, I was the stereotypical gamer. Male. Living alone. Single. And I had come to accept that as a fact and my destiny. Then one day something strange happened.

      I had watched Jose's Puntos here on screw attack talking about Assassin's Creed:Brotherhood's multiplayer function. I was intrigued and finally decided to get into it. Partially because I'm an achievement whore. Mostly because...I'm an achievement whore.

      Needless to say I was severely outgunned. For those who haven't played the MP of ACB, you gain new powers and abilities as you gain levels. So the upper level people were straight up thrashing me which made for some very excrutiating game sessions. I did the best I could as a rookie, which was actually quite well considering how outgunned I was. But I would ultimately sit in my chair and curse the game because of how frustrated I was. In particular during one night, I noticed three people would always team up together and as a team, they would thrash whatever team I was on.

      I had had enough. I was done with this game. F*** it, I don't want anymore!!!

      *BING* Person 'A' from the team that thrashed you has invited you to join an Xbox Live party.

      I saw that invite and sneered at it for a while. I had joined blind invite parties in the past and they had generally talked about sex or violence or something equally barbaric. But for some reason I had decided to join, despite how frustrated I was with the game.

      I hear voices. Onereally deep, one quite deep and one very young. They babble on to each other talking about different achievements they are look for in this game, specific to the multiplayer portion. These people are trying to obtain certain achievements in the game specific to multiplayer but are having some trouble with it. I try adding my input but am frequently ignored as these voices keep trying different methods. Finally, my time arrives when the collective hits the following...

      "I just can't seem to get a triple escape!"

      My time to shine! I had not only done this in the game, but figured out how a person can be hunted by three people.

      "I know how to do it!" I chimed in quite loudly.

      All voices were silenced as they listened to the one they had invited.

      "It isn't that difficult. Whoever needs the bonus must be in the lead."

      From that point, they all started listening...and interacting.

      After teaching them how to lure and escape, they bothered to learn about me. I am Doc McCray. I am a Corpsman in the US Navy. And I learned about them...

      Stevo: The bass heavy voice who excels at racing titles.

      Cody: The young video game prodigy who despite his youth, has the mind of a mature adult and loves of adventure titles.

      Christi: The female who absolutely adores story based games and stealth titles.

      The four of us learn the game mechanics and help with various different achievements. For the next severals weeks, we play together non-stop to reach max level and we all enjoy every minute of it. Through this time, we become close friends, even though we never met in person.

      After we complete our ACB achievements and characters things change...dramatically...

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