The gist of this particular Extra Credits presentation is that developers should focus on the gameplay first and then wrap their story around that. It sounds like a no-brainer until you realize that a practice of de-emphasizing story at the onset is standard operating procedure in the video game development community. The result have been unoriginal and unsophisticated stories. Maybe we need more developers taking a stand and pushing through those barriers to focusing on story and come up with something that can really move the medium forward.
Author: Dale Weir
This time, it’s the ratio of depth vs complexity that Extra Credits seeks to explain.
Extra Credits has a response-episode to feedback for a recent episode about religion and games. As usual the guys do a great job challenging those that blindly worship science.
The Extra Credits guys and gals certainly aren’t afraid to tackle the big topics, even though it can take them a while to get to them. There aren’t too many other topics surrounded with more landmines than that of “Religion in Games.” And in fairness to crew, a lot was covered in the 12 minutes of video, but it feels like they only brushed the surface (no Christian-based games?). Hopefully, there is another, deeper discussion in the works that covers more of this subject matter.
This time Extra Credits talks about balancing the powers granted players in a game with the skill level necessary to execute said power. As with a lot of things Extra Credits covers, it’s a concept that sounds a lot simpler than it actually is.
Extra Credits takes a brief look at combining genres. They give some pretty nice examples of it working (Puzzle Quest) and examples of it not being such a bright idea. Something to keep in mind as genre blending has been kicked into overdrive over the last few years.
Extra Credits discusses the design concept of “Counter Play.” The idea here is that in a multiplayer game, there should be interesting abilities or weapons that a player can use on another player that is also interesting for that player on whom the weapon or ability is being used. It’s a seemingly simple idea that upon discussion appears to be something the industry hasn’t wrapped its head around yet.
Points go to the Extra Credits crew (and basically anyone who talks about preserving old, landmark games), but a lot of this just seems “pie in the sky.” As mentioned in the video, a lot of the technology that ran and interfaced with these early titles do not even exist any longer. The only solution would be an industry-wide investment, resurrecting arcades, building kiosks, museums, you name it, just so some kid can play Battletech or Space War as was originally intended. When you really think about it, it seems that these treasures are doomed to obscurity.
The Extra Credits guys give us a quick summary on the importance of the horror game protagonists. After recent comments pertaining to the reception of Resident Evil 6, the creators of Resident Evil really need to watch this video before they even think about returning the Resident Evil to its survival-horror roots. Such an about-face would require a level of expertise (and guts!) that Capcom hasn’t demonstrated in over a a decade.
There is a surprising downside to video game demos. With fewer and fewer options available for those that might want to try a game before buying it, demos are the default option. But demos have the adverse effect of underselling a good game or demonstrating how bad a bad game really is. Understandably, many developers and publishers aren't willing to take that chance. Where does that leave us? The guys at Extra Credits take a look.