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DontJudgeMyADD posted a blog entry in Musings on Games<my 2Â¢> I've been gaming for enough years to transition through several stages in my life where I have varying time available or vacillating interest in particular game genres. Old school JRPGs were my go to games in periods of my life with ample time. Devoting 60+ hours per RPG game was the price of admission and grinding through some levels was just how it was. The grind was unavoidable but I had the time and enjoyed the journey as well as the destination. More recently, I can squeeze in a few hours in between work, parenting, and social life, but picking up a 60+hr title can occupy close to two months of gaming for me. Consequently, I find myself drawn to closed worlds or linear tracks where I know I'll come out of a 15 hour experience having experienced the story and a fair quantity of game play. In the context of a game I purchase for a fixed price it seems to me we're at a stage in game development where the player should have the freedom to avoid grinding or skip all fetch quests and not be hindered in advancing through the game. Multi-player games presumably should start with a level playing field, but even there we've seen double XP bonuses and myriad of "pay-to-win" (or at least "pay-to-save-time") mechanisms where for some cash, you can save time and advanced more quickly. These mechanisms and many more within the creative vision of developers I think would broaden the fan base of many games by letting is control or scale some of the aspects of games. The rate experience is earned, gore level, AI tenacity, quantity/quality of loot dropped, travel speed, random encounter rate, and countless other game variables could all be sliders at the users control so we can scale aspects of the experience to suit our individual interests closer. Game statistics could even be captured showing the modifications people most preferred using and can be taken into account for future games. Naturally, the defaults would be the game as the developers originally envisioned, and I'd be fine with turning all/some of the trophies/achievements off for games once you start messing with some game systems. The long story in short is that I think we're at a development stage where allowing the user to scale aspects of the game would not be very difficult to implement and may open or enhance the experience for many gamers. I, for one, could go from 2-3 RPGs a year to 6-7. And, in games that aren't really resonating with me, rather then shelving them, I could tear through them and be part of the conversation at least and maybe contribute to the game's buzz. I'm sure some of these ideas have been implemented on smaller scale in PC gaming, and I don't want to come off like an entitled gamer, but rather, this is an easy means by which the gaming industry as a whole will get more of my money. Everybody wins :-) Cheers! </my 2Â¢>
Difficulty. It's something I'm sure all of you have come across in your lives. I'm not talking about games here. You know what I mean- that F you just scored on your English test, or that pay decrease you just received. Maybe something even so small as having to walk up the stairs in your house after a long afternoon of track practice. Why is life so tough? And more importantly, why do many games try to emulate that? Let me ask you, the reader, a question. Why do you play games? Is it for the challenge? Multiplayer madness with friends? Loot? BOOTY? Maybe, and maybe not. However, one thing stands out among the "code of games" to me. If you make a game, your goal is to make it fun, and make the player enjoy it. Any which way you do this is up to you, however, your goal should be for the player to maybe laugh a bit, cry a bit, or even smile when they reach the end. So why are some games just so frustratingly hard? Why do they insist on giving you the most extreme challenge in video game existence? To me, it's still adding to the fun factor and enjoyment of the game. The extremely easy difficulties even help with that. For instance, is playing on the "easy" difficulty going to change much of the original game? Probably not, but it lets anyone who is new or struggles with tough games to still thoroughly enjoy the same game that a more experienced or "hardcore" gamer can also love and enjoy. Consider most modern games. They usually have at least three difficulties, and you probably usually pick normal. However, with both easy and hard as options, you could pick to have a harder challenge or a creamy-cake-easy time. It's this freedom of choice that's great for us gamers. Well, game difficulty is great, you probably already knew that. However, what about those games that ONLY let you have an extreme or incredibly easy challenge? You know what I mean....opposite ends of the spectrum, such as "I Wanna Be The Guy", or "Barbie Horse Adventures". I've played both I'll admit, and for me personally, Barbie just isn't that fun. It's too easy, and the horse looks lame anyway, really. But, I Wanna Be The Guy is all like....*death*. You can't win in that game unless you are very skilled at platforming games and can memorize the traps. It's very tough. However, I've come back to both of these games multiple times. Why might that be, now? Well, truthfully, both offer very different experiences. You get different satisfactions from both games. In Barbie, I get to experience the joy of washing my great, mighty stallion. In IWBTG, I get to experience the joy of trying again and again to even get to the next screen. It's normal to get frustrated while trying to get there, but if you focus on having fun, even extremely hard or easy games can be made into an enjoyable experience. We'll never know what went on exactly inside the heads of the early video game developers when they were considering the difficulty of their games, but I can say from the player's point of view that no matter how tough, games are still fun. There may be extreme games that can really push your nerves, but through it all, I have a feeling you're still having a good time.