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September 26th, 2007, 15:32
Well, I never had a problem with Gothic controls (ok, maybe the first 5 minutes I was a bit confused), but then I found the game as a whole amazingly well done, so I was willing to learn the UI. Of course, I've been gaming for 25 years, so I've been through a couple of UIs here and there. However, I found that the control system in Gothic 3 was better and more acccessible without hurting the game in any way whatsoever. Gothic 3 had many issues, but the basic control system was definitely not one of them (combat system was another story, though), as far as I'm concerned. That's another example of what I would consider a legitimate evolution.

In a way, they are straight about it; they want to make it more accessibly so that more people can enjoy it, hence sell more units.
Yes, they are. But that's not the core of what I'm saying. They're constantly dancing around the fundamental issue of what the changes mean for the GAME itself. Not the accessibility, not the popularity, but the game itself as an artform. Is the game better for it, because more people can enjoy it?

Is the typical blockbuster Hollywood movie better than it could have been without the sappy ending or the comic sidekick?

Would Lord of the Rings movies be better without the stupid Legolas skateboarding, or the reduction of Gimli to a fart-joke dwarf?

They can easily say "we made it more accessible, and how can that be bad thing". Of course they can, but they never go in-depth about what consequences that accessibility might have in reality, and what the game itself must suffer for being popular.

Can there actually be a successful mainstream release today that manages to do it all right? I would like to suggest that some genres like strategy and RTS games might be easier to pull off than action games or RPG's.
It's hard to say really. But that's not necessarily what I'm asking for, I'm just asking for honesty (primarily towards themselves). Be honest about what you're doing, and don't think you're making great art by appealing to the masses, because true art must originate from the individual, and hence become objective only through having started subjectively.

That is what they must trust, that their own vision is enough to sell. That being true to the vision and being competent about it CAN sell. System Shock was a revolution (if you ask me) but it didn't sell. But why didn't it sell? Was it too complex or was it too "good"? No, I don't think so. It suffered from an overly complex UI and a confused audience expecting another FPS ala Doom. That doesn't mean that System Shock couldn't have sold well if done differently, and maybe (just maybe) it's possible to have a largely uncompromised game be a hit.
Last edited by DArtagnan; September 26th, 2007 at 15:44.
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