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May 7th, 2012, 00:42
I think Ken Rolston has the right idea about this. He wanted to design a game (Reckoning) that gives the player the most fun per unit time. Doing things like figuring out where you have to go (no quest markers), talking to everyone just to find quests (i.e. not knowing who has the quests and going on a wild goose chase to find out), having to enter the inventory every time you pick up a new piece of gear (in Reckoning you can compare items you find directly from the looting UI, and equip from there as well), and in general doing other things that are more like busy-work and aren't really fun, so he wanted people to have fun as quickly and easily as possible. I mean let's be honest, what's more fun, spending a half hour talking to every villager in town to find a quest to do, or spending 2 minutes gathering the quest from a quest giver with an exclamation point above his head, then spending the rest of your time doing an awesome quest? I'm not saying doing that type of busy-work can't be fun, some people find it fun, but the majority of people just want to get to the "good stuff", and they consider the good stuff actually doing the quests, not finding them. And I think it's a good trend. These days I don't mind playing a game that lets me get to the "cheese" (as Rolston would say), as quickly as possible so I can experience all the good parts of the game. That's not to say I don't enjoy other styles of games as well, that require more work, but I think in general most people don't want to work too hard when they play a game. Just my 2 cents.

That's also not to say that the "get to the good stuff quickly" games are any less rewarding, either. They can be rewarding in other ways. I find Reckoning to be a very rewarding and engaging game and it leads you by the nose all the time. But it also gives you enough breathing room to enjoy the experience and figure out what needs to be done in a given situation. I dunno. I used to hate the idea of games being accessible, but these days my opinion on that has definitely changed. I welcome the new way of doing things. It makes playing and enjoying these games a lot easier I think.
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