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Default The Thin Line Between "Fun" and "Unfun"

March 5th, 2008, 00:28
The other aspect here is that the line between "fun" and "unfun" can actually be laser-thin.

For example, I've recently started replaying through the classic Ultima titles and I've been struck by the difference between Ultima I (which I enjoyed playing) and Ultima II, which is proving to be an incredibly dreary game that I'm probably going to end up skipping.

The differences between these two games are not particularly large: They're both tile-based graphics. The mechanics are pretty similar. And so forth. The difference between the "fun" of Ultima I and the "unfun" of Ultima II lies in pretty subtle design distinctions: The spawn rate for random monsters. The distance between cities and dungeons. The inability to explore dungeons without first getting a light source.

These differences end up making the difference between an enjoyable hack-'n-slash gameplay and an interminable grind spent perpetually on the edge of death.

Modern gameplay is more complex, but the differences between the fun and unfun can be similarly subtle. I haven't played MotB, but the reason it just isn't "clicking" for you could be as simple as the design of the first dungeon or a slight stat imbalance in the early encounters.
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