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Rampant Games - Manual Labour

by Dhruin, 2010-05-01 02:09:34

Jay Barnson has an excellent article on the death of game manuals and how that has potentially impacted the games themselves:

I think in many ways, modern CRPG design has been driven by the need to avoid needing a manual. This means – for many designers – that anything complex enough to require an explanation needs to be eliminated. “Streamlined.” While there are many kinds of games – especially for inexperienced or “casual” players – for which this is a virtue, it’s not a one-size-fits-all universal truth. Many gamers take great pleasure in plumbing the depths of complexity. I tend to find myself somewhere in the middle-range myself. But “interesting” systems – with enough complexity to prove “meaty” to gaming veterans, full of all kinds of exploration and interesting decisions within the rules of the game themselves – can be a lot of fun.

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