Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

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Thad
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Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Thad » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:14 am

So I tried the 3DS Target kiosk again.

I am going to stop doing that.

This time it was Zelda.

You spawn in a store. The guy asks if this is your first time in the store. I said No. And he went on talking for two more text boxes.

And then when I went to leave, he gave me -- and this is not an exaggeration, and I counted -- TWELVE MORE BOXES' worth of fucking instructional text.

Now, I realize this is a Target kiosk and that shit's probably not in the real game.

But that is still fucking-well not how you do a tutorial. If you feel that you need to explain, in a twelve-box text dump, how to play this section of a game, then congratulations, you either have picked the wrong fucking section of game to put in your demo, or you don't understand how to teach somebody how to play your game through actually playing it (a thing Nintendo used to be so, so good at).

Making me sit through that shit after explicitly asking me if I already know how to play the fucking game adds insult to injury, and I sincerely hope that is just a mistake and someone forgot to check a boolean somewhere.

And if I WERE a novice player just trying to pick up and play something at a Target kiosk, do you really think fourteen boxes' worth of text dump would make me want to continue trying it out?

As for the couple of minutes of time I spent actually playing the game, that brings up another stupid idea Nintendo's been pushing for the past twenty years: forcing me to use an analog control on a game that would clearly work better with digital. I can only move at two speeds and in eight directions; the analog circle shouldn't even be the default, let alone a requirement.



...coconut? That's it, I'm out of here.

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beatbandito
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby beatbandito » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:30 am

Thad wrote:Now, I realize this is a Target kiosk and that coconut's probably not in the real game.

I can't tell if that's sarcasm, but it totally is. It may not be exactly what's in the retail copy, but Zelda has been getting weighed down with more and more text boxes for simple ideas in each iteration.It's a bad design practice, in or out of a demo.

You could see how it's way worse than a floating text box you run past. Those are actually a step back from having to find hint boxes and hit them yourself for boxes of explanation.
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zaratustra
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby zaratustra » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:31 am

Tutorials that are nothing but endless sequences of text boxes you forget the content of before you even finish clicking through them.

Terrible.

Niku
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Niku » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:09 pm

beatbandito wrote:
Thad wrote:Now, I realize this is a Target kiosk and that coconut's probably not in the real game.

I can't tell if that's sarcasm, but it totally is. It may not be exactly what's in the retail copy, but Zelda has been getting weighed down with more and more text boxes for simple ideas in each iteration.It's a bad design practice, in or out of a demo.

You could see how it's way worse than a floating text box you run past. Those are actually a step back from having to find hint boxes and hit them yourself for boxes of explanation.


I've admittedly not played the new Zelda yet, but isn't this the one that basically everyone heralded as "it holds your hand for like five minutes and then never talks to you ever the fuck again"?
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Bongo Bill
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Bongo Bill » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:51 pm

Niku wrote:
beatbandito wrote:
Thad wrote:Now, I realize this is a Target kiosk and that coconut's probably not in the real game.

I can't tell if that's sarcasm, but it totally is. It may not be exactly what's in the retail copy, but Zelda has been getting weighed down with more and more text boxes for simple ideas in each iteration.It's a bad design practice, in or out of a demo.

You could see how it's way worse than a floating text box you run past. Those are actually a step back from having to find hint boxes and hit them yourself for boxes of explanation.


I've admittedly not played the new Zelda yet, but isn't this the one that basically everyone heralded as "it holds your hand for like five minutes and then never talks to you ever the fuck again"?

This is what happens.
...but is it art?

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Smiler
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Smiler » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:53 pm

It maybe takes 15 minutes to get to the rest of the game from the beginning. From there on out you are given a set goal and it lets you do it.

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Brentai
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Brentai » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:52 pm

Is 15 minutes the Start-to-Sword, or just the Start-to-JesuschristshutupFi?

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Smiler
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Smiler » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:15 pm

15 minutes from game start to "Here's 3 dungeons now go do whatever you want." My memory's a little fuzzy on the beginning of the game, I think you do a dungeon before you get the game's gimmick power, but by the time you get to the dungeon I'm pretty sure the game decides you know how to play the game.

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Bongo Bill
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Bongo Bill » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:27 pm

The shopkeeper describes at length how his service works, and then he does so a second time when his second service becomes available. There is no Fi. There's not even a Navi.
...but is it art?

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Kayma
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Kayma » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:47 pm

Yeah, A Link Between Worlds is the least hand-holdy Zelda since, gosh, A Link to the Past. It's genius because all the helpy bullshit is IN the game, but to see it you need to use an item that I put on once and never touched again. Very great.

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Classic
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Classic » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:11 pm

Re: Zelda: So far I got the gimmick and was taught to use it by noticing that there were chests on the map because I got the compass which was totally optional.

So... I was rewarded for exploring, not only by being given a nice utility item, but by being given a more advanced tutorial for the gimmick power, which gave me something like 300-400 extra rupees. And so far my wallet is spacious enough to handle all of them.

The game has spent... at most 20 text boxes over the course of 2 hours to explain features, and most of those at least have nominal character/world building, flat though it may be (hohoho!).

... The shopkeeper maybe has a problem with being too chatty. But if you're going to begrudge the game for spending a little time to introduce it's other dramatis personae (e.g., Impa's got like.. 2 whole minutes of characterization, and Zelda has 3?) maybe you should be doing something less stimulating.

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Thad
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Thad » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:39 pm

I would, but the only thing less stimulating than reading a wall of tutorial text in a grocery store is lying down and having a nap, and it turns out they frown on that.

Nice to hear the game gets better later. But as a way of convincing me to throw down $200, the kiosk is a failure. And considering I've spent most of my life waiting for another game like A Link to the Past, well, you might want to consider the "Butbutbut Target kiosks are for people who literally do not know the first thing about video games!" argument everybody was making the LAST time I complained about stupid tutorials and ask yourself if it's likely to get THOSE people excited about spending $200.

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Brentai
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Brentai » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:11 pm

The weird thing is that I also played LBW at a Target kiosk and got dumped straight into a dungeon with only floating prompts to even tell me what the buttons even were, including the Gimmick Button.

I vaguely remember it asking if you wanted to try out playing in a dungeon or talking to people in a town, too, so... you know what, I'm going to Target in like 15 min, let me finish this post then.

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Disposable Ninja » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:23 pm

So Syberia commits one of the gravest transgressions an exploration-oriented game can do: it shows you interesting places that you can't explore. There's a big ol' mansion that belonged to an eccentric old woman who creates living robots -- and the door is locked. There's a hedge maze in the backyard of the mansion -- and the gate to that is locked, too.

I am positively horrified.
For the White Witch!

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Brentai
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Brentai » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:38 pm

Okay so yeah the other option is "Field" and the shopkeep there sure is chatty. Most of what he says is more along the lines of "Here is your goal to follow" rather than the short and not entirely obvious explanation of how to equip things.

More to the point, I'm pretty sure this is the eShop demo. It was made for people to play on their own time, not as 31-year-olds trying not to be caught playing at a kiosk. You can argue that that's a problem in itself, but I think Nintendo's a lot more interested in eShop sales than retailer sakes these days.

... oh, thanks for the combo breaker, DN.

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Classic
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Classic » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:02 pm

So far, I think the shopkeeper's central character trait is "talks too much". They even lampshaded it when it asks whether or not you want a piece of information, and it pauses briefly like it's going to open a response prompt, then the shopkeeper is all "I dunno why I asked you. I'm gonna tell you anyway."

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Lyrai
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Lyrai » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:38 pm

The shopkeeper's central character trait is pretty much "Talks way too much", which is the joke, and it is pretty cute because (massive endgame spoilers) He takes his hood off at the end of the game, and he is the Link of Lorule.

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Z%rø
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Z%rø » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:36 pm

Lack of internet multiplayer on a port of a game that has actual net code on another system.

Fuck you, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for 3DS.
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TA
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby TA » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:04 pm

When you restrict how much of a game a person can play in a day, or how often they can play it, then sell tokens to let you play more for real dollars.

motherfucking Star Trek Online is implementing this.
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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Z%rø
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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design

Postby Z%rø » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:21 pm

Set phasers to nickel and dime
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