10 Things That Video Game Developers Do But Shouldn’t
The following list will make your games 30% better!
Unskippable Bootup Videos
It’s not the actual bootup videos that are the main issue here. I don’t mind watching the logos of the publishers and developers and the sponsors and the supporting developers and publishers of the game I bought specifically because those people made it. No. It is fine. I know its loading the game in the background (right?). The issue is the fact that they can be skipped, because they were skippable before fancy logo videos because ‘a thing’, and that my hands automatically moves to the escape button and then to the enter button and finally to the space button in the hopes that the logos will be skipped. But they don’t. And it’s aggravating. Scumbag brain.
Long walking sequences
I am looking at you, Gears of War. Having your main character looking cool pressing two fingers up on an un-rendered headset on his ear is acceptably macho and makes for some good camera angles, but when combined with slow walking sequences for what seems like a an hour and having a checkpoint before the monologue is one of the most frustrating experiences of my video gaming years.
Poor NPC AI during escort missions
Speaking of walking. Despite what this article might suggest, I do have a high tolerance level for bullsh*t. So I am good with escort missions, because as annoying as they are, there are people to be saved, right? The “oh no” from a hostage in Counter Strike when you fail to save him will haunt me forever (even though it is not really necessary to save him…but still). What irks me is the level of artificial intelligence the NPCs are programmed with – as if they know that not following your orders, charging in between line-of-sight, or being stuck behind a door will annoy you, and then they do it.
Graphics ≠ Innovation
Realistic water, per pixel bokeh, tessellation, displacement mapping, sub-surface scattering, and particle shadowing are some of the innovations in graphics. The gravity gun, sandbox, light and shadow stealth mechanics, kill streaks, random dungeon generator, and story-affecting decision-making are some of the innovations in gameplay. There is a fine line between both. Graphics do not equate innovations in gameplay. Developers need to stop promoting them as such.
Skip the release date unless finalized
There is nothing as fantastic as receiving a final release date for an anticipated game. Calendars are marked, holidays and leaves are pre-booked, and fridges are stocked with necessities to last an apocalypse. Then developers drop the bomb, the game is delayed, and all of our meticulously drawn out plans tatters to hell. Developers, please skip the release date unless you know you can deliver. See Valve/Blizzard for inspiration.