Design Element
Comment on "Nintendo's Big Idea is Not the Wiimote"
by Kirzen — Oct 28
I'm not certain that you understand the broad spectrum of gamers that encompass the market. There are a lot of people out there that really -devour- that intricate environment, that really reach out and grab onto it with both hands.

The secret is to make hand holds, make it fun, make it challenging. You have to make it playable and enjoyable to the extent that someone can pick the controller up, drop their butt onto the couch and start playing without having to read the instruction manual or go to the store in search of a game guide, but by the same token if the game is 'too' easy you will rapidly alienate your audience. And being too easy isn't always a measure of how difficult the game is, an inmersive environment that doesn't point out the 'next step' can be a wonderful challenge itself. If you were to drop a gamer off in the middle of an open field in Oblivion and hand them a sword and a shield, and not say a single word but suddenly throw a couple monsters at them, they'll probably enjoy killing the monsters. And if one of those monsters happens to have a map and the moment you kill it a -big sign- tells you that you've A > Found a Map and B > How to access said map.

You're going to be happy. You've accomplished something, and if that map is poorly drawn in bugbear common, but there's a location marked with a big red skull and crossbones? Guess what... half of the fun is 'not' knowing what that means, half of the fun is finding out. Some people don't want to be 'spoon fed' their daily allotment of fun, some want to carve it off of a big block with their own bare hands...

The secret is being able to 'suggest' where to go and what to do, but still leave the final choice up to your game's player. If that message came up and said "You need to go to the city of <Yadda> and talk to <Third NPC from the Right>" you're robbing people of the sense of discovery... why even bother with content if you're not going to let people 'play'.

That's what games are for.
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