- May 1, 2013
- Reaction score
- First Language
- Primarily Uses
It's really all about considering what the feature is meant to do, thinking through the problems it creates and everything that it changes, and not just slapping them on just because reasons.
- Consider how it will actually effect your players. (not just how you want it to work, like Breath of the Wild's durability system not really causing players to change up their weapons)
- Think like an exploiter as well, can the feature be completely broken like @Tai_MT and @ericv00 did to the games they played?
- Does it ultimately accomplish the goal of the game?
Not to sound like I'm an expert or anything, as I'm not, I'm practically just regurgitating something someone said somewhere anyways.
I say this constantly. It's not said ENOUGH on these forums, if we're honest. People aren't CHALLENGED enough on their features on these forums.
Every feature implemented needs to answer all the baseline questions:
1. Why does this need to be in the game?
2. What behavior do you want your player to have in the game/feature?
3. Is the feature/system fun?
4. If it were removed, does your game lose anything?
5. Does this feature/system synergize with anything else in the game (story, other systems, characters, themes)?
6. How does the system/feature affect gameplay (need to playtest!)?
So often, all we have is, "I'm implementing X because it should solve perceived issue Y". Or, "I'm implementing A because a game I played used it, and that game was fun, so A should be fun through osmosis or just by association!"
I used to spend a lot of time on these forums forcing people to confront those 6 questions and telling them in what ways their current or planned implementation would fail 3 or more of those questions and how I'd even exploit those things...
But, the lack of listening and the eagerness to start arguments tended to make such things... pointless. Likewise, it has earned me a reputation among some of those people as "rude" or other things.
But, this is what you need to confront with EVERY mechanic and feature you implement. It is something to be mindful of everytime you play a game with a feature you don't like. I'd wager any that you are actively annoyed with having to engage with have at least 2 of those questions as "failure points". Systems/Mechanics/Features that "enrage" typically have at least 4 of those "failure points".
Heck, it took years to convince enough people on these forums that "XP Scaling" and "Level Scaling" were silly ideas. I can't count the amount of times I had to post to various people on here all the ways in which those were massively exploitable and how lazy such devs were being by implementing such things. Granted, I wasn't the only one hammering this, but when it started, the argument for XP Scaling and Level Scaling to "preserve difficulty" was a very hard uphill battle against a majority of forum users.
At least I'm also finally starting to see several less people touting "On Screen Encounters" as the "be all" and "end all" of encounter systems, too. We're finally getting a lot more devs considering just what it is they're implementing when they use these, rather than just implementing because, "nobody likes random encounters".
It's a long and slow road to get devs to realize they need to confront those 6 questions and they need to listen to people forcing them to confront those questions.
All systems and features and mechanics CAN be done well. They pretty much can. But, not enough people are willing to listen to HOW that can be done... because that means having to admit that they were wrong in some capacity. And, hey, being a creative means your ego is pretty much everything.
It is what it is.