It’s hard out there for a gamer
Not really. It only seems that way for us.
There’s a constant stream of new games coming in (Well, not CONSTANT, but enough to easily overwhelm), and every one would probably require 30+ hours to get to the end. But when does playing games become more work than fun?
When my creativity in play starts to get stifled, that’s usually the start of it for me. Take MMORPGs, for example. I LIKE them, but I never seem to be able to keep my interest for long.
Another example: Call of Duty. That game contains volatile amounts of fun, but it’s a lot of work between the funsplosions.
Examples like that make me think that many games are more about presentation than fun. It’s like going to that new hotdog stand, but not because the food’s good. You’re going there because there’s a one-legged guy doing handstands while he prepares your food. That’s how I feel about call of duty. All flash, and just enough substance to cloud your brain for an hour.
I’m beginning to theorize that the amount of fun you’ll have in a game is paramount to the amount of fun that the developers had making it. I bet Valve spent a lot of time playing TF2 before its initial release, and for each subsequent update, started outsourcing the playing to other testers. That’s a pretty good reason why it’s on a steady decline (A shallow one, but a decline nonetheless). Another game I bet the developers had tons of fun playing is Red Faction: Guerilla. You make buildings go boom hurr hurr hurr. Seems like a pretty damn good recipe for fun to me. I bet the Dead Rising team had a lot of fun, too, but I didn’t get to that game yet.
On the other end of the spectrum, which I’ll only dip my toes in for a moment, is the challenge-o-philes. Your Super Meatboys and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.s. Those games are fun in an entirely different way. The kind you get AFTER you finish playing. Sure, there’s also plenty of charm in their “I can’t believe that worked/just happened” moments, but they get their appeal from nail-biting frustration after a grenade lands behind you or you just barely nick a set of deathspikes. They implore you to succeed.
There’s plenty of games coming soon that look like the dev team had tons-o-fun on. Bulletstorm, definitely. If you look at how vocal the devs are, they’ve got all the attitude of someone who just did something awesome and is making you watch it or else. Those guys look like the kind of kids who had fun watching you build a sandcastle so they could test out their new catapult.
Monster Tale looks like the devs wanted to make a fun thing out of all the toys sitting in their old toybox, and then they got caught up playing pretend with dolls and action figures.
The way I figure it, developers need to make sure that if they want to make something epic (Which the ALL do), they need to make sure that the epicness isn’t put before the fun of getting to it.
Of course, all of this is building up to why I can’t seem to find any fun games to play lately. I’m going to go see about Painkiller, the game from the devs of Bulletstorm. :D