How is Destiny like Candy Crush?

Destiny Candy CrushDestiny has been the topic of a fair amount of criticism, both on my blog and YouTube channel, as well as other game review outlets. I have tried to be fair and measured as I’ve called for more content and a better focused identity, and recently said the House of Wolves trailer was exciting but also sad because it proves Bungie has the ability to tell a much better story. Recently I read an article at GamesRadar that walks through why the average playtime of Destiny players is 77 hours. Bungie’s John Hopson explained the research Bungie gathered in testing pre-launch and what went into changing and modifying the game to ensure player behavior that kept coming back for more. Hopson is certainly qualified to talk about player behavior with a Ph.D in behavioral and brain sciences, but does a person’s willingness to play repetitious content for long hours equate lasting enjoyment of a game? Continue reading

Game Companies, Stop Micromanaging Players

office space bossIf you have spent anytime playing video games, you might start to feel like a game can bully your sense of independence or freedom. Sometimes game developers can place too much focus on patches and updates that hinder player behavior to the point that it can frustrate the community. While some titles have legitimate issues post-launch, it seems that most balancing issues should be found during testing (I already wrote about internal testing, so maybe it doesn’t happen enough). Players can start to feel like we are testing the games for them in a strange experiment. Continue reading

Inside Video Games: Incentivizing Behavior Part 2

Call of DutyIn part 1, we looked at the problems plaguing Destiny with respect to incentivizing behavior. Now, I want to pick up something I touched on in my discussion of the lack of fun in Call of Duty. Continue reading

What’s gone wrong with video games?

Video Game ConsolesAs an avid gamer I have a lot of mixed feelings about the trajectory and future of the gaming industry. On the one hand, games are breaking many barriers within the realm of technological advancement and size of player base. They are setting records with respect to sales and logged hours of playtime. Games are becoming more engaging with expansive worlds, new genres, characters, and grander more epic stories. Some have said that video games are the truest art form because music, storytelling, acting, creativity, and technology all converge for a brilliant mixture and representation of human achievement and expression. So video games are becoming and have become one of the greatest expressions of human ingenuity, innovation, and discovery. But on the other hand, certain black eyes that would be considered unforgivable and even un-survivable in other industries have become commonplace. From broken and buggy launches, to the “over-monetization” of mobile games, to the pre-order hype machine that lures players to commit to extra content prior to playing a game, and the new strange practice of review embargoes, the industry has some serious problems.

Continue reading