Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to Get Me to Like Your Platformer

You might look at this title and think, "what is this guy talking about? Does he think that what he likes is what everyone likes? Does he think he represents every gamer's interests? Does he think that he's super-important?"

I don't think any of that. But here's the thing. I can't possibly write about what you like in a game. I can't possibly write about what everyone likes in a game. I can only write about my own interests. So it's up to you to take my opinions and tastes and decide which ones you agree with and disagree with.

So here I go! Oh, I guess you could say this is going to be a series, where I go through what I like in different genres. This one is about platformers.

1. I don't care how it looks.
Although I do admit that I'll pick the games that I play based partially on how they look. But this isn't about that. When I'm focusing on playing a game, I don't really give a crap about how it looks. Of course, I like it when a game is pretty looking. But if it's simple, that's okay too.

2. Make sure the controls are simple.
I don't like long learning curves. Especially with indie games. You have only a few minutes, maybe even seconds to suck the player in. If the player doesn't understand how to play, you're screwed.

3. Make sure the collisions are solid.
This morning I was playing a platformer. I was wall jumping around, having a good time. I liked the game, and was about to really get into it. All of a sudden, I wall jump too close to some spikes that were sitting on a platform away from the wall. I mean there was a lot of separation between me and the spikes. I had no idea I was going to die. This is a problem.

4. I don't care if there's a gimmick.
I like games because they're fun. I don't care if they're original. I'll play your game if it's a solid platformer, not if it's original. So keep it simple, stupid.

5. I love it when there are a lot of levels.
The Courtship has 80 levels! 80 levels is a lot of levels. I've heard complaints about it getting repetitive, but I don't care. I love it when there's a ton of levels in a game.

6. I love it when I beat a hard level.
See: Meat Boy, Super. Make sure, though, that the controls are perfect before you make the game tough. I've heard some of our games are unplayable because of the combination of frustrating controls and challenging levels.

7. I hate it when I don't feel like I'm being challenged.
I'll admit, I love playing platformers even if I'm not trying. Even if I'm just screwing around. But when I do feel like trying, I want to be challenged. Often I'll quit a game if I haven't died in a while. I need a challenge.

8. I hate it when the game starts off too hard.
On the flip side, if the game starts off too hard, I'll quit. It's tough to find the balance! Trust me. But that's life.

Well, there you have it. This is kind of my wishlist for a platformer.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice article. I like it.

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