Hitting The Wall : Player Authority Vs. Developer Control
Before I start on the main topic I wanted to give a quick introduction about my writing and my blog. I write about games in a critical,yet, opinionated way. I try to write about games in a way that is entertaining but also informative! hope you enjoy.
With games still being in its infancy, we have to look at the trends that are happening and decide on wether you want them to continue. One of the most prominent trends is the "open" world gameplay of Grand Theft Auto, Skyrim and Fallout 3/ new vegas. But a long with these games has been the premotion of "Player Choice", which, when looked at in the context of all gaming, is not widely encouraged.
The biggest argument for not giving players a lot of control is the distrust of the player to follow the developers plan and therefore the player will undermine the story created by the developers themselves. I can easily see where they are coming from on this point, but I think that the easy solution is to take that risk and let the player create isntances that affect the story, even if it puts them in a fail state.
For instance, a in the "No Russian" mission of Modern Warfare 2, the only thing stoping me from turning to my "peers" and killing them is their invincibility that was established by the developer of the game in order to make sure the story isn;t thrown into a paradox state in which nothing ever bad happens ever. How ever I think this could easily have been fixed by making Makarov killable if some challenge (becuase if they were to easy to kill the AI would kill them randomly and betray the difficulty of the game) and once the player has killed Makarov and his freinds there is a cut scene explaining the "greater" evil that is present if the air port shooting never happened.
One of the most annoying things in gaming right now is when the developer betrays my skill as a player for the sake of story. If I am able to reach an area through my own skill level and succeed in that area or gameplay sequence I shouldn't be punished for that. For example, in the opening fight of Far Cry 2, during the run through town, the developers desighned the sequence with the intention of the player to fail, but I make my way out of the town and run into the jungle to get a better vantage point, suddenly the malaria I have no reason then becuase malaria, starts to act up and suddenly I am teleported a few miles away to a random safe house. Which of course is bullshit becuase I could have walked, I needed the exercise anyway.
I think as gaming starts to go into the next generation, developers need to look into the freedom of alowing players to potentialy fuck up the story they are trying to tell, but trust them not to. I understand trusting the player to do what the developers want them to do is hard, but it creates a more interesting gameplay and narrative experience.
thanks for reading my rant, I would enjoy seeing your opinions on player authority in games today, so feel free to leave a comment. Almost all my blogs are about creating a discussion, but until next time.
I am Optimisticwall and this was Hitting the wall
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