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Should Players Intervene the Game Design?

Posted by AndyLee Tuesday October 14 2008 at 10:08PM
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Are online games owned by the gaming communities?  This article is about players’ influence on the online games, or more exactly, the game developers. The author seems to against players to intervene the game design. Below is the summary

Most game developers have a vision when creating a game. They decide what type of game they want to make, and where they want to go with it. This isn’t any different with MMORPGs, and we seem to forget that sometimes. When companies create and develop a game, they want to take it in a certain direction, they want to do what they think is best for the game. Let’s take World of Warcraft for example. World of Warcraft at this point is a game that is owned by the community. Blizzard implements things that the players want to see, completely overlooking their original intentions often forsaking their characters, and their lore to create a simplistic type of game-play that will earn them a ton of money

I believe game development to be an art. Not just the programming, but the graphic design, the music, the writing, etc. All of these components, when combined properly can create an overwhelming alternate reality for players to explore and enjoy for hundreds, or even thousands of hours. That said, the direction of this interactive art, and its ultimate goal should be decided by the creator, not by the ‘fans’. It’s fine to have an opinion, and it’s fine to hate something. However, when it comes to the MMO world, we seem to want to change everything in a game to our liking rather than hate it and go play something else. We pressure the artists, the creators, we threaten them with our money to create a world that we like, rather than follow their vision and see where they’re going with it.

Think about it. What if we went around altering the original intentions of every artist out there? We’d update the Sistine Chapel to feature tribal painting, or random Japanese characters. If we start altering art at the rate we want to alter video games, we’d end up living in a cultural wasteland where we eventually wouldn’t even be able to remember the great minds of the Renaissance.


craynlon writes:

i agree

but after all game development is a commercial art

the community has the right to critizice the art

reacting to that critizism in terms of pleasing the community at cost of his vision shows if the artist has backbone/deep pockets or not.

i do believe that a lot of games would have been better if the devs would have just ignored the community but since its a commercial business they have to deliver pop-art and not some masterpeace where people would say "omg now i get it, it genious" a year after release.

Wed Oct 15 2008 2:17AM Report
Soupgoblin writes:

I'm all for developers making a game that they want to make.

But if they do not listen to their community, then the developers would be the only ones playing that game.

And then they have no money, and cannot develop any more games.


Wed Oct 15 2008 4:32AM Report
mrprogguy writes:

From my perspective, it's always the under 18's that spend time telling the developers what to do, as if teenagers somehow have more experience than game designers at designing games.  Mature folk like me--I'm 47--tend not to create giant stinks about game designs, and never try to suggest changes that would make us "uber," or satisfy some personal fantasy.

On a political note--the idea that somehow game players own the games, and not the creators of the game itself (or the producers), is pure socialism. 

Film critics don't make good film makers.  It's not that they don't have the skills.  It's that they know too much, and will unintentionally produce junk by trying to obey the dicta of every criticism of film they've ever levied.  Likewise, gamers don't always produce the best games.  There are exceptions--but even the exceptions turned out not to make very good games later in their careers. 


Wed Oct 15 2008 6:56AM Report
qombi writes:

I couldn't agree more. This is the issues I have with MMORPGs. I haven't played an MMO in a while because I am sick of them being ruined after a few years.

You can go back and play the wonderful single player games time and time again. They are the same work of art they were when they were created, what made them so popular in the first place. You can not do this with MMORPGs because they do not resemble the wonderful game they were. Now they are a jumbled of piece of garbage that the "fans" invisioned.

I personally don't want to play little Johnny's vision.

Wed Oct 15 2008 4:29PM Report
WRyan writes:

To listen or not to listen... to the players.

My contention on this is that players will inevitably find problems in the game.  Be it a bug or a design flaw of varied significance.  I don't really think MMO developers have a vision for their game these days.  I say this because just about every single major MMO that is released, is exactly the same.

I mean, look - fans have their liking to either WoW, EQ2, LotRO, AoC, and now WAR.  Each of them are different from the other... sort of.  But if you really get past all the bullcrap, you'll see that they are exactly the same game.  You do the same quests in every game.  You play each one exactly the same way you play the other one.  Each one has basically the same story "The forces of good wage war against the forces of evil!  ITS UP TO YOU!"  Hell, two of the games look almost exactly the same.

All it is is a race to see who can make the same thing better than the rest.  Right now, and since it's been released, millions of people agree that WoW does it better.

People have a right to tell the developers what needs to change, if the developers continue to make the same game, generation after generation.  The best way to do this is to stop subscribing to that game.  The devs have no room to retort, and have no one to blame but themselves, that everyone already played this game back when it was called EQ.

People do enjoy the lore, though.  And I suspect the reason they want things changed is because the lore is worthy of it's own identity.  The problem is, that half of these people don't have the slightest idea what they want - they just know they want something different.  Thus, it's up to the developers to stop being lazy and stop being copy-artists.  Anyone can make a copy of the Mona Lisa... even in Paintbrush.  But in the end, it's just not as good or as beautiful as the original.

Wed Oct 15 2008 6:10PM Report
Crusix221 writes:

personally i think we would be better off if developers dropped back to single player games and collect the sense of personal story and that feel that your actions drive the world, every developer these days is promising that but its nothing like something you would see in a FF game or any of that sort

also in terms of combat.... get rid of hotbars get them gone, combat needs to play like it does in there CGI trailers, especially I want to feel badass and in control and hitting 1 2 and 3 doesn't do that, flying in the air and smashing a  giant monster in the face and having it deal extra damage due to locational damage that is more of the feel we need, i feel like ai tool hacking a 50 ft tall dragons leg over and over again

Wed Oct 15 2008 10:39PM Report
Talon27 writes:

Developers make the game design laws that govern the MMORPG 'society'.  The community and player actions make the society interesting.  If enough of the community wants to change a laws the devs should listen.  But it should be hard to change the laws. 

Fri Nov 07 2008 2:00PM Report
mintor writes:

ppl that are buying the game should have a say into game .

Fri Nov 07 2008 11:06PM Report writes:
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