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On game features from a student game developer

As a second year bachelor student of game programming and development, there is nothing that interests me more than exploring game features, and discussing the effect they have on games and gamers.

Author: Dreamstrider

Cutting the feature list, defining the core of the game before the fluff.

Posted by Dreamstrider Monday August 11 2008 at 4:05PM
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Who would have thought I would get two hundred views on my first blog post here? I surely did not!
I would like to thank everyone who read and posted comments. For one who is hoping to enter the game industry, getting the feeling on where gamers are at is one of the most important things I can imagine. I wasn't really going to make another post this fast, but I just returned from a meeting and my head is full of thoughts and ideas, making it hard to do anything constructive! Anyway, here goes:

It seems clear to me that one of the biggest flaws in new games; be they single player fps games or massive online ones, is that they keep on trying to have everything that everyone else has, and more. I am confused by this. It is my opinion that if you believe you have a good concept, you don't need to also add all the content of other games to make it count for something. What you need to do is to make your concept really stick out of the massive crowd.  When I look at games like Warhammer online and Age of Conan, I see massive feature lists, that both contain the same things as games before them, but also their own little twist on things. Now sure this is great, but just like you guys, I have realised long ago that the more things you try to do in the same timeframe, the less dept you will have on each of these features.

Now the problem here, I think, is lack of community / developer integration. Meaning that developers and people from the community don't spend enough time together. But that's a topic for another entry. It is my firm belief that if a game developer instead of trying to do everything at once; made sure that what made their game special would really work as expected. In WAR thats Realm versus Realm, in Conan it's keep battles and the combat system, in planetside it was base combat, and so on.

In the end, what I would like to ask you guys is this:
How important is the feature list to you?
If you want to find a new MMO, does it need to have ALL the features of your previous one, or would you be more than happy with just some of the old features, and some new and really interesting ones working from day one?

Once again, thank you for your time and input.

-The Dreamstrider