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Gameplay, gameplay, gameplay.

I'm tired of people saying gameplay pales in importance to pretty lights and sounds. Even if it did, we now have the pretty lights and sounds, so it's time to start working on gameplay. It's time to stop skinning the same skeleton over and over again.

Author: crueltyinc

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Posted by crueltyinc Monday August 10 2009 at 4:54PM
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Sorry about the botched 1337 (Go Where No Programmer Has Gone Before if you can't read my writing) but a statement needed to be made. Programmers are not code monkeys. Programmers are not (just) tools to turn your ideas into reality. Programmers are innovative creatures who should have their abilities tested at every turn. It appears as though they are really being underused.

Case in point: The lack of interesting gameplay advances in MMOs.
I mean, kewl, you have good graphics, kewl, you have realistic sounds. I'm not saying I don't want my sword hit to sound like a rubber chicken rubbing its rubber, but we've been there, we've done that. We've got sword hits 1-1000, doppler, spatial distortion, lighting, reflection, refraction, shadow, and detail accurate to the cellular level (Spore joke anybody?). Yet we consider developments on the same answer to the question of MMORPGs that we've been using since the NES to be progress.

"So what exactly is he whining about?" Quest structure, NPC AI, storyline structure, player life cycle, and reward systems. To name a few. These have all been the same since MUDs went underground. We've become addicted to skinning old carcasses, letting developers get away with tossing a new minigame into the mix to "make things interesting". Last I checked, minigames, POH, and the like were side effects of the game itself, not the core.

Let your code monkey out of its cage. Give it that banana you've been tempting it with. Let it do what it does naturally: Solve problems. Take away its Rubik's cube first or you'll never get it off of YouTube.