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Submitted by wound 935d ago | article

Presentation Over Gameplay: The Growing Trend in Game Design

Not too long ago, graphics were all the rage. Now it seems a new plague has emerged to ruin fun everywhere: Presentation. What I mean by this is an emphasis on creating games that are a “cinematic experience,” a combination of aesthetics and storytelling, where the gameplay serves as a mean to progress the story. (BioShock: Infinite, Dev, Heavy Rain , Industry, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)

ACEMANWISE  +   934d ago
I think presentation has been around for a long time. It has been more prevalent in story driven games. I disagree with some the author's points.

The shift has been moving away from single player, story driven games to the online, multiplayer, socially driven kind. The lack of focus on gameplay has been a recurring problem throughout most of gaming's history.

The only recent trend I'm aware of is the shift back toward the difficulty of older games. Instead of the rewards system gamers wanted to be punished.

The box art has changed because video games are no longer about quality. Games have become a social based piece of entertainment based on popularity. It matters more who's playing it moreso than what they're playing. As long as a game is fun while playing with someone else it will be judged on those merits.

That's why the box talks more about it's reputation, popularity, and game modes. I guess this type of "presentation" is the form of distraction the author is trying to express.

From my observation it seems these companies are trying to enhance every game with a single idea or product. In the case of XBox Live/PSN the service, in theory, is supposed to enhance every game we play due to it's ability to bring friends together. The same can be said for trophies and achievements where every game is enhanced by using a reputation status. We can say the same for the Wii controller, camera eyes, and nongaming related apps. Of these ideas, all fall under a socially based value system. If one were to remember this single theme or concept when thinking about today's gaming then everything becomes much clearer. Games have become a fashion statement just like clothing. If someone with status wears it then expect many others to follow.

It explains why E3 shows are rated on their entertainment values (i.e. celebrity appearance, music, jokes, etc.) rather than game offerings. I would agree that focus on gameplay is more distracted now than it ever was. To top it all off each new generation of consoles leads to less incentives to focus on gameplay as the extra power is a renewed crutch to carry the gamer's interactive experience. It should always have been gameplay first and everything else used as tools to enhance...not replace. You can start looking at Indie game developers and small time companies for the gameplay you crave.
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