Sunday, May 13

Designing To a System

Something I've pondered much lately is console-based game design. I believe whole heartedly that games should be designed for the specific console for which they're being developed. If you think about it, most of the better games on a console were designed for it specifically. This is part of the reason first-party games are in general better than third-party games, the teams design their games using the console's hardware as a blue print. Games are just better when they are built for the console itself. I feel that with multi-platform titles, developers often make the mistake of standardizing the game across all consoles. When really, each game, even ones that are multi-platform, should be designed according to each system's strengths. This is possibly more important now than ever before. We currently have three fairly different consoles and two very different handhelds, not to mention the PC. Each console has different strengths that a game should be designed to take advantage of.

Today, I start a sort of feature set that will periodically return to this blog. I call it "Designing To a System." And you say, "Don't you mean for?" No, but yes. Designing to a system is like writing a letter. Far away is someone you miss. So you pick out the perfect stationary, buy the best ballpoint pen (Pilot, for the record), and using your most articulate language, carefully craft an eloquent string of words that flawlessly describes your feelings for that person. In the same way, a game must be designed to a console. You want the game and its console to have a good relationship, so a game must be designed to work with the console as best as possible.Sometime within the next few day's I'm going to talk about the strengths of each console, and also post on a specific game I think is being designed immaculately for its system. Like a well-written letter, games are best designed to the system their for, as opposed to being designed like a stock-email.

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