Earlier this month we put out the call for developers to share their thoughts on the most significant games of the year, and were rewarded with interesting responses from game makers across the industry.
Among them was D4 and Deadly Premonition director Hidetaka "SWERY" Suehiro, who spoke with Gamasutra recently about his upcoming GDC talk on designing D4 to evoke empathy from players.
SWERY took the time to contribute his opinion on five games of 2014 that every developer should play, and we've taken the liberty of sharing them with you below. Fellow developers looking to share their own design-minded recommendations can can do so via the Gamasutra blogs.
Fantasia: Music Evolved
This game gave birth to a new style of music game. It doesn't play pre-existing music, but lets the player use their entire body to play the music, which feels really comfortable. I feel sympathetic to the creators, as they challenged themselves to create a new play style, like I did with D4.
They didn't match the game to the device, but expressed the kind of game they wanted to make through the device. You need to have that kind of approach to make this kind of game.
inFAMOUS Second Son
Massive assets, and a special ability that seems hard to control. The story that splits between good and evil was also honestly fun to play, and I think that has to with how committed the development team was to delivering entertainment to the player.
They didn't just spend money on making a blockbuster, they added in the street art system using the PS4 controller, and even challenged themselves to create a lovable main character without getting too reckless. It definitely had a favorable impression on me.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Obviously, the game itself is fun, and it was great how they made it play on the new Wii U. For example, you can use a Gamecube controller, the Wii nunchaku, or the 3DS itself as a controller.
As hardware continues to evolve, I was interested in seeing how Nintendo, a hardware maker, approached this long-running series, as well as the different groups of players who've gotten used to playing the different versions. This game was their answer.
The risky act of releasing a 'teaser' as a free download, the extremely hard puzzles, and the frightening direction. Despite all this, I played it straight to the end. If it had been a regular free download, I probably would have given up part of the way through, but I suppose the quality and powerful direction took me by storm. I think there is a lot that can be learned from this.
The December sliding update was good. The long-awaited hoppers, sunlight sensor implementation, and horses made the game worth playing again. Once they fix the bug where the horse saddle disappears, it'll be perfect.
Since there were some large, revolutionary additions made to the structure of Minecraft this year, I'm deeply interested in how the game will continue to evolve. But in order to understand that, one needs to first understand what Minecraft is like right now.
Also, if you have the time, I'd also like everyone to play D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die. I'm sure it'll be an interesting piece for developers to look at as well. I Love You All!!