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Feature: 'Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie! VI'

In today's feature article, as part of The Designer's Notebook column, is the sixth annual "Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!" column - Ernest Adams looks at easy modes, for...
In today's feature article, as part of The Designer's Notebook column, is the sixth annual "Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!" column - Ernest Adams looks at easy modes, force feedback, camera angles, game documentation/tutorials, split-screen, and... crates?! Adams comments on issues with "easy mode" in games: "In one of my earlier No Twinkie columns, I complained about games that don't offer multiple difficulty levels. Now, I realize that this isn't appropriate for all kinds of games; but it's usually possible in the action and strategy genres. Offering different levels of difficulty, I argued, broadens your market and makes your game accessible to people who might not otherwise have played it. This TDC is a corollary, sent in by Christopher Kempke. He writes: 'I've noticed a lot of games lately (and almost all shooters) seem to have a deep desire to prevent you from finishing. You can get to the last room/level/boss, but that room/level/boss has to be 'a challenge.' I tend to play all games on the easiest difficulty level, because I don't have forever to spend on a game. But I want to finish, and I selected Easy Mode for a reason. If I can play the first 15 levels with a half a dozen deaths, it seems reasonable that I should be able to complete the last level within two or three, or at most five or six attempts. But no! Generally the last level, room, or boss is roughly twenty times as challenging as anything I've faced to date, requires entirely different techniques to fight, or is simply beyond my abilities altogether.'" You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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