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Feature: 'Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie VII'

Veteran game designer Ernest Adams presents the 7th annual 'Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!' awards as part of his Gamasutra column, with game professionals picking some o...
Veteran game designer Ernest Adams presents the 7th annual 'Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!' awards as part of his Gamasutra column, with game professionals picking some of the worst issues in games today, from lack of novel gameplay in later levels, to configuration menu horrors. In this extract, the former, often problematic issue is discussed: "Novelty is one of the many ways that video games entertain, and a quality that sets video gaming apart from, say, board gaming. Mahdi Jeddi writes to complain about games that present all their features in the first few levels, and then don’t have anything new to offer in the later stages of the game. As he says, “If they have budget limitations, they can spread the introduction of new features across all levels, and maybe make some special levels for one feature. This way the game will maintain its freshness to its end and the player will be saved from boredom.” Hear, hear! Which is worse: A game that introduces its features sparsely but regularly, or one that gives them all to you at once and then never gives you another one? I would much rather play the former. Obviously this will vary somewhat by genre, but offering up a new twist every now and then will certainly help to keep the player’s interest. Too many games turn into a boring grind in the last third or so, and the player has to slog through it if he wants to see the ending. We didn’t get into this business to make boring grinds. Spread your innovations out over the whole game." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including plenty more situations in which Twinkie withholding may unfortunately occur (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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