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Feature: 'The Megatrends of Game Design, Part 1'

In a new Gamasutra feature article, veteran designer Pascal Luban (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory) launches a new series on the "megatrends" of game design in toda
In a new Gamasutra feature article, veteran designer Pascal Luban (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory) launches a new series on the "megatrends" of game design in today's market -- from making games to have a longer shelf life through the rise of 'fast gaming' and beyond. Luban, who was Lead Level Designer on the "versus" multiplayer versions of both Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory and now runs his own design consultancy, first looks at 'the necessity of increasing the commercial life span of games', noting in particular: "The first avenue lies in the development of a multiplayer mode. A few recent titles, such as Call of Duty 4, have clearly made this choice. The solo campaign is breathtaking, but brief. The publisher relied on the multiplayer mode to gain profit on its title and to increase its shelf life." Later in the article, he also concentrates on what he calls 'fast gaming', explaining: "Let us start with fast gaming, which is to video games what fast food is to home cooking -- i.e. games bought quickly and consumed without any important investment from the player. Note that the investment is not exclusively financial; it can also refer to the time spent in mastering the game. Make no mistake: I am not making any value judgement on either this particular type of gaming or restaurant. If fast food became so popular, it is simply because it answered an existing consumer need. The same is true of fast gaming." You can now read the full Gamasutra story on the subject, including lots more on notable changes in gaming and how game design is affected by them.

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