The Do’s and Don’ts of Gaming Development

29 Dec 2011 | Posted by

complete rules for gaming

One thing we’re missing from gaming is a list of “commandments” for developers to follow when making games. We’ve kind of a reached a point where a lot of this kind of stuff is standardized but there are still little missteps that occur that makes you question the sanity of the person who insisted that this thing make it into their game.

The chaps over at Rock Paper Shotgun put together what they call The Complete Rules for Games a humorous look at some of the guidelines for making games. As RPS is a PC-oriented site some of the stuff includes some PC things that might seem obvious but are still overlooked by most developers. The cause of this is that a lot of PC titles are console ports, but still, there are some great points in here. The ability to skip opening cut-scenes is essential, but there are still games that insist on making you watch the opening video. Why?!

So, what do you think about the list? Any essential additions you want to make?

Source – Rock Paper Shotgun

3 Comments »

  • Julez said:

    Haha, A lot of them do apply to PC gaming, but they’re all pretty bang on. One I would add (or at least don’t remember seeing) was having Mouse Sensitivity be a number instead of a slider. What can I do with a slider? In every game with a slider, I have it all the way to 0 and still have to adjust to each game’s sensitivity. Is there no standardized sensitivity? Jeeze.

  • Drell Assassin said:

    Haha I totally agree with all of these! Thanks for the post Mitch that was entertaining.

  • Cossack69 said:

    For the most part, he makes some good observations about common mistakes that developers make for no reason. This guy’s list is mostly common-sense menu aesthetics and complaints about cutscenes, but other than that these rules don’t apply to how to design a game’s, ya know, gameplay. I was expecting something more constructive. He has a few rules that are nothing more than whining.
    I don’t agree with his flying enemies rule. Flying enemies shouldn’t be barred unless done well; any rule that’s phrased like that is pointless. Skyrim proved that flying enemies are super fun, and Dragons aren’t even that challenging. In Skyrim, you’re limited to running, shooting arrows, and attacking the Dragon once it lands, and yet the battles are still epic. Sure, Drones from Halo were annoying, but that’s because they were flying SWARM enemies. Nobody likes swarm enemies.
    I don’t think his rules about story devices is relevant, given how most of the rules are about interface. For example, the diary rule which demands diary entries to not be strewn around the world is just an unnecessary quip. Don’t fuss over extra-game bonus content like diary entries. They’re there for gamers who want to enjoy more of the game’s story. Also, if the developer wants to use an unwinnable boss battle to drive along the narrative, that’s actually a very effective way of combining gameplay with story. You the player experience your character’s weakness without having to force yourself to empathize. Egoraptor goes into more detail about this in his Megaman Sequelitis episode, and it just makes sense. There’s no reason to eliminate narrative devices from games just because you the player can’t be jumping on the table like a baboon all the time.
    I especially don’t agree with his final rule about credits. Screw you, guy. These folks put their blood, sweat, and tears into this game for years. The absolute least they deserve is a thorough credit sequence. It’s there time to get their names out there. The credits sequence isn’t even interrupting the game! It’s at the end of the game, or accessed from the menu! If this guy is so conceited he can’t read the names of the hard-working folks who made the game he had to torture himself to enjoy, he has no business giving game developers advice.