Sessler's Soapbox: Changing the Game is a Good Thing

Posted: August 10, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Changing the Game is a Good Thing
Adam uses Madden NFL 11 as an example how some innovations can anger the gaming community, even if they're for the better.

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  • ninjamatt52

    Hey, I've got a change for EA Sports, fix your football games so they aren't broken pieces of...I'm sick of how so many people ignore how broken and cheap the gameplay is in Madden and NCAA Football. I still play NCAA Football, THE DEMO, with my friend. I can't stand to play it more than the demo allows anyway. They aren't getting my money until the gameplay is fair, balanced, and not broken. It doesn't matter that I don't have another game I can play instead. You don't see street fighting games getting away with this. My friend can win using hail mary EVERY PLAY and passing to the same wide receiver every time, with the same blitz play every time. I can win using the same shotgun: all verticals play to the tight end every time all game, with the same blitz play every time. Why is that making it to market?

    Posted: August 15, 2010 6:48 PM
  • suryu

    up yea did like cole don't like bald characters reason i skipped out on god of war i played teh demo of god of war 3 and um i think dante's inferno played way better and now that cole don't look alike an xbox character i may get infamous 2

    Posted: August 15, 2010 12:27 PM
  • ZeroXLegend

    Ususally people that are like "We'll things change, deal with it" in a situation where someone is outrage usually has no clue what they are talking about. Change is good when it is thought out and smart and benefits everyone, not a specific group while alienating another. Removing depth to make something more accessible is quite frankly BS. Betraying the core mechanics that define your game is BS. Change for the sake of change is never good, EVER.

    Posted: August 14, 2010 10:26 PM
  • LTPapaBear

    I don't know if you realized it but the team comp on NCAA in the background was Texas with Garret Gilbert playing against Cal, his father's Alma mater where he played QB.

    Posted: August 14, 2010 3:44 PM
  • hyperionwarrior

    While I agree for the most part, with Adam I think there needs to be a distinction made between changing art (look and feel) and changing game play.

    Changing the art of a game has implications that go beyond the "oh new shiny" aspect of playing a game. The art itself tells you the player what world your currently in. If you put GTA 4 in first person mode and put an assult rifle in Niko's hands, few would mistake it for Halo or CoD. But more than the feel of the world, changing the main character's look and feel kind of messes with the players percetion of the person they are (playing). There is a bond that's formed from the first game that major changes in the second game might put a strain on. Mario has looked the same since day one. If he suddenly dawned a top hat and a monicle, I think people would say it doesn't feel the same.

    Changing the gameplay on the other hand (apart from the art) involves a different part of the brain. It's so much focusing on the "oh pretty" as it is the "ok now what do I need to do differently or in another way to achieve a certain out come". These kinds of changes across the gaming industry are desperatly needed. Even with in genres.

    Now, having said all that (and probably sounding like a "know-it-all-jackass" in the process), I think freaking out about the change in the main characters "looks" BEFORE the game comes out and we get the full story is a little stupid. As far as I know, no story details have been released. There could be a perfectly good explaination for the change in appearence.

    As I recall, when Max Payne 3 photos were released, I don't remember anyone getting up in arms shouting "OMG HE'S BALD!!!111"... just saying.

    Posted: August 13, 2010 2:11 PM
  • loveassassin13

    I like change, actually, I will go one step further and say that for me to buy a game it NEEDS to have change. For example, COD: Black Ops, everything I have seen makes it looks to much like Modern Warfare 2, which is why I am not buying it, is because of the lack of change, games needs change, or they will become repetitive, or at least with me. This why the ONLY game I have preordered right now is Deus Ex: HR, because Deus Ex is known for "changing the game" so to speak, it brings unique game play no other game offers, which is what I want to see, unique game play, and thus, change. Another example, Brink, I would describe it has Mirror's Edge and Team Fortress put together, which I think could work out greatly, it will be something new and unique and I think it will end up working really well. To summarize, a game NEEDS to have change for me to buy it, or it will be like buying a copy of an existing game, and I won't have much enjoyment with it.

    Posted: August 13, 2010 11:46 AM
  • ksb1082

    Adam, I have to agree with you on this one. My personal experience comes from being a loayal WoW player. I guess I have become used to this type of reaction based on my experiences with the WoW community. Reactions of this type are very common in this community. When Blizzard announced parts of the many changes coming in Cataclysm some players instantly had an aneuyrsm. Decrying the destruction of the game as x class is becoming nurfed/buffed beyond comparison. The game is being broken...etc, etc. What is particularly problematic about this type of response is perhaps the polar response to the issue. Especially when these repsonses are being made in response to a little information. Its easy to claim some change is going to break the game without consideration to the context of changes made to the game overall. Where in context a change could actually be meaningful and make a lot of sense. This I think reflects not gamer culture but rather American culture. As we seem to value critical thinking in all aspects of our life. We simply just react with a myopic focus on a specific item rather than consider everything overall and IN CONTEXT!

    Posted: August 13, 2010 10:54 AM
  • Zeldion

    Adam, I love you.
    I don't think I've ever disagreed with anything you've said and you amaze me.

    Posted: August 13, 2010 10:48 AM
  • ShockWaveNews

    Hey Adam, although i agree that most of people (well lets be honest, kids) have been negative on the change of Cole's look in Infamous 2, i would have to partly be in that crowd. Now im not upset that theyve updated his look from the previous model in the 1st game, however, my only problem is that theyve decided to go with the redundant "Hollywood" look for the cole 2.0. The Tribal tattooed, spiky haired look they gave look so much like an endless list of other game characters that date back to even 2001, and giving him a sorta british accent (sounded alittle like jason stratham in the E3 Trailer) is hackneyed and overdone. they couldve at least kept the 1st model as a base to start from, and tweaked and updated from there, but he looks like an entirely different person that noone would know was cole by only looking at his face in the Infamous 2 trailer.

    Posted: August 12, 2010 6:20 AM
  • Zx2654

    I understand your concerns about how we fear change and I agree. But the change in Cole is much more different than that. When a character just changes that drastically it will involve a personality change and I actually liked Cole's character a lot in the first game. Sorry that all I did was complain about Cole but this does bother me. Your soapbox was still good and more casual gamers not playing the Wii is a good thing.

    Posted: August 12, 2010 6:10 AM
  • ninjabob2010

    i have been a loyal madden fan since i got my first game and it was madden 2005 and does anyone agree with me when i say that i don't like the fact that they got rid of the sprint button? because i don't get that same sense of speed when i get into the open field anymore and i don't feel like i am pulling away from people when i have someone that should just burn when he is in the open field. but all I'm saying is like everything else they should of made having no sprint button an option like they have with the game flow and not made it a feature.

    Posted: August 12, 2010 5:45 AM
  • Vodun

    I think taking up L4D2 as an example of resistance to change is way off. The whole thing with L4D2 was that people didn't believe there would be enough changes and new content in such a quickly produced sequel to warrant a full priced product. Also the fact that you pretty much made the previous game void so quick, since those two wouldn't meld. I would rather say L4D2 is an example for the gaming community's drive for change and innovation.

    As for Cole, if they'd made a completely different character I don't think anyone would've batted an eye, but saying it's the exact same character and then changing both appearance and voice actor is a bit strange. Personally I didn't really care all that much either way, but I did bat an eye.

    Posted: August 12, 2010 5:02 AM
  • JaredTequila

    Really, for people to say that they wouldn't buy inFAMOUS this far out from release because of his new look is rediculous. For Sucker Punch to not believe in themselves and have some intergrity to follow through with their redesign is sad.

    The only thing that was remotely iconic about the first Cole was his yellow jacket that you saw in all the previews and on the box art, but when you actually played the game, this was nowhere to be found. It's not like Cole was such a beloved one-of-a-kind character like a Kratos or Drake or Mario, and then they changed his look. inFAMOUS is still a new franchise that has yet to reach it's full potential.

    And yes, many people think their opinion matters when it really doesn't. Depending on the box art, inFAMOUS 2 probably would have sold better than the first one due to the redesign.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 11:35 PM
  • yakuzi

    Well said as always, Adam. One thing to consider about your complaint that the internet community is not progressive, however, is that the most vocal of the viewers will always be the most irate. The type of person who leaves comments on videos is the most opinionated of people, and usually negative opinions dominate. You can see this on most Youtube videos or game reviews, G4 or otherwise, where people will troll or engage in violent fanboy debates with little other than strong opinions to back them up. This causes the internet community to look much more negative than I think it actually is, it's just that those people who aren't upset are less likely to contribute.

    I found it very interesting and heartening that you pay such close attention to comments and input from viewers, and I have to applaud your viewer-centric focus. I always love to hear your opinions and knowing that they do not ignore those not in the industry is very impressive.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 9:33 PM
  • R34L-G4M3R

    The below is merely my opinion, nothing more.

    I believe that gamers, in general, spend a great deal of time on the games that they enjoy (obviously). Since, they enjoyed what they had experienced so much, they grow attached to what they enjoyed and would love to get more of that. Then, all of the sudden, the sequel or another rendition of what they loved so much changes. The gamer in most cases won't want to wait and see whether it was actually for the better or for the worse, they will just complain because it seems different from what they had previously experienced and the experience was so enjoyable in the first place that they are scared that what they had fallen for, has been changed, and is no longer the same.

    For something to improve it must either, add, build-upon, change, or remove from what it previously was in a way that is favorable toward what it was meant to accomplish. In a sense, games were made to entertain. That is what they are and should be, fun. The more fun a game is, the better it is seen as in the eye of the consumer. The question lies however, how do we take something that we've done, and make it more fun or as fun. In most cases, a gamer/consumer is looking for an improvement on what was previously established. However, something that gamers/consumers love to have, see or feel, is familiarity. In a sense, the more you can add, build-upon, change, or remove from a previous entity while keeping a sense a familiarity and improvement, generally the better the response will be from the community.

    Back on the issue of people not liking things that were familiar changed, there are also people with a high sense of pride as well as stubbornness. Even if someone were to see a change made, such as Cole's re-model in inFAMOUS 2, and have a negative response to their familiar Cole from the first game, which they had grown attached to and enjoyed playing with so much, before even playing the game or seeing how the change either, worked, or did not. Even, if, once they play the game and enjoy the change, they would be too stubborn to admit it since they had been so adamant about it before.

    The point that I'm basically trying to make is, for progression to be made, there must be experimentation, and change. Without those things, we would not have much of the wonderful pieces of technology and entertainment we have available to us today. As well as the inevitability of resistance to change, as is the nature of almost all things.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 9:30 PM
  • UltimaBlackMage

    Cole's new look is weird in my opinion. He looks so much younger then in the first game and has me confused why he's changed from someone who looked like he was in his mid to late 30's to someone who looks like he's in his late 20's. I like his new look but it's just weird how he reversed aged. I guess we can joke about Cole McGrath being the Benjamin Button of video game charaters. InFamous 3 will probably have us playing a teen Cole, high on angst or something.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 7:43 PM
  • MyNameIsMyName

    Greetings and best wishes Adam. I was wondering if you could do a Soapbox on your opinions on pre-order bonuses. In my personal opinion I dislike them greatly, I feel this way because I hate the idea of being shut out from being able to acquire a cool feature soley because I couldn't get the $5 to pre-order a game, or I had to choose between pre-ordering from numerous locations with different desirable bonuses(Fall Out NV). I'd personally rather games make pre-order content downloadable, even at a price as opposed to choosing going gold prior to release over quality customer service.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 7:16 PM
  • Valravn3

    This whole topic of gamers and change reminds me of how everyone rants and raves about how Game Freak keep making new Pokemon for the new games that just aren't as inspired in their design. Unfortunately, I think people let nostalgia blind them and overtake their common sense.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 6:44 PM
  • titanrage83

    madden sucks. 60 buscks for a roster update. use to be in line at midnight every year. I quit playing since 07. and the only reason i bought that one is becasue it had my favortite team on the cover. only stupid pointless stuff changes. the hits were best in 05 and i dont know why they got rid of it

    Posted: August 11, 2010 5:45 PM
  • Fayth

    See, I understand your view, but I think gamers have a reason for being this way. For example, a lot of the talk surrounding Dragon Age 2 is negative because Bioware seems to be changing so much about the franchise. Bioware basically told fans that Dragon Age would be THE franchise that pays homage to the huge success and critical acclaim of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2. Not that I think you will find anyone who says Dragon Age: Origins even lives up to that claim, but the point remains. Gamers see franchises they know and love being absolutely lost in favor of more mainstream game development that focuses on catering to the masses. Obviously, game development is a business and its about making money, but I think that more devs should do exactly what Madden 11 has done. Make it optional. Someone wants to play the old Cole in Infamous 2? Make it an option for the player to toggle in a menu or something. A costume that comes with the game, w/e. Bioware wants to focus on streamlining Dragon Age 2 for consoles, sure do it, but give yourself enough development time to do that while having a system for PC that remains true to the Baldur's Gate guys who were told that Dragon Age would be the franchise for them.

    Change is definitely good, a lot of new and interesting things have come from it, but I think that change made for the sole purpose of appealing to a wider audience beyond your initial fan base, that doesn't do anything to support the fans who were there from the start, is not the way to go.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 5:32 PM