Game designers have constantly tried to make the learning process in games as fun and painless as possible. But the better games have gotten at teaching players their mechanics, the less patience players have for instruction. Rob Zacny looks back at how evolving gaming instruction methods have allowed some genres to flourish while others faded into obscurity.
The winking-pixel simplicity of the first Street Fighter and Final Fantasy games may seem primitive compared to the elaborate production values and blockbuster status of recent installments in the series. But as Leigh Alexander recalls it, a healthy dose of imagination was all it took to fill in the gaps.
If videogame publishers want to extend their reach beyond the standard 18- to 34-year-old male demographic, they may want to form development teams with fewer gamers and more romance novelists. Colin Rowsell exhorts game developers to inject some fresh ideas into the design process.
Hardcore gamers have been clamoring for mainstream recognition of their favorite hobby for nearly 30 years. But they've missed an important point: Being accepted by mainstream audiences means accepting mainstream audiences themselves. Russ Pitts surveys the changing gamer landscape and charts a new path forward for mainstream and hardcore alike.