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141 Jul 30, 2013 at 00:49 gaming

As a developer, do you have time to play games, and if so, which ones? Do you have a favorite genre, or do you play all kinds?
I’m currently playing a point and click adventure game called Nikopol:Secrets of the Immortals, which I got off Steam for $1.24, and Heroes of Might and Magic 5, which I got bundled with 3 other games with the same engine for$20.00.
I’m not an action gamer so my choices are somewhat limited, especially because I’m also very frugal.
I play them because I like games but also to get ideas for my own games. Not a copy, but just how they handle situations and stories, etc, helps give me my own ideas.

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167 Jul 30, 2013 at 02:38

I don’t play games very much anymore, but every now and then I’ll spend a few days going through one that I really like. I just finished Tomb Raider (got it off the Steam sale) and that was quite a good game, really enjoyed it. It plays similar to the Uncharted series on PS3 which were also favorites of mine.

Part of the problem is I rarely find a game that I actually want to play for more than an hour or two. I’d rather spend my time watching a movie, reading novels or even (gasp) doing something productive like writing a blog post or reading a graphics paper, than spend my time banging my head against some boring tutorial mission, or poorly-implemented controls, or missions that kill you unfairly and then make you re-watch a cutscene or replay a big encounter that you’ve already done, or a game that requires you to spend so much time in menus and UIs that it breaks the immersion in the world. Those are all problems with (supposedly) AAA games that I’ve tried to play lately.

Not every game is like this but damn if it isn’t hard to find the good ones amidst all the junk. The fact that games cost so much and usually don’t have demos these days doesn’t help, since you don’t want to take the risk of buying it and finding out it’s unfun crap. I think Sony had a good idea with their “trial” system, where you could download a full game, play it for an hour for free, and if you liked it you could buy it and keep playing. They’re trying to streamline that even more with Gaikai integration on the PS4. Basically anything that makes it easier to try-before-you-buy is a step in the right direction here. If I’m going to pay \$60 for a game I need to be darn sure I’m going to like it first.

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179 Jul 30, 2013 at 04:06

I’m pretty sure all game developers play at minimum a few hours per day. If not, then it will come as no surprise when fellow metacritians comment “Sweet Jebus this game is buggier than a roach invested motel!” :)

Outside of work, I generally find a way to play games, but there are stretches (like tonight) where I prefer to work on side projects or do some other relaxing activity like watching a movie or going out for a bike ride. Recently I picked up Minecraft. Yes, I’m a couple years behind, but better late then never! Anyway, having played it for a bit it re-energized my interest to continue work on my voxel framework. Not some cube world like Minecraft, but procedurally detailed 3D landscapes and entities combined with erosion and catmull clark subdivison to smooth things out. So in a way Minecraft was an excuse to get me back to work :)

Beyond that, it’s been awhile since I played anything with a long term commitment. I find myself wanting to race through those games just to get to the climax and wrap things up. Like condensing a 20 hour game into a 2 hour movie. I’m looking forward to Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare though. It looks like a game you can have a lot of fun with friends and tons of beer :P

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141 Jul 30, 2013 at 04:44

So in a way Minecraft was an excuse to get me back to work :)

That’s kind of why I play them, or one reason anyway. Of course, it’s not really work for me. I just write games as a hobby. Trouble is, I get too many ideas and want to write multiple games at the same time which generally leads to nothing getting finished. I played Minecraft for a little bit but I didn’t get it. It’s probably a lot better now. It was more of a toy back then where you just went around digging trenches.

than spend my time banging my head against some boring tutorial mission, or poorly-implemented controls, or missions that kill you unfairly and then make you re-watch a cutscene or replay a big encounter that you’ve already done, or a game that requires you to spend so much time in menus and UIs that it breaks the immersion in the world.

That’s what makes me realize how hard games are to write. I think one of the most humbling things is to show people this cool game I wrote and get their reactions. A lot of the time they miss something that seems completely obvious to me and immediately quit. That’s why I think you have to hook them with the story right away. Either that or the game play better be something really fun.

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151 Jul 30, 2013 at 05:41

I usually play games I am about to work on so I know what they are like. With some of them I do have to spend a bit more time on it. I have just finished porting Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes and I bought the XBOX 360 version so I could get a feel for it before I started.

I actually played the game to 100% while I was waiting for all the legal documents to be sent backwards and forwards.

Other than that I like an hour here or their killing french men on call of duty, but I cannot play that for long before I get pissed off by the crap network code .

I will go out and buy a game if I think it has something I should look at, I have about 400 games in my library now spread over xbox, xbox 360, ps1,ps2,ps3

I never have any games on my pc

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141 Jul 30, 2013 at 10:18

I don’t save games. Sometimes I wish I would, but I normally don’t play a game twice the same as I won’t read a book twice. The trouble with PC games is they don’t run on later hardware, but even if they did, there are very few I would play over again. Unless it’s Free Cell, which I’ve probably played 10,000 times.

I do the same thing. If I’m working on a game, I play games that are like it. Not to copy, but to see how they do things in a general way. How did they introduce the story? What type of puzzles did they use? What type of strategy? What seemed to work and what didn’t?

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102 Jul 30, 2013 at 13:08

right now Im playing legacy of kain defiance. I had it for the ps2 but I wanted my nephew to see it. so I got it for the pc. since he doesnt have a ps2. its the same and it can be played using a console controller. outside of that I play some type of action, fighting or sports game 30 minutes to an hour almost daily

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101 Jul 30, 2013 at 18:06

Starcraft 2 all the way =]

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117 Aug 01, 2013 at 02:13

In between work I play League of Legends these days :D … I’ve been a DotA fan for quite a while, and so were my friends (plus it doesn’t eat as much time as my favourite RPGs do). E.g. this is my multiplayer game nr. 1. As for others, from time to time, when some good game comes out I’ll buy it (Skyrim & Risen 2 were the last as for now) - i’m though a bit limited as I’m a Linux user and I often buy game at least few months after release so I can run it through Wine without too much problems.

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101 Aug 05, 2013 at 21:15

After all these years I still play a lot Quake 1 and its mission packs - a couple of levels every evening.