One of the new features we’ve launched lately on bit-tech has been guest columns. That is, columns written by developers and industry insiders on a rotating monthly schedule. We’ve had stories and thoughts from every corner of the industry, including budding indie developers like James Silva and writers for established studios, like Simon Hall and Rob Yescombe.
After reading Simon Hill’s latest column, which talked about difficulty balancing in computer games and why he thinks computer games have got progressively easier, I got thinking. The more I thought about the topic, the more I decided I wanted to do something about it – partly because I’m a pretty heavy gamer and I like my games to be worth the effort, but mainly because I'm just a nosey busy-body.
As I looked into the issue though, the more my mind raged with examples of how games had changed for the worse over the years – how simple concepts that had once been core to the design of every game were now being forgotten or dismissed. The rules that had governed and created the Golden Axe Age of Gaming were now no longer being obeyed.
Naturally, being a bit of presumptuous so-and-so, I decided to shove my nose in and take Simon’s complaint to the next level. Thus, I present what I think are the cardinal rules of game design.