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Old 02-11-2007, 10:14 PM   #1
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How to make a successful game.


Gamespot had a chat with Lego Star Wars producer Jonathan Smith and learned nothing about the upcoming Lego titles, except that they are working on more. What Gamespot did learn was something far more precious: How to ultimately design and test games.

One of the more interesting things Smith talks about is that game developers should create games and test them on 8-year-old-boys. Smith says, "They like moving forward in a game. They like funny things happening in a game when they press buttons. They love, more than you can possibly believe, cheats. ... They dislike waiting for anything, and the universal phrase is that if something is too difficult, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's too challenging, it means that they don't understand what they're being asked to do ... the game designer is asking something from them, but they're not asking the kids clearly enough and not giving appropriate feedback to their attempts to overcome the challenge. It's rarely a skill difficulty."

We tip our hat to Mr. Smith. He's absolutely right. The clarity and genius of that statement is incredible. Do the sales of Lego Star Wars prove Smith knows thirty-something-year-old video game players are the same as 8-year-olds? The only real difference being puberty, a driver's license, bank account and the ability not to ask mom if they can get an M rated title -- well, most of them anyway.
The guy is absolutely right. I think he even understands the concept of making kid games better then Nintendo and thats all they make. Hardest thing in Zelda was figuring out what to do (which wasn't anything at all). Which is sad cause what people forget is that kids who are gamers are better at beating difficult games then most adults. I just wanted to share that food for thought.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:00 AM   #2
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I agree on the "not understanding" part. I didn't like Lunar at first, or even Vagrant Story, because I didn't understand the games and I found them hard, but once I understood them, they were fun and not hard at all.

As for "do the sales of Lego Star Wars prove Smith knows thirty-something-year-old video game players are the same as 8-year-olds?," in a way, maybe, but I credit more the sales figures to the "Star Wars" name.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:48 AM   #3
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I disagree. While some of the sales may be simply from the name, the games themselves are great. Theres a reason why the pretty 3d ones don't do as well as the one represented as legos.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:21 AM   #4
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My little brother had no interest in starwar (his 6 btw) but he loves these games and now talks about starwars. Odd.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:32 PM   #5
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the secret formula to making a successful game copy something else.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:38 PM   #6
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Yeah lets give games to 8 year olds and let them decide whats good, stupidest thing i have ever heard. Its 8 year olds game choices that make the gaming charts look so bloody bad what with film tie ins etc.
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