Thursday, September 09, 2010

using your components effectively

One of the big down sides to the wii's motion controls was that developers obsession with using them. The incredibly irritating Sonic and the Secret Rings was a sign of this- a game which was reasonable in using the wiimote for steering sonic, just as in mario kart, but then required you to push the controller forwards to jump. Why? The controller has some perfectly functional buttons which are in reach, and its not like the speed of your thrust increases your jump, or the style matches the manner in which you do it. Its a gimmick, and a gimmick which made the game distinctly less fun.

This is a constant theme with new controls. The motion controls are great for games which, unsurprisingly, capture motion. Resident Evil and Zelda used the mote to do shooting, which worked perfectly, and was a good idea. They also used the swiping gesture when a button press would have worked just as well.

Unless there is a specific reason to do so, one should not make controls worse than they could be. Doing things like forcing the player to flail the controller instead of pressing a button is stupid, and a poor use of tech. I shouldn't have to explain this, because the game designer is actively making my play experience work for no benefit on their part. I can understand wanting to use the wiimotes capabilities, but do it where it makes sense for your game. If waving my wiimote swipes my sword, make is to that different kinds of swipes matter. THATS interesting, and an actual use of the technology. The alternative is just infuriating

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