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The Myth Of Universal Appeal

The Myth Of Universal Appeal

October 20, 2011 | By Staff

October 20, 2011 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Design

In Gamasutra's latest feature, an analysis of the design spectrum between pure action and pure RPGs, author Josh Bycer writes "if there is one lesson to take away from this article it is this: you cannot make a game that has universal appeal."

"When developers and publishers see series like Call of Duty, Mass Effect, or The Elder Scrolls on the top of the bestsellers list, and recipients of numerous awards, that has to catch their attention. This has led to the challenge of creating games that appeal to everyone," Bycer writes.

However, he writes, "Design-wise, it is impossible to create a game that relies on 100 percent player skill and at the same time completely abstracts character interaction and expect it to appeal to everyone."

In his analysis he breaks down games from -100 abstraction (pure skill) to 100 percent abstraction (pure stats-based play.)

As far as "100 percent abstraction" titles go, Bycer writes, "The first CRPGs and tabletop games fall into this category. Here, the only interaction the player has with the game is issuing orders to their party or character. From there, equations and the character's and enemies' attributes determine the outcome of the battle."

For a full breakdown of the spectrum, and an analysis of the key point that separates Borderlands from Fallout 3, read the full feature -- live now on Gamasutra.

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