The 13 Deadly Sins of Game Design



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  1. why would i want to play rock band?

  2. usually i am fine with escorting NPC’s but the one escort mission i hated was the dead island one where you escort ope, who is rubbish in a fight due to his only weapon being a stick

  3. The hive mind nonsense drives me nuts sometimes in Skyrim. In cramped areas where the enemies are right next to each other, it makes sense. But you can also be sneaking around in a huge, wide open area with enemies at various heights, kill one, and then suddenly the entire place knows you’re there and is coming after you. Especially if you’re not sneaking (walking or running) – then the enemies have supersonic hearing and will all turn aggressive the moment you get within 30 meters.

    It was really bad in AC3 though. Used to be you could kill one guy on a rooftop and you’d only have to deal with the other chumps standing on roofs. But in AC, you kill one guy on a rooftop without being 100% stealthy about it and suddenly everyone on the ground is after you. Like, WTF?!?

  4. Quick time events “as popularized by the God of War series”? Maybe it’s because of how old I am, but there was a time where some games were nothing but quick time events, like Dragon’s Lair and its clones, or the entire early ’90s catalog of American Laser Games.
    I used to play the old Die Hard arcade game for hours, and let’s not forget Shenmue. Even Mortal Kombat’s fatalities could probably be classified as really complicated quick time events.
    Saying God of War popularized the genre is like saying Kirk Cameron popularized the Bible.

    • Everybody knows Charlton Heston popularized the Bible.

    • I see people commenting about GoW’s popularization of QTE. You state games used it before it, but I hardly ever heard most of those. It’s not who used it first, it’s who popularized it.

      • It’s not our fault that you lack of gaming knowledge. Dragon’s Lair was basically all QTE.

  5. I don’t know if this deserves to make the list, but I very much despise auto-advancing text. Is that self explanatory? I’m talking about a text box of dialogue that you have to read which doesn’t advance to the next bunch of text until a certain button is pressed. Usually a little simple-shape flashing graphic shows up at the bottom of the text box to let you know the text won’t advance until you tell it to. I’m kind of a slow reader, so what I fear is when that little graphic, with no warning whatsoever, decides not to show up. I’ll suddenly realize that I now have a set number of seconds before the important text disappears on its own to move on to the next time-limited display of text, and I have to read it as fast as I can just to make sure I read it all. Usually I have to rush it not allowing me to process what I just read. This bothers me. I might be a minority (am I?), but please, all game developers, stop doing this! Let me control the text always.

  6. I really like the Quick-Time-Events where you have to press buttons. The problem is, it is almost always way to easy! Ofcourse, it depends on the game whether QTE are appropriate, I think with shooters it is more appropriate to have slow-motion moments where u have to shoot persons, but these are often too easy as well. (Think of the games like Ghost Recon: FS, how easy entering a room was.) Max Payne 3 had awsome slo-mo moments though.
    Another element in gaming that I don’t like is teammates, they suck in almost every game and you can never really use them like you want, for example suppressive fire or flanking.

  7. I have played a few games where the minimap is either buried in so many different icons, or so blank and sparse that it’s completely unhelpful. On a related note: side quests that are so well hidden you can’t find them even after looking at a walkthrough.

  8. The Hive Mind problem is even worse in strategy games, where the designer sets up the AI to pick on the player even if they are, ostensibly, hostile to one another. In particularly offending games, it’s easy to tell that the AI is actually playing to make the player lose, not to win: As long as another AI, hostile or not, wins the game, than any self-sacrifice that harms the player is worth it. The AI will lose their entire base to another AI to kill your peasant, but will come running back if they even so much as see a scout look at a rock that is vaguely near somewhere they considered building a base at once.

    If you can’t make a strategy game where the AI can offer a challenge to the player individually, and must collectively work together against the player even as they work against each other, then stop making strategy games. You’re the developers who are responsible for the stagnation of AI, which is as dumb now in 2014 as it was in 1984.

  9. I would argue that being overpolished is a greater flaw than any individual flaw.

    One of the cool things about the early days of video games is that each game had its own particular quirks that you could learn to play with and exploit. Now a lot of new games in the same genre end up playing the exact same way and never giving any room for creative strategies or going off script. Focus group servitude and practiced gameplay templates are making games boring.

  10. The thing I hate most is when games try to push you through the game. Occasional timed segments are ok but damn I just paid $60 bucks for this game which you spent months or years designing…quit shoving me through it! I want to explore and fight at my pace…not yours. We are not at an arcade…pushing me won’t get you more quarters.

  11. My problem with QTE isn’t that they are QTE, but that they are usually the same combination of buttons! It’s like, you go into a small cutscene to do some crazy stunt to kill a boss and it gives you, “Square”, “Triangle”, “Circle” and if you miss it, you take damage and have to start over and once you start over, it’s the same sequence and you get it down immediately. And the buttons stay there to press for about four seconds, so if you do miss it the first time, you must have cerebral palsy. I wish they were ridiculously quick and different combinations every time. The Hivemind is terrible in many games, and the only game I’ve played (could be others that have this and I just haven’t played them yet) that actually have the enemies saying into walkie-talkies, “He’s here!” Is Batman Arkham City (haven’t played the others). That makes it a little more acceptable, but most games do not implement that.

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