GamesByRich.com: Classic Games Redefined blog

This is the blog formally known as Docreason's Designer HQ (the rest TBD). It focuses the thoughts of the design process of Rich Hutnik and other things Rich, gaming related (pretty much), finds interesting. The change in name reflects a bit of a change in focus and branding.
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Going too far with a design: The pizza and ice cream shake.

Richard Hutnik
United States
Poughkeepsie
New York
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This entry deals with the concept of adding too many of the wrong elements to a game.

I am not going to tell anyone no who is inspired to combine different game genres and types of games together that have never been combined before. If they can pull it off, it is great. Also, if there is a burning desire to do something like this, then do it. You probably won't succeed, but kudos for trying. I will however, warn of the reality that it is possible to add something to a game and turn people off to it. Because you make demands on them that they don't want to do, a game can end up losing part of the potential audience for a game.

In the boardgame front, I have seen a number of attempts by people to they they could do a combination of chess, checkers... and backgammon and have a sure winner. Well, what is wrong with this picture? Well, maybe you can get something unique, but to pitch it like this, I hate to tell you, is going to drive away abstract strategy purists. Adding dice rolls from Backgammon, will cause the abstract strategy purist to avoid it. Not saying that if you were inspired from having a game with elements of all three games to not do it. But I have seen this happen over and over where the person doing it, thinks they have a winner, because it has elements of all three games in it, so will draw gamers interested in all three types in.

On the video game front, for me, there is the game Brütal Legend. Oh, how much did I want to like this game. I really, really did. It had interesting characters, and tried to mix gameplay. Well, what killed it for me? Yes, it was a music game, and word it was along the lines of Herzog Zwei, as an action RTS, was really cool. The problem? The game went one element too far and required players to do a music mini-game to perform commands on the battlefield. Sorry, I am not good at those games, so the it killed it for me. The design went too far for me, like a pizza and ice cream shake.

So, it is possible to go too far. A key element to remember is to think about that to leave out, rather than what to add in addition sometime. I can also add that it would be beneficial to see if you can not require players to do elements they are not interested in the game. Of course, this is easier said than done.
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