| Oh...snap. I just labeled this a gameboy game didn't I.|
Well...if some friendly admin spirits here my cry feel free to change it to SNES or super famicom if you like.
I love Donkey Kong Country. It's got personality. DKC2 has a lot of personality too, but it's a lot harder. And...I'm too lazy right now. DKC3...we sort of pretend that never happened...like the 80s...
I just think this game is all kinds of fun.
So. What is fun?
Well...if there was a simple answer for that I'd probably be a billionare by now, but if anyone has their mind wrapped around the problem I'd say it's nintendo. The Irony is that for it's time DKC was actually pretty cutting edge on the graphics front which has never been Nintendo's strong point. I guess character selection and personality is always a factor. I mean, running around as a lumbering gorilla and his little shrimp monkey brother...thats the sort of thing kids come up with.
FACT: When it comes to games, kid's know their shit better we do. I'm sorry, deal with it. If you ever need inspiration for game dyanmics...go to a park and watch a bunch of kids. I can pretty much tell you what will happen. You'll sit down and watch them a bit and think: "ok...cute...inventive...ug, YOU MORONS! WHAT KIND OF RULES ARE THOSE???? MAN IF YOU GUYS TOOK THE TIME TO AGREE ON ANYTHING YOUR GAME MIGHT NOT SUCK!" And then you sit down and write out all the stuff they did wrong and how you'de do it all differently and voila, you've suddenly got this list of ideas...and it's all because of those kids. And on some level, they get it in a way that all our life experience blinds us from. Remember, you're making your product for little Jimmy. The Jimmy in highschool, the Jimmy hiding in middle-aged parents, the repressed little Jimmy in your soul. Jimmy is the one that likes video games.
and I am SOOOOO off topic.
Ok, so lets just say Jimmy likes Donkey Kong Country. And...Jade likes Donkey Kong Country as well. The level design is wonderfully crafted. The graphics are pleasing and the 3d rendered sprites are always a nice clean touch. The music is catchy...(You catch yourself drumming the "bum bana bum bana bum banabummmm babum" with your toes). The game is long enough to be detailed...not too drawn out. The bosses are detailed enough.
But...you know, Jimmy doesn't really think about those things. I do, after I play. Jimmy is to bust screaming "PWNED BITCHES" to bother analysing the elegant color balance of the levels. But he notices. And thats the key. Have the technology, but market the fun. Case and point: ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q93PvyKUa2I ...arguably not work-safe).
The thing is...Jimmy has a very short attention span. He may not sit there and think..."I like how the smooth gradient across the sunset offers an interesting contrast to the solid colored trees," but had you not taken the time, Jimmy does have a knack for knowing when "Things look dumb." Or when "This is too hard," or "I have to read too much," or of course when games pull the overly cinematic card and Jimmy starts to say "Yeah, cool, can I play yet?"
Now this poses a massive problem. We're game developers, we are artists. Now maybe the rest of the artistic community drags their feet accepting game design as high class art, but...you know, that's their problem. We're artists...and we aren't interested in keeping Jimmy from getting bored. We have a vision, a dream! A world to craft! People to design, cultures to birth, aliens to exterminate and complicated royal lines with doublecrossing advisors scheming to...
Jimmy: "Yeah, cool, can I play yet?"
And...and this little squirt is our market? Well, he has a point. Why make a game if it's not fun. So, I guess we really should listen to Jimmy. Even if we want to stab him.
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