Musings (9)

22 Jul 2011

  • I love the way Mass Effect 2 does saves. You know, without making me watch a “saving screen” for thirty seconds. Dragon Age 2 too. Go figure, Bioware takes the things that work from one game and then adds it to another.

    Too bad, I still have to deal with loading screens of doom. Developers, I demand from you a task to undertake during these mandatory loads. Have it be some kind of optional mini-game that isn’t absolutely essential and provides an almost insignificant benefit. Hell, make it the mining thing that people seem to hate. Anything. I understand that loading screens are still a reality for video games–I don’t fault the technological limitations–but I should never have to pull out my iPhone or iPad while I’m playing your game.1

  • Someone tell me that Damages gets better after the first forty minutes. Please. I don’t think that it’s bad, because Glenn Close is awesome. But it doesn’t seem like the incredible show that everyone te-HOLY SHIT! IS THAT A DEAD DOG?! But dead dog aside, the last ten minutes of episode one put everything in a radical new context, forcing the viewer to completely re-evaluate the character of Patty and every action that she has taken from the very first scene onward. Damages does a number of things right in the first episode. Anyone who wants to learn something about character-building or storytelling would benefit dramatically from watching.

  • In other news: Breaking Bad. Shame on you, if you don’t watch it.

  • If your app requires that that I sign up for some new service on the very first screen in order to use it, I’m just going to delete it without bothering. Yeah, Netflix, Facebook, and Dropbox can get away with that behavior. That’s because it’s Netflix, Facebook and Dropbox, dummy. Either you use those already or you should. Reeder gets a pass, because Google Reader is a necessity for me. PlainText/ShopShop are primarily Dropbox-based, so see the above point, dummy.2

    Yes, I’m talking directly to you, Spotme.3

  • Damn you, Avery Edison and your damned terrible puns.

  • New rule: you don’t get to use the phrase, “separate the wheat from the chaff” unless you can define “chaff” without a Google or Wikipedia search.

    Yes, we all understand what the metaphor means, but we don’t understand the original term anymore. It is a metaphor long dead and we should strive, in all we speak and write, to avoid such devices.

  1. Sure, we can make this a conversation about patience and the dangers of a society that demands instant and constant entertainment, if you really insist, but that is the easy conversation. I’m talking about the creation–or enhancement–of a fulfilling immersion environment. I’m talking about more than just a desire to be amused. I’m talking about Dragon Age as an experience instead of just a game. The goal that we should be striving towards is more than simply showing off a story and demanding memorization or quick reflexes; the ideal is a transformation of the player through the experience of the game. 

  2. And, more importantly, don’t require it in order to actually do anything with the app. This is an important lesson for all app developers. 

  3. Also: it wasn’t easy to find that website via Google Search. SpotMe, your own web page isn’t one of the top ten results. For the name of your app, “SpotMe Payments”. Sadface.