The Pros and Cons of Safe Video Games

Designing outside the box

Josh Bycer
Nov 20, 2018 · 7 min read

Breaking into the mainstream

The last decade of games has stood out as a time where video games really broke through the pop culture bubble, and emerged as experiences that had a cultural impact well beyond the medium itself. Franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Uncharted, and Metal Gear Solid pushed triple-A game creators further towards elaborate, cinematic experiences.

AAA developers have the luxury of going big with their ideas

Triple-A arms race

Attempting to answer that question really takes us right to the heart of the industry’s focus on major hits. With each console cycle, we tend to see trends that push developers to emphasize a particular design or style. We’ve seen the “eras” ranging from the mascot platformer, the open world sandbox, survival horror, first-person shooter, choose-your-own-path RPG, and now it looks like we’re in the middle of the Battle Royale phase.

Experimental indies

When triple-A games just aren’t delivering — especially in terms of innovation — it’s up to indie games to deliver, and they’ve most certainly done this. Over the last eight years or so, some of the most touching, innovative and unique games I’ve ever played have been born from the indie development scene.

What about the middle?

Right now, as you’re reading this, there are most likely at least 20 games being released across every available platform. I’ve spent some time in the past discussing the problem of discoverability, especially for indie games — the inability to stand out with so much activity and noise surrounding each game release.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

Dime a dozen

As I sit here typing this, I am keenly aware of having over 1,500 games in my Steam library, several hundred on GOG (Good Old Games), and a few hundred more physical retail releases. Obviously, I’m not your average game consumer, but with each passing day it becomes more and more difficult to focus on a single title…let alone 20.

Chasing the dream game

I’ve discussed this idea so many times before: the indie space has grown tremendously thanks to developers’ ability to work on their dream games. I have spoken to indie developers over the years who were more than happy to spend a good three years or more working on a single title if it means they can produce their one-of-a-kind game.

It’s getting harder for “average” games-let alone genuinely good ones-to stand out.
Original article courtesy of Game-Wisdom. Edited and re-published with permission.

Super Jump Magazine

Celebrating video games and their creators

Josh Bycer

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Josh Bycer is the owner of Game-Wisdom and specializes in examining the art and science of games. He has over seven years of experience discussing game design.

Super Jump Magazine

Celebrating video games and their creators