Evening Reading

By Garnett Lee, Feb 16, 2011 5:00pm PST Have you ever stayed away from a game for want of feeling hardcore enough to "really" play it? Or, worse yet, bought a game and then watched it sit on the shelf all the while wondering whether it would be fun or just punishing to give it a shot? Shooters, fighting games--anything with a competitive element--hold the potential to trigger such a response.

But does the root of this issue lie with the game, or the player? In the case of say Call of Duty, where there are so many people playing and enjoying the game, how can the design be at fault? I'll go one further; isn't part of the reason for being concerned about personal performance in the game dependent on liking the game in the first place? If you didn't like the game, you wouldn't really care whether you were any good at it or not.

This relationship puts designers in an interesting spot: Risk undermining the core appeal of the game by neutering some of its competitiveness, or potentially create the "walled garden" effect when the game quickly becomes dominated by pros. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 got me thinking about these questions this afternoon because I've always felt it does a good job of striking a balance where pros and amateurs alike can have fun.

Xav's Marvel vs. Capcom 3 review is just part of today's video game news on the Shack:

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  • Cthulhu Saves the World Fans: Looks like the fundraiser was a major success!

    "The Cthulhu Saves the World Enhanced version+PC fundraiser is finished and is a rousing success! Our goal was $3,000 and we ended up raising more than twice that! We are truly grateful.

    We should have all of the incentives sent out sometime in March. We'd have them out sooner, but some of them still need to be made (now that we know the quantity), plus I've been asked to speak at GDC this year which starts in a week and a half so a lot of my time is being diverted towards preparing for that (speaking of which, if you're attending GDC, be sure to stop by our XBLIG Success Stories panel on Friday and say hi).

    I'll be posting additional updates on this site as we make progress on the new version of the game in addition to my regular updates on our website (http://zeboyd.com).

    Again, thank you for all of your support and I hope you enjoy the enhanced/PC version of the game when it comes out!
    "