Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

The Positech Gamers Bill of Rights

Stardock did one, so here’s mine (in no order)

  • Gamers shall have the right to re-download a purchased game years later if necessary
  • Gamers shall expect a demo to be made available, direct from the developers site with no sign-ups, adverts or other junk.
  • Gamers shall not be charged anything to download their purchased game at a later date
  • Gamers shall have a direct contact email address for tech support, which goes to a real person
  • Gamers shall have flexible save game options, from any point, with unlimited slots.
  • Gamers shall not be pestered by un-skippable FMV scenes
  • Gamers shall not be bored by start-up advertising and logo screens
  • Gamers shall be able to expect windowed, full screen and alt+tab support from their game.
  • Gamers shall expect the developer to provide whatever information they can reasonably require in order to mod the game.


13 thoughts on The Positech Gamers Bill of Rights

  1. This, combined with Wardell’s list, would be awesome.

    Did you send this to Brad? He’d probably like a lot of those ideas… especially the last one about modding.

  2. This list seems to complement Stardock’s list nicely. But again, I don’t think any other publisher, other than Stardock, would agree to it. :)

    I like the ability to re-download my game for free. I have lost quite a number of games over the years, most notably Diablo 2 expansion and Oblivion, and I hate to buy it again.

    I don’t mind unskippable FMVs for the first time as they are usually quite cool to watch no matter how cheesy it could (red alert?). But like in Final Fantasy 7, if EVERY powered attack you had is a 30 sec unskippable animated FMV, it gets old real fast.

    For me, start-up advertising and logo is ok too, as long as it lowers down the price of the game. Bad example: in Neverwinter Nights 2, I think there are like 9 or 10 ads/logos you have to click thru before you even get to the main menu, but the price of the game is exactly the same, or more expensive even, as the other ones on the shelf. I hate that.

  3. Gamers should not have to endure an unskippable in-game cutscene every 10 steps! F’ing Infinite Undiscovery!!! Let me play the game damn it!!!

  4. Gamers shall have the right to view the source code of their purchased game and modify it in any way they want.

  5. only if you want to pay for the games development. Giving away the source code to a game is just begging for it to be cloned at minimal cost by your competitors. Can you imagine world of warcraft and team fortress giving away source code?

  6. Felix/cliffski:

    Certainly not full source code, but perhaps applicable parts of games should be externally scripted? Even using the example of World of Warcraft, people do a lot with interface mods via Lua. Of course, that just stresses the last modding line even more. But maybe take the id route, and release source maybe a year or two after the initial release, once you’ve moved on to another couple projects?

    As for the list itself, looks great. Seems like you could reduce a few of them into one by just saying “Gamers shall not be pestered, annoyed, or otherwise subjected to unpleasant experiences,” which just comes down to a basic design commandment, so to speak. :)

  7. Gamers shall not be required to divulge home phone number, mobile phone number, bank pin code, or any other type of utterly irrelevant data as a *required item when attempting to purchase a game.
    Would be nice

    I notice tech support is an email address, not your home phone.

    Games frequently have intro movies, i almost always skip them. I have never seen trailers for other games, i think it wud be a good idea, less work and i might just watch

  8. On slots, i have no idea what a slot is. It sounds like something from console land.
    I have encountered them in PC games and they are surely one of the supidist inventions of all time.

  9. Cliffski:

    Coca cola’s recipe has always been a trade secret…. then came pepsi. Today there are hundreds of coca cola clones all over the world. Keeping recipes/source-code/algorithms secret doesn’t stop one from copying ideas.
    And btw no I can’t imagine what’d happen if WoW released it’s source code under let’s say the GPL, but it’d certainly be an interesting thing to see happen. But honestly…. who wants the WoW source anyway ;)


    I love id software … :D

  10. I think that’s great to create a set of standards for your games. I must say my set is a bit different and it changes depending on the game and how I’m marketing it.

    I have a friend ( that had one for his games that “every game must be fully playable with a mouse and left click”. He had other options and ways to interact with the game, but his audience was casual and he wanted to make sure his games stayed simple as far as input devices go.

  11. every single one is a home run.

    windowed mode and startup advertising – also blatent in game advertising is absurd, we’re already paying for the game, more profit for you mister fat cat?

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