I guess it’s generally considered desirable to promote a product for what it *has* not what it does not have. This is unfortunate because I can see a lot of ‘features’ that would enhance a product purely by their removal. My pet hate is the new squeezy nozzle on heinz ketchup, but putting my personal table-sauce related jihad to one side, and thinking purely about games, I can imagine several features, whose omission that would pique my interest…
- Now featuring absolutely NO startup movies or publisher logos!
- Now featuring a total lack of cheesy voice acting and macho quips!
- 100% free from sexist and racist stereotypes!
- Absolutely no grinding or filler!
All of these would get my thumbs up, yet nobody ever markets a product that way, even though I’m sure there are games that omit all these annoyances. There must be something about good marketing practice that means it’s a bad idea to promote a negative? (although ‘non-bio’ and ‘no sugar’ come close)
Take a game like portal. It is apparently short. I’ve never played it to the end, so I don’t know. I’m sure a lot of people would panic if a game was announced proudly as being short, but I also suspect a lot of people (middle aged, with kids especially) would welcome a game that was high quality fun, condensed into a reasonable length of time. I don’t care about ‘finishing’ games, but I find myself losing patience with any movie over 2 hours long. My time is limited, get to the point.
I spent a day playing Halo in the office at Elixir once (I was ‘on call’, not there to do work…) and was enjoying it right up until a bit where the next mission involved backtracking the last 15 minutes. This was clearly filler, to make the game feel longer. It was like a really tedious scene that any decent editor would crop from a movie.
Even from the Fellowship Of The Ring.
And yet, big budget games are full of that stuff.
I make sandbox games, so they don’t lend themselves to being marketed this way, but it would be great if some games did seek out the ‘time-poor’ gamer. I know there are lots of us. Aren’t there?