4 January 2011

In With The New And... - by Jamie Mann

      Posted 01/04/11 10:13:00 am  

There's an article over on gamrFeed, in which the writer assesses a set of games and tries to determine whether the sequels were better than the originals.  And in the end, he comes up with six simple rules:

Don't spend too much time on development.Change your engine every so often, and if you can, use one that you've developed yourself.Try to keep the team the same, especially if the original was good.Don't get rid of the parts of the original that people loved.Don't try to evolve too much and forget what made the original great.Improve everything, because one bad aspect can bring the whole game crashing down.

Personally, I'm not too convinced by all of these rules (for reasons which I'll rant on further below).  Instead, I'd propose a simpler, more abstract set of conditions for making a good sequel:

Make sure you've identified what made the original popular, and make sure you retain as much as possible.For every new gameplay element you add, make sure that you remove one of the old gameplay elements (or at least abstract it away, by combining it with other elements and/or making it context-sensitive).

The reason for this is simple: if you remove what made the original popular, you're gambling that players will like the new features.  Similarly, if the player is faced with too many elements and features, they're liable to get confused and overwhelmed.

So... before I settle down to enjoy the sound of my own typing, what do other people think is needed to make a good sequel?

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