Miyamoto on game design

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Post: #1
Shigeru Miyamoto, living legend, was in a park when a lady saw him and noticed who he was. (If you don't know, please click logout in our forum now). She said "What the best game was for her son." He said "Tell him to go and play outside." Interesting eh?

In same article (nice write up on the big N's troubles and on Mr. Miyamoto) he said "behind every door a surprise." That is the key to a great game. I like that concept and see that all the games that I really liked used that principle.

He also says, "Believe it or not, I am not a geek and don't spend all my time indoors. I get my inspiration from going outside and spotting images, sounds and scenes from the real world. I then incorporate them into my games." Sounds like common sense and what everyone does, but do they? I also found it interesting when he mentioned how things that creep into his life that "hook" him, find their way into his games. For example, he (this is weird for a Japanese person) got into American country music. His next game had to have country music.

Anyhow, the main point of this thread is "behind every door a surprise." Does that work for all genres? I think most of his games have been platform inspired, so many "worlds" and objects to explore, etc.

Cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
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iDevGames
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #2
>"behind every door a surprise."
Nearly. I love that in games like Super Metroid and Tomb Raider. It can mean anything from a new enemy who jumps out at you to finding in artifact in the last place you'd expect it to be in.

As for genres, I think this would be good only for adventure games, FPS's, etc.
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Post: #3
Quote:Originally posted by Camacho

Anyhow, the main point of this thread is "behind every door a surprise." Does that work for all genres? I think most of his games have been platform inspired, so many "worlds" and objects to explore, etc.


Well, it only works for games that involve doors Rasp

It also wouldn't work too well for games that involve prediction (like stealth games) or repeatability (Diablo?)
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Post: #4
Could work for fighting games too. Not in the same way, but consider: hitting the right combination of buttons in with the right timing will produce a unique and interesting move by your character. Much of modern fighting games (initially anyways) is being creative with what moves you use and in what pattern. Seeing somebody kick your butt with a combo you don't know how to do (let alone have never seen before) can very well be a surprise, especially if it triggered some kind of animation unique to that combo.

Strategy games too, your actions may result in something unexpected by enemy AI or world interactions.

---Kelvin--
15.4" MacBook Pro revA
1.83GHz/2GB/250GB
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Post: #5
I think to generalise it a bit, you have to constantly give the player new things, or promise to, throughout the game.

Many new games don't realise this; like the matrix game where you start out with all the moves. Prince of Persia did this in a very minor way which worked pretty well, with the uber-potions that give you an extra life point Smile

My favorite is the Soul Calibur (and a lot of other games) method, where you can unlock things as you go along.

The one that requires least effort on the programmer's part is the Diablo method, where you just generate millions of random items so people play for years to get the super plate armor +4012 of the smelly rhino or whatever.

How I want to handle this in Lugaru is let you unlock new fighting styles and moves as you advance; not in the oni sense where you get a new move where you press an obscure combination to activate, but where you can just switch your whole style and get a new idle stance, jump attack, sweep, etc. and new move categories like counter-counter-counters and such Smile
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Post: #6
Quote:Originally posted by AJ Infinity
>"behind every door a surprise." .....
As for genres, I think this would be good only for adventure games, FPS's, etc.


i don't think this phrase is meant to be taken literally. it is a better way of saying that not only should a game keep surprising the player, but that the excited anticipation of the next "door" and the surprises it holds is what makes games really fun.
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Post: #7
Yes, I know that...

David sumed it up nicely with...

"you have to constantly give the player new things, or promise to, throughout the game."

So once the player feels they have come to the end of the line for surprises, that is when they give up/move on?

"but where you can just switch your whole style".... whoa... I know Kung-Fu... more!

Carlos A. Camacho,
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iDevGames
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Post: #8
OT I was having a bit too much fun experimenting with cafepress.com and made http://prodtn.cafepress.com/2/6230412_F_tn.jpg

Anyways yeah once people think they won't see anything more, they tend to stop playing.
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Post: #9
It is actually a lot like cinematagraphy and video editing, which, is my primary hobby just ahead of game dev. In a film, each shot needs to reveal something new or the scene will get boring and repetitive, i definetly think that having the player unlock cool features as the game goes on is the way to go. no matter what genre the game is, this method could work, though in some genre's it is more necessary than others. Puzzle games do not *need* this, but it could add quite a twist, but all of genres that I can think really do need something to unlock in order to keep the player playing.
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #10
You should become a game designer at Blizzard when you get older and design at least one released title (check their job opps page). You look like a very good candidate.
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Post: #11
moi? *blushes*
is that what this face is for? Blush

I dunno, I want to go into politics and cinematagraphy already, being a professional game developer might overdo itRasp
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Post: #12
It's true with almost everything really. When I get bored, I go do something else. As obvious as that is, there is a surprisingly large number of boring games/movies/books out there Rasp

Chris Burkhardt
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Feanor
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Post: #13
Quote:Originally posted by Mark Levin
Well, it only works for games that involve doors Rasp

There are many kinds of doors.

Surprise is fine for games that do not involve improving dexterity (of hands or neurons). If you surprise me in Quake 3, I might not like it. Depends if it affects everyone fairly, in a multiplayer game. Funny thing, the other day on a server, the admin thought he'd have some fun by turning off gravity and then changing the force of bullets. Did you know that this was all configurable? You can even use negative values.

He did this right before the end of the match when it was even. It was a long overtime!

Ah, back on topic, for most games where exploration is a big part, surprise is utterly necessary to keep me interested. Let's just say I think I might regret buying Dungeon Siege. That game is the same half an hour repeated over and over with different make-up on. I might be looking to sell it at a discount.
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AJ Infinity
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Post: #14
Dungeon Siege wasn't that bad. Anyone remember Super Metroid (heck, who doesn't?). Since that game had so may "Behind every door, there is a suprise"s, it's considered the best game on the SNES.
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Post: #15
After thinking about this thread for a while, I found that the best thing to put behind every door is something that seems familiar but has an unexpected twist.
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