As December comes 2/3 through our Christmas holiday I find myself in a optimistic mood. For the first time in a long while I can see the meaning with all this darkness and cold weather… it is for the decoration nuts. I am happy to see that even nature are working together with the overly excited populous trying to make our power company cry for a month. Since they cash in round about January, I think they'll live… on a bed of money.
If we should get to the point in the next hour or so I would be surprised and once again… It IS the season! Now the thing that I wish for this year is once again the gaming companies’ attention. I never had it yet, I never got a hover car as a child so why should I stop dreaming now? …ah crap I got a Hoover instead, 25 years later my typo finally fell into place. You win again Santa!
If I could give any kind of suggestion to the gaming manufactures about earning easy cash and at the same time get our unbridled devotion, it would be to make expansions for older games. I know many of my favorite games have expansions galore and it would take 200 hours to get around most of it per game, but still? Wouldn’t it be cool if they made another expansion to Fallout 3 or Red dead redemption at this point?
We loved those games… apparently I have a mouse in my pocket. I loved those games! Games where the atmosphere and soft ending would give me hundreds of hours of game-play and I really didn’t want it to end. I have perfected my Fallout 3 game without a inch of cheat on my xbox360, I had 10000 stimpacks, over a million bottlecaps and every last special weapon in the game, even the ones you needed to get at certain times under certain circumstances so not to get half the game to hunt you down. I would love it if they said that they made another expansion, I would start over and use 300 hours again just for that!
Christmas is the time where you realize that tradition and the love of something old is just an illusion. You watch the same old movies, eat the same food, sing the same songs with the same people and get the same reactions from giving and getting presents. We are suckers at Christmas and the whole marketing system is forcing us to believe that doing the same shit this year is tradition and worth savoring!?
I blame myself for that! We can’t blame anyone else for being mesmerized by the shiny lights and fattening foods. So this year I wondered if game communities couldn’t do the same with games which we have a certain affection for or deem cult worthy.
New ways to make the same shit “hump” worthy.
(My way to clarify the mental feeling I get when something I really like is improved.)
For one you could make a expansion that enhances the existing gameplay. It is a lazy way of expanding by only putting additional content in the previous core gameplay, but with hard-ending games, the expansion option will only diminish the feeling of ending the game. I would hate to see a game like Last of Us have addons that brought you beyond the last scene. That game ended perfectly with a bad taste in your mouth and I loved it. How to expand it then? Additional content during the game! Improve broken details (they usually do that with updates, but slightly changing levels to give you more possibilities to complete it would be an improvement.) In games like Skyrim or Fallout 3 just to mention some that have expansions; I would find hump worthy if they made more expansions years later. It could be that more items could be picked up. Music was expanded so they knew more songs. Guards and general NPC’s got more or new default sentences so I would'nt be thrown to jail so often by choking people with their own shoes. Three Dog in Fallout 3 could have a additional quest where you find more music for him, like the violin quest for the ear stabbing channel.
What if you had an expansion like Hearth Fire (Skyrim) in other games like Zelda or Halo? Let people get the chance to interact with passive characters in Halo. Build a house on a desert planet or adopt a child to bring up and learn to play annoying instruments in Zelda before you blindside them with a boomerang? Why not bring dept to existing games; we would love you for it since we spend so much time personalizing our games and sandbox games in particular!
MMORPG games are a great example on what to do and not to do in keeping a franchise going for years. I would love to use a random example but they all fucking look like World of Warcraft. Keeping the franchise going for 7-8 years or so is impressive. The world expands and is rebuilt. They improve and balance characters and give new adventures and quests like it was candy. They have seasonal quests and entertainment that people either love to death or ignore completely to their heart’s content.
Wouldn’t it be fun to have similar situations in GTA5? Christmas season where characters appear either more drunk or as Santa? Snow would make it harder to steer and to see much ahead of you. I know it doesn’t snow as often in that part of the fictive states, but it’s a game for Christmas’ sake!
Would it be fun with show in the Capitol Wasteland? Yes! Would it be interesting to have Thanks giving in Red dead redemption? Didn’t we have that? No, but yes it would improve my gaming experience and when to play the game. They would make us use a few hours on certain dates to force their new ideas upon us. It could be a commercial trick to buy new things from the company. What about GTA5 advertising for their own expansion on billboards during the game? There is so many ways to interact with the players without interrupting gameplay and do we notice… If I run around the Capitol Wasteland for 300 hours, YES I would notice if there was a new billboard saying buy this it is greater than beer!
The one thing that is wrong with game like WoW, is that much of the casual game is downtoned and they don't use the possibilities they have to make minigames inside the game.
When we talk expansions, why not just put a corner more on an existing game. I know Mario games tend to be huge and if you run through it normally you done 8% of the content, but it could have more levels or new gameplay features like mini games that would give you upgrades during the existing gameplay. Grindtastic!
We are suckers for the grind and if they introduced a “Take a shovel and drag a skyscraper back to megaton to rebuild the capitol” quest I would be playing until the authorities declared me evicted or dead… or both. Anyone who has played Final Fantasy knows about the punishment of grinding tediously for days on end for the best weapons so you have a small chance to defeat that incredibly hard additional boss hidden where only the most hardcore players would look. Why do we do it? We love it, we look past the cruel punishment of wasting hours at a time getting nowhere, just to ease through the last couple of quests and show that omnipotent final boss prick that he/she can think so highly of themselves if they want, because we have so much overkill in our bag that we kill them with minor attacks just to show off our “erect gaming sticks!”
We crave the overkill. Being superior is one of our most astute feelings in life. The small victories we get for being right, the big conquests we get for being better than others measured by the standard in our communities are what we are craving. We feed of that feeling and it is one of the purest things we stride for when we pick up a game. We want to be better than good players. No one is mediocre in a shooting game (just as an example.) We are elitist, specialists, ghosts of war or simply an outsider that can take bullets to the groin as long as there is a chest-high wall. We want to be the best and why not? There is always someone who uses too much time being just that better than others, but who cares in a singleplayer game? Would you be that awesome or special if Skyrim was a multiplayer game? The one and only Dragonborn, roaring through the lands with 2000 others… no, we thrive with just being the one, the only one! sometimes.
Then there is the public punishment that is online shooters and survival games. CoD is a good example on how to improve your “erect gaming stick!” for the reason of wanting to show off. Many people find those games entertaining and I have in my younger days played in clans during the Counter Strike régime. I was good, but there was always someone better. Did I live as a unique character that could rise above the populous to be the [HEADSHOT], Did I live as a unique character that could rise above the [HEADSHOT], FFS never mind. The thrill and punishment of playing those games have nothing to add on the expansion of the game as a whole, but still they are interesting due to their fanbase. People could create new levels for them and the fans expanded the game. Whoa there, isn’t that what they did with workshops for skyrim and fallout 3?
There is large communities that would gladly expand the games to their own and others desire and that could be one way to improve many of the current sandbox games. People are using hours to make new addons to the game which just shows the producers that there is a base for further expansion. The best programmers are those who made the games and I know they are doing something else, but still… they are the ones who can improve the core mechanics better than anyone else.
Not all games can be fanbase expanded. Take console games or older games like Diablo or Mass effect; they have semi online connections that would screw the games balance if fans could change what they wanted easily. (I am not mentioning hacked items you dirty Diablo cheaters!)
Lastly I want to mention Minecraft. There is something done right. The game keeps expanding even though it is both online and singleplayer. It evolves nice and slowly like other games ought too. There are so many sandbox games and large RPG games with potential to grow even if they are 3-6 years old, why are they just left there? Why create years between Fable 1 and 2 when they could have been back to back with the same character?
I don’t want new generic games internet! I want the games I like; to grow and evolve. When a manufacture knows that he has done something right. Don’t plagiarize it, improve what works rather than make something new that so often have shown us disappointing results!