Playing through Tower Climb and doing both a video spotlight and written review of it, I called the game out as being “button-heavy” when it comes to its controls and game design. Button-heavy is an unusual term and one that I want to delve into a bit more in today’s piece, because it’s one of those issues that is not always apparent from the start.
Cooperative games have become very popular with the rise of broadband technology and the ability to easily connect to people directly in game. Titles like Left 4 Dead, Payday, Forced and Helldivers, all let friends and random people a chance to work together with using unique forms of game design.
The genre is one of my favorites and I’ve spent more time than I can remember playing Left 4 Dead 1 and 2. With that said, the genre is a challenge to design for and there are some important considerations to understand and allow for when designing a game in it.
Video games have always been popular thanks to their accessible nature and being able to let someone enjoy something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Genres like the airplane simulator, grognard-level strategy games and racing Sims let people enjoy the closest abstracted play can get to reality.
On the flip side, many games deal with fantastic situations that we would never see in our lifetimes…unless an alien invasion is coming soon. With that said however, real life can intervene with playing video games and it’s important to understand how disabilities can have an impact on your game design and on game accessibility
A popular topic that I like to talk about is the standardization of game design; where developers standardized control methods and mechanics to make it easier to learn games. Instead of having control actions in the double digits, you could do the same with a condensed set of buttons; this also led to PC games being easier to port and play on the consoles.
For today’s post, I want to focus on a shortcut game designers use to get a lot of actions into a game without having to extend the control scheme out, and that is by using modifier actions.