RESEARCH THE TOP 100
Firstly, sign up for a game rental service like Gamefly.com or Gamelender.com or Blockbuster.
(Or find a way to get your hands on highly reviewed games… Libraries, friends, eBay etc.)
Then rent or borrow the top 100 best REVIEWED games for your console(s), handheld(s) or PC. (It’s OK to mix formats!)
(Yes this will take a while. So consider this a stamina test also!)
As I still don’t know a decent way to RENT PC games, it’s OK to use the demos you can get easily online, for example from FilePlanet or Gamespot.
(No, I don’t care if you played the games before, you need to look at them again!!!)
You won’t be “PLAYING” the games, you will be “LOOKING AT” the games. (Trust me, it’s a HUGE difference.)
To get that list of games, go to: www.gamerankings.com then pick ALL categories, your platform, ALL companies, ALL ratings, avg score of Main sites, all date ranges, BEST, 10 votes, 100 results with boxshots.
Rent each game in the order they are most available, play it, look at it, scrutinize it, analyze it… (If they don’t have a game and you just can’t get access to it, then move on to the next on the list. No matter what, you need to do the top 100 reviewed games “that you can lay your hands on”.)
Take notes as you look at the games (and if needed draw diagrams), sometimes it will work better if you are taking note while watching someone else play parts of the game for you, ultimately you need to cover all the subjects below: Note they are all based on the theme…
For each one…
What impressed you?
What would you change?
How could it be better?
INTRO – From turning on, to playing. (Including ease of navigation of options, how was the introduction or story? Do you feel like they got you in the mood, before giving you control?)
GETTING GOING – How easy was it to get going once in the gameplay. Was there a steep learning curve, was it intuitive, did you know where to go, what your goals are? How did they get the point over? What feedback systems did they employ that worked?
FUN – Are you entertained, are you having fun, did you laugh, did you feel excited, did you sweat, did you make noises, did you stress? How did they get you there? What would have added to the fun?
VISUALS – Is there anything clever going on with the visuals (beyond just looking cool), do they seem to have any tricks. (Like it looks like there are 500 soldiers coming, but you just fight the local ones.) What visual tricks are actually adding to the emotions you are feeling. (Like Fog to make you strain your view?)
INTELLIGENCE – Do you feel the game is playing against you well? Why? How? What’s going on? Are the enemies or opponents really aware of you? Do they seem to have any personality? Are they dumb video game characters? What would you change?
IMMERSION – Do you feel like you are immersed in the experience. Did 60 minutes just fly by? Why? How? What stopped that feeling of immersion? How could they have kept you there and 100% focused? Did you feel freedom? Did you feel able to play on your terms? Was the game responding to you, or were you responding to it?
CAMERAS – What camera problems do you see? How would you have avoided them? What’s good about their system? What don’t they realize is kinda bugging you as you play.
CONTROLS – Is it frustrating to control? What would you change? What have they done that has worked well? Is it genre specific, what other games could learn from this? Did you feel 100% of any mistake was your fault and not the fault of the controls? How is the in-game interface?
IDEAS – What cool ideas were in this game, like hooks, things you don’t see in other games. What’s fresh and why? Could you customize the game in any way that you cared about?
MEMORY – After turning the game off, how are you left feeling? Do you want to play more? If you only had 50 words to tell someone the high-point of the game what is it?
You don’t need to finish playing any of the games, you are just doing a game design research pass on it. A couple of hours per game is fine.
Could you complete that task?
95% of people can’t. But you can tell immediately when you interview a designer if they know their stuff or not. (You will immediately be much better spoken in this important area than 95% of applicants.)
In fact, many interviews we do, the Designers are frankly kinda lacking in knowledge, it seems like they only play a few of their favorite games and know little of their competition.
So that’s step one.
Your final entry must be supplied as a TEXT file or WORD document. There’s no first place, it’s all about COMPLETING it well. For the people that do, you will be posted into the Articles area of http://www.dperry.com and will be a shining example to the other new developers that visit the site.
I will also write you a personal letter of recommendation, and give you an award for your resume! (Called a CV in England.)
Send your final document to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some other notes:
(1) This challenge is free to enter.
(2) The challenge has no deadline.
(3) The challenge is to improve you, and your real knowledge of the games you play.
(4) To get an idea of how to format submissions, see the ones already here on dperry.com