Allowing gamers to use real skills in games

Playing games to experience a certain story is fine for most gamers. But there is a kind of gamer that wants more from a game than just seeing it once and then proceed to the next one. Most of these gamers can be found playing multiplayer-focused games. Games that allow for the player go learn certain skills that allow for more effective moves and whatever. However, even these multiplayer-games, no matter how skill-based they are, have their foundation in what I call “gamey skills”.

As good as Diablo 2 was, its skills were very gamey

Gamey skills simply means that whatever it is that you´re skill in, is still only a skill you have inside that certain game, with that certain controller in your hand. It is not the kind of skill you have access to in real-life. Learning button-combos for maximum damage, button-smashing or precise aiming with an analog-stick. It´s all stuff that is only good for games. These games also require you to learn their rules. Unless you obey their rule set, you´ll achieve not a single thing. But couldn´t that be changed?

When I´m talking about using real skills in games, I´m obviously heavily talking about motion-controls. But let me tell you that this is not all to it. Anyways, what advanced motion controls do is to analyze your movements and inputting them into the game. That´s fine, but the way these controls are used for now are only at the minimum limit of what could be done. So let me use the best and most simple example of what I mean. Assume that you´re playing a game that features sword-fighting. You swing your motion-controller, and the on-screen character moves his sword according to your movements. That´s where current game design ends. It´s all you´re able to do at the moment. You can swing your sword, but that is all the game allows the player to do. Everyone can swing a motion-controller, so no real skill is involved. Whatever skills are used in-game are gamey skills.

Now, real skills would be different. Imagine you´re still playing the above game. An enemy is approaching and you´re starting your attack. But instead of just swinging the motion-controller downwards to do the usual sword slash, you actually throw the motion-controller up in the air. The controller spins vertically. As it comes falling back down, you capture it with your hands, and seamlessly proceed to swing the controller downwards. What happens in-game is the following: The character threw his sword into the air, the sword was spinning around vertically, the character captured the sword just in time and smashed it onto the enemy´s head, using the built up-power from the thrown sword. That is NOT an attack that every player could use. Just go try it out for yourself, and then think about how you won´t have time for trying outs when you´re actually facing an enemy who´s there to kill you. And that is but one obvious example. Think of other real life skills that would make sense in-game.

What for?!“, some might ask. And the answer is the only kind of answer that makes sense: Because it´s fun being able to do so. Almost all, if not really all, games fail to create real individualism. There are western RPGs with hundreds, if not thousands of customization options, but in the end, whatever you do is probably being done by someone else, too. And when we´re talking about actual active gameplay-skills, no game offers individual customization here, due to balance reasons alone. Allowing players to use skills that they need to be capable of doing in real life would greatly increase the satisfaction of pulling of awesome moves in games. Even if someone else did it, too, you´d know that that person really is skilled…instead of just having put some skill points on some ability-tree in the game´s menu.

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One Response to Allowing gamers to use real skills in games

  1. Hey nice blog you have here. I think that Diablo II is the best game ever. Can you inform us a little bit more about God Of War, Assasin’s Creed II and Diablo III which is going to be published. Diablo III’s graphics are the best graphics that a game ever can have!

    What types of online games (MMORPG or Battle.net etc.) can you recommend? Which are the best ones right now? What should i play? I need a free and good game just like Diablo II.

    I’ll follow your blog. Keep writing!

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