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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

I was chatting with my friend Andre, who happens to be working on a gesture-based game for the experimental gameplay competition. I like Andre (obviously, since I call him my friend) but... I hate gesture based games. Seriously.

*I can't count the number of times I screwed up and accidentally slapped my pet in Black & White when I meant to praise him. Ruined a perfectly good game, in my opinion.

One of the earlier Elder Scrolls games, don't recall which one, used gesture based combat... try playing it with a trackball some time. Nearly frickin impossible!

Some other game, doomed to obscurity, used gestures... don't remember the name now, but you had to move your mouse in certain patterns to cast spells... omg, what a nightmare.

Game Developers!!  Hear me now... if you MUST use gesture patterns in your games, at least have the compassion and sense to make them different enough from each other that you don't “accidentally“ fireball your teammates instead of healing them!!

Also, I hate to whip out the Accessibility card, but... seriously... gesture-based gaming is little more than an exercise in frustration and humiliation for pretty much anyone with motor skills difficulty, which includes the very young, the very old and anyone with Parkinson's, Cerebral Palsey... among other things. Yes I realize these folks probably don't play a lot of twitch reflex games either, like Doom3 or UT2K4, but this is MY rant, so back off.

Anyway, the moral of this post is that friends don't let friends build gesture-based games. Consider this my community service for not releasing a HA! update in nearly a year. (There is one coming, I swear!!)

(*ok ok, yes I'm sure I could have counted the number of times, but I didn't and it's too late now to go back and try. Just trust me, it was a lot.)

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 11:09 AM Game Development , General Interest | Back to top


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