What is it about making video games that renders you completely unable to process playing them like a regular human?
The Division launched this week with multiple idiotic, preventable issues, which you can read about here. To summarise the greatest hits, players can’t talk to the same NPC at the same time and can’t walk through each other.
This isn’t an isolated incident either – devs are making monumentally idiotic design decisions on the regular, and only after the backlash do they decide to apologise and fix it or call it a feature.
So for the benefit of developers everywhere, I have democratically elected myself as spokesperson of gamers everywhere. Here’s why you’re all stupid.
Realism is stupid
Hey guys we know how much everybody likes realism, so we decided to make The Division feel like a trip to the bank. Here’s a spoiler – nobody likes realism. Life sucks, especially if you’re a millennial, and games are our way of escaping the agonisingly slow bear trap that represents human existence.
Standing in a line is a just a painful metaphor for life outside of video games – waiting for money, success, free time, happiness or our turns to shuffle off this mortal coil. This is getting a little dark, but the point I’m trying to make is that we don’t play games to extend our experience of life, we play games to escape it.
It’s the same reason my Cubicle Simulator 2016 Kickstarter never get funded, it’s the same reason people talk more about Rocket League than FIFA and the same reason Call of Duty is the best selling FPS franchise.
If I’m going to be cruising around in the apocalypse, I want to feel like a baller. Nobody is going to make me wait in line because they’re afraid that if they even glance at me sideways I’m going to snap their stupid NPC neck.
It’d be like the first thirty minutes of the Mad Max movie being Tom Hardy queueing for his food ration.
The internet is full of assholes
Not being able to pass through other characters in a game like this is a move so dumb I’m starting to wonder if Forrest Gump was the creative director.
When you’re making a game that’s going to be played as an online multiplayer experience, you’d think you’d have someone on the team who had used the internet for something besides e-mail and porn.
It should have taken all of ten seconds to realise that throwing twenty unclippable characters into a room with narrow doorways is going to end with some Chinese kid getting murdered in an internet café.
We’ve established that everybody likes to have fun, but some people like to have fun by stopping other people have fun. We call those people psychopaths, or Ubisoft developers. These are the kinds of things it’s your job to know if you’re making an internet game.
Seriously, if they put four people on a server at the same time they could have figured this out. I imagine it would have gone something like this:
Dave: “Phil, why the hell can’t I use the NPC?”
Phil: “I think it’s cause I’m using it, it only speaks to one person at a time. Ask Jeff, he did the NPCs.”
Chris (currently stuck behind Jeff in the doorway: “What the hell, Jeff?”
Jeff (sighing): “It’s realism guys. Seriously. It’s the same reason you can’t walk past me, Chris.”
Chris, Phil, Dave: *beat Jeff to death*
The apologists are worse
Inevitably in situations such as these, there are the apologists. You know who you are. The people who take this obviously-a-massive-oversight steaming turd of a game design catastrophe and try to reframe it as a positive.
Ah man look at those long lines they say, “What a great apocalyptic feel!” You know, the point of playing a post-apocalyptic game is not to feel like you’re actually in the freakin’ apocalypse. Otherwise every time anyone got done playing The Last of Us they’d need to take three months off work to deal with their PTSD.
The “authentic feel” of a game comes secondary to it not making me feel like I want to hurl myself off of something really high. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but games are supposed to be fun. That’s it. As soon as they stop being fun, they stop being games. Except League of Legends, because that’s never fun.
Anyways, if you enjoy standing in lines please look out for my Trip to Home Affairs Simulator 2016 on Kickstarter.