11.12.2012

Receiver is ugly

There's a gameplay demo called "Receiver" from the creator of Lugaru and Overgrowth I first began to like but then immediately noticed how off the whole input system is. As the description states, this demo (seriously, it's not a game at all) is about having more complex gun mechanics and simulating firearm mechanics. Well, I can't tell how disappointed about the fact that someone really wants money for this. First of all, I love the idea of giving the player more control over gun mechanis - it's one of the first gameplay ideas I ever had since I started building plastic gun mechanics. However, it's has one of the most poor interfaces ever. You see, every human beeing will operate a gun visually and operating the gun itself, not pressing for any theoretical operation. Presenting the player a set of hard to remember keys associated with some rather minimal phrases is no way of an interface. Even worse, there's not even a full list of commands and stuff like safety triggers or so are visible at the gun itself. The "help" function is only an ever-changing list of operations, not the full set that is available. Really, I wouldn't have paid 1 buck for it if I had known what an incredibly dump interface I'd get. Seriously, dude. You know how roguelikes work? They associate characters with actions like "i" for inspect of "c" for calling. Of course you can't do this properly with WASD but you can usually rely on it being a fluid concept. It makes no game at all, it's merely a prototype nobody should ever pay for. Another point it the stupidity of introducing firearm mechanics like safety lock cause those operate fluid if you have the gun in your hand but loose their use in a fully controlled keyboard setup. In Receiver, it's just another "oh yes, see, you need to it this way, cause guns are dangerous even in video games". Are you doing edutainment out there? Tss, that's the last thing you need in such a game. This may work if you're THAT open-minded, but it's no interface that would make me the game play. I don't care what moronic "wisdom" anyone has to offer about "oh it's just beeing realistic" cause it isn't. Grab a gun, replica or not and list me the operations you need to operate it. It'll be less and easier to interface than done in Receiver. Even the oh-so-unintuitive Nethack does a better job. This was an interface rant. Don't understand me wrong: I'm all for complex gun mechanics in videogames but within reason and a focus on providing the player a comftable way of doing the complex stuff. Not making access to simple stuff complicated.

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