Game Design

Don't interrupt the game

One of the main ways to bore a player in action game (or really any kind of game, but it's especially relevant to action games) is having significant periods of time where the player has no control. People play games because they want to *play* games. And if you don't have control then you're not playing.

Examples are long "true combos" that can't be escaped once you've been hit by the first strike, or grab attacks that make you wait without input for several seconds while you slowly take damage (I'm looking at you Dark Souls). Dragon Ball FighterZ is the worst offender I've ever seen. In that game it's not uncommon to be left watching your opponent play a singleplayer game for ten seconds or more, and there are even ways to kill someone from full health without giving them any input after your first hit lands. It actually killed the game for me.

Here's an alternative: have a way to escape a combo or begin blocking after being hit, and if necessary, increase the damage of the strikes to compensate (or have a penalty for trying to escape but messing it up). In most cases this wouldn't really changed the balance of the game and would make it more engaging for players who are getting beat up. Why not?

Oh, and did I mention that unskippable cutscenes are **fucking horseshit**?!? Why in all the hells would you force a player to watch something they might have already seen? Even if it's the first time they've seen it on the current playthrough, you can't know that they haven't played the game before on a different device, or seen somebody else play parts of it.


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