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How To Make a Good Gaming Sequel 150

Kantor48 writes "In today's world of unimproved gaming sequels and saturated franchises, Arthur Kabrick looks at the best and worst sequels in recent history, and compares the changes they've made to the formulae of their franchises. By doing this, he comes up with a list of lessons that any game developer creating a sequel should follow, if at all possible, to ensure that the new game is a step up, rather than a step sideways or, as in some cases, a step down. The criteria include ensuring the game does not spend too much time in development, updating technology, and trying not to change the development team, as well as being wary of changing the basic formula so much that fans of the franchise are alienated."
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How To Make a Good Gaming Sequel

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  • Lame article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @02:50AM (#34751578) Homepage

    Sorry, but this article is crap. It just mentions a few things without proper reasoning. What makes a good sequel is not an exact science, trying to reason about it in a generic what is just unfounded.

    Lesson 1: Starcraft 2 took a long time, and it's considered to be a good sequel. Same for Half Life 2. Development time is a dumb reason. Does it matter is a sequel needs 6 years of development, or simply 3 but still released 6 years after the original?

    Lesson 2: The gamebryo engine was also used by Morrowind, and Oblivion before it was used for Fallout 3. A lot of games use the same engine, and it generally leads to better software, but it has nothing to do with game quality. Story and game content don't have much to do with the engine.

    Lesson 3: BioShock 2 was made by a completely different studio, not just a different lead desginer. StarCraft 2 and Diablo 2 both had different lead desginers. There are also numerous examples of bad sequels that had the same lead designer.

    Lesson 4: Yes... obviously. But what exactly was that, people can tell you that the change you made is a bad one, but they can't beforehand tell you what they liked and why? Also, not everybody is the same. Putting the exact game out doesn't result in a good sequel either.

    Lesson 5: Don't evolve too much? What's too much? Also, doesn't have some overlap of lesson 4?

    Lesson 6: Improve everything? But, doesn't that violate lessen 4 and 5?

    But the worst part of the whole article, it doesn't even mention what defines a good sequel. He uses 4% difference in review score as listed by Metacritics. But reviews are not objective, review scores of games are also influenced by other games that were release before it. and of course, the reviews are generally written by different people, and different people tend to judge differently.

  • Re:Lame article (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Undead Waffle ( 1447615 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @03:13AM (#34751660)

    Not that I disagree with your overall point (in fact I am probably supporting it here), but with both Starcraft 2 and Half-Life 2 whether they are good sequels depends on what you want.

    Starcraft 2 has only a 3 star rating on Amazon. It's fine for normal games but they have some major screwups in the custom game system. 30 second countdown timer that starts as soon as the game fills up. During which the only "useful" thing you can do is leave the game, which doesn't even cancel the timer. So it's basically a "you have 30 seconds to screw up this game for everyone" timer. Finding custom games is ok but the rest of it you would think they could at least improve over Warcraft 3.

    Half-life 2 had no multi-player out of the box. Their reasoning was that Counter-Strike: Source was the multi-player. I spent countless hours playing the classic Half-Life at LAN parties. Not to mention the weapons in HL2 overall were not as fun for multi-player aside from the gravity gun. So yeah it had a great single player experience, but if you were interested in multi-player it was a disappointment.

  • In one easy step (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @03:16AM (#34751670)

    Step 1: Make a Good Game.

    If the game can't stand on it's own as a Good Game then it's not a Good Sequel.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @04:56AM (#34752022)

    IMO, the US "Super Mario Bros. 2" (a Japanese came called "Doki Doki Panic" with Mario characters slapped in) sucked, but the game released in Japan as "Super Mario Bros. 2" (AKA "The Lost Levels" in the US) was great.

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