Train2Game news: Rayman Origins developer on benefits of ‘less is more’ game design

Train2Game game designers should find Rayman Origins designer Chris McEntee’s discussion of Ubisofts ‘rational design’ interesting, as he explains how he believes its key to success in game design.

“Rational design is all about eliminating unnecessary information, making things inherently readable, understandable and apparent, introducing mechanics in an orderly and easily digestible fashion, and preserving the learning and difficulty curves of a game, known as macro flow.” McEntee told Gamasutra in a huge feature on game design.

“In principle, it is best to provide a player with significantly interesting and deep mechanics that are well explored and exploited through clever rationalized level design, rather than injecting the game full of one-shot gameplay mechanics to feign depth.”

The Rayman Origins designer added that when it comes to game design, keeping it simple with a less is more approach is a good philosophy to follow.

“We try, as designers, to overstuff our games with content, ideas and objectives because we think that makes it more clever or fun,” said McEntee.

“When we rationalize our game systems and keep things simple but deep, we can truly create a good and meaningful gameplay experience that is also efficient for the team and easy to troubleshoot through iterative play-testing.

“I feel that rationalization is one of the keys to success in the game design field.” he added

Train2Game students can read the full 8 page feature on game design over at Gamasutra.

What are your thoughts on the idea of less being more as a philosophy for game design?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: UK Charts – FIFA 12 dominates as Rayman Origins enters top ten

FIFA 12 official screenshotTrain2Game students see FIFA 12 claim its fifth consecutive and seventh No.1 spot in total in this week’s UKIE Games Charts. FIFA 12 has already made EA Sports more money than any other previous title in the series and has its second best chart run.

As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, FIFA 12 was the UK’s third biggest ever video game launch when it was released. However, it still has some way to go in order to beat the 11 weeks FIFA:  Road to the World Cup 98 spent at top spot in 1997 and 1998.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from Bethesda continues to sell very well, moving up to No.2 , switching places with Ubisoft’s Just Dance 3. FPS heavyweights Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 switch places and this week take No.4 and No.5 respectively.

Long-time former  chart topper Zumba Fitness is a non-mover at No.6, and continues to sell better than its sequel, Zumba Fitness 2, which drops one to No.8.  Saints Row The Third returns to the top ten in between the two Zumba Fitness titles.

Ubisoft’s Rayman Origins enters the top ten for the first time after a slow but steady rise up the charts. As reported by the Train2Game Blog, Rayman Origins failed to make the top 40 when it was released last November.

This week’s top ten is completed by id Software’s RAGE. Train2Game students can read an interview with RAGE Creative Director Tim Willets here on the Train2Game Blog.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Need For Speed: The Run both leave the top ten, dropping to No.12 and No.14 respectively.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 21st January 2012 is therefore as follows:

1. FIFA 12 (EA)
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda)
3. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision)
5. Battlefield 3 (EA)
6. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
7. Saints Row The Third
8. Zumba Fitness 2 (505 Games)
9. Rayman Origins (Ubisoft)
10. RAGE (Bethesda)

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on FIFA’s continued dominance? And what do you make Rayman Origins slow but steady rise to the top ten?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on The Train2Game Forum.

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]