Train2Game news: Tekken director – Button bashing ‘not a bad thing if it gets people into the series’

Train2Game blog readers may enjoy their games being a challenge to play, but making a title too complex could result in potential players being turned off.

That’s what Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada told Gamasutra about the balancing act of adding complex new features without forcing players to put down the game.

It’s an interesting view on game design that Train2Game students may have to consider when developing their own games.

“What we’ve found is that a lot of players never even touch practice modes,” said Harada, suggesting players tend to avoid tutorials and learn by playing against the computer or friends.

And he points out that when the fighting genre began in the arcades, tutorials were a virtual unknown and that game design was built in a certain way to compensate for this.

“It’s worth noting that when the fighter genre first hit arcades, there weren’t any real tutorials,” said the Tekken director.

“Instead, the designers tweaked the difficulty level such that after a couple of credits, you had already gone from beginner to intermediate player — something you could then improve upon by learning more moves and practicing.”

And Harada suggests that instead of players practicing alone in single player mode, “an online mode where players can just beat on each other without any life gauges, chatting each other while learning the moves,” could be the best way for players to get to grips with fighting games like Tekken.

He also believes that games being simple to pick up is a great way for people to get into a series, using Tekken as an example.

“A lot of other people say that it’s too easy for beginners to enter the game and beat people by mashing buttons! Personally, I don’t see that as such a bad thing if it gets more people into the series, gets them curious about it.”

Harada made the comments in an extensive interview with Gamasutra that Train2Game students, especially those who are fans of the Tekken series, should find interesting.

He also manages to condense the whole Tekken series to just a couple of sentences.

“Basically, there’re these three generations of father and son that don’t get along, and two of them have this Devil Gene, so their dad wants to know what the Devil Gene is, and so they argue with each other about it for a bunch of years. All the other characters just sort of get caught up in it.”

Train2Game students will be aware that needing to condense complicated information can be an important part of any discipline of game development.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Harada’s comments on game design and tutorials? Is it still important to include them in games? Do you still play tutorials?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]