What is a gaming philosophy? I like to refer to it as a way of making games. Basically, if you were to make a game, a gaming philosophy, as I put it, is how you would make it. This post is about how I would make games, and I will list it by genre, explaining what I would want to do with a genre, citing suitable examples.
There’s really nothing to it. A 2D platform game back in the old days could be lumped in with any other genre, because there could only be 2D graphics back in the days of the NES and the SNES, and that’s just the way I like it. I like my 2D platformers to be action oriented. I great example of this was Mega Man X for the Super Nintendo. It was released in 1994, but it still holds up extremely well today, especially thanks to fans on the internet, and it remains a shining example of classic gaming principles. For non-action 2D platformers, I would say the best examples are Rayman Origins and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Nothing more must be said.
Of course, the jump to 3D graphics was unavoidable. But it wasn’t totally bad. I would like for 3D platformers to have similar principles to 2D platforms: jumping to get across obstacles, jumping on enemies (or another means of attack), collecting power-ups, and generally having a great level variety. The greatest example of a 3D platformer is Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. It was released in 1997 for the PlayStation, and is still the greatest 3D platformer ever made.
Third-person action games
For those games, I would like them to be linear, because they are supposed to be about action. Also, I don’t want any puzzles to get in the way of the action. I want the satisfaction of killing bad guys will workable, traditional controls, and fast-paced levels. A neat variety of weapons would be good too. For gun-based action games, Shadow the Hedgehog is my pick for a good example. Released in 2005, it was the only game to combine the Sonic the Hedgehog formula with kickass action, coupled with a morality system that amplifies the replay value higher than any other action game can achieve today. For fantasy action games, I pick the Legend of Spyro games, preferably the third in the series. Released in 2008, it has very creative visuals and has simple gameplay, yet with a satisfying experience.
Let me tell you what I prefer. I prefer fantasy RPGs, with creative visuals beyond the stereotypes. I would also prefer them to be 2D, with a turn-based or active time bar combat system, allow four party members in the field, and have a job system (though it’s not mandatory). The best example for me is Final Fantasy V. It was released on the Super Nintendo in 1992, when it was only available in Japan. However, it was re-released for the Game Boy Advance in 2007. I do like Pokemon more, but it’s too unique for me to use an example of an RPG I would make. I have too much respect for Pokemon to use it as a model.
I would like fighting games to be simple, without all the unnecessary, long, and need I say difficult combo strings. Sadly, that hasn’t happened yet. I prefer weapons-based fighting games, and so for me, the best example of a fighting game I would want to make is Soul Calibur IV. It is weapons-based, and has great fantasy visuals, complete with an original storyline. And yes, I actually enjoyed the Star Wars crossovers.
And that’s all I want to say. I would talk about side-scrolling beat ‘em ups and first-person shooters, but I haven’t played enough games in the genre to find any good examples.
To sum up my gaming philosophy, it stresses the importance of classic gaming principles. It’s about keeping tradition alive, but not at the cost of good gameplay and graphics. I hope all game developers learn it.