In Italy, sometime during the Renaissance, an artist was asked ,"Why he should he be allowed to work on a commission?"
The artist, without an implement, drew a perfect circle. This impressed the comission enough, that they hired the artist. This is an old piece of folk lore, but tell people about the brilliance in simplicity. I learned this, when I was a line cook, when I was 16. There is one thing as a line cook, that will humble you time and time again.
An egg, a simple fried egg, will test your patience every time. It's as complex as a steak, as delicate as pastry, and intense complex in it's simplicity. It's just a fucking egg, but how does this transfer over to video games?
Simplicity, can be found in all of the greatest games. Pong, wouldn't have been Pong, if it had been a complex system of controlls and graphics. It's simplicity gave birth to video games. Simple, competitive, and drew the player in to the competition by allowing them to play a friend. Then there was Pac-Man.
It was a very clean idea. Run around a maze, eating stuff, and chasing ghosts (sounds like modern prime time TV). It was easily accesible to everyone, yet still provided a unique challenge to each and every type of gamer. Pac-Man, was an opus, played on a kudzoo and by today's standards, it's dated and old. Do programmer's still respect simplicity?
The problem is, we have became almost too subjective, when it come to games. We look at everything, besides the simplicity. Like we are looking for something more and more complex but there is a generation of gamers, that doesn't respect the challenge of Tetris. Why don't we respect that now?
It's not because of difficulty. Tetris, can find new and unique ways to kick your ass everytime. It's not graphics, because how more complex can you make a simple square. You can make it 3-D, but it's still the same, simple, game. No different, than placing pegs in holes as a child. Maybe, because it's to repetitive.
Tetris, always will feel like you have played it before. It doesn't matter, how long you are away from it, it will always feel like you have mastered the basic controlls. When I say basic, it's because true master players know how complex strategy can get when it comes to this game. This very simple game, is intricately logical and can be played by anyone.
What's wrong with hack and slash games?
These are simple, fun, usually multi-player, and easy for anyone to pick-up and play. I enjoy them, probably more than I should in order to stay unbiased, there is a purity in button mashing. Knowing that a simple combo, can save your characters life. Then when you add depth of story, this seems to just be a brilliant love affair. They suffer the same problem as Tetris.
If you have played one, you have probably played them all. From Final Fight to the thousands of clones of Final Fight, it never quite ends and just repeats. Kind of like a circle, a simple shape, but infinitely complex in what it actually is. That's what every game should strive to become.
Simple, in the form of accessibility, but complex and deep when one looks beyond. This creates something, that is infinite, and complete without being unrecognizable. This leads to challenge, which leads to fun, and eventually makes something rememorable. There is nothing like an egg, to make one remember, what is in store beyond that. It's time for me to hav a Dr. Pepper and shut the fuck up. Take care.