Harder by Choice

While most people use their interfaces to facilitate interactions with the game, there exist a few who purposefully do the opposite. In much the same way people choose to turn their difficulty up to the hardest setting, there are some who take it a step further by making the very controls themselves harder to use. YouTube is full of videos from people like these, with one popular trope being the completion of Dark Souls (a notoriously difficult game) with one or another ridiculous interface.

Examples include a Guitar Hero controller,big_1410160715_imagebananas, bananas-810x400a racing wheel, maxresdefaultand even voice commands.

To me, these examples demonstrate the reverse of what I expressed in my “Third Party Interfaces” post, because rather than a non-standard interface detracting from ‘play’ these instances show how varying interfaces can enhance it by offering a new challenge to a game about overcoming difficulties. Especially for those who have learned the game’s mechanics front to back and want to rekindle the experience of first play.

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3 thoughts on “Harder by Choice

  1. I agree that varying game interfaces offers exciting possibilities for experienced gamers to challenge themselves with games they have already mastered. This also brings to mind the different ideas of fun discussed in class. It seems that, for a niche of experienced gamers, fun is characterized by difficulty. The more difficult or challenging the game, the more entertaining it becomes. As someone who had great difficulty completing Bloodborne using a measly DualShock 4 controller, I’m awed by how someone could complete such a game with a Guitar Hero controller.

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  2. I appreciate this post, as it shows the versatility in experiences that games can offer, even after the game has been completed. Personally, I enjoy playing games using the default controller, as it usually allows for optimal performance in gameplay. However, as you mention, there are many gamers who modify the interface to have either a different or harder gameplay. This idea of making games “harder by choice” especially applies to experienced gamers, as they are very knowledgeable about the game. This also is very relevant to our Makey-Makey project, as we were able to create our own controllers, and decide how easy/hard to make the interface. Overall, I think this post is important, because it proves that even after you finish playing a game, the choice to experience it with a different interface is always available.

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  3. I love your observations about difficult control schemes. In my interface project, I purposefully designed a game that would be simple, even trivially easy, to beat under normal circumstances, but then designed a control scheme around that to vastly limit the players skill and ability, to make them have to struggle and reduce their accessibility to the game. I think this is an incredibly important experience for people to have, to show that they take even the control scheme in games for granted much of the time.

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