The feature creep-complexity trap


#1

this comes from a few other discussions that have been around lately, but I was really spurred to post by this post fromRock Paper Shotgun about a totally different genre:

I went through this process myself when SF2HF got released on live a few years back.

All of a sudden, the bells-and-whistles, the ‘fighting the engine’ that is such a huge part of modern fighting games seemed like a huge waste of time, as compared to the absolute basics of fighting your opponent.

And that’s I think the conflict we’re seeing in the community now, the genre needs to get away from the ‘clunky, fussy, overloaded with minor detail serve to make veteran players feel smart’ and get back to fighting people, not game systems.

 
But ranting aside, I'm wondering if anybody has come up with the same epiphany that I have, gone back to any of the simple old games (and there are many) and a few good friends and said '**Wow, I remember, this is what it's all about!**'

#2

Feature creep? Sounds like SFxT’s gajillion subsystems.


#3

expected a “trap” related post with pics of some cute traps. i am disappoint


#4

God damn it Nini…


#5

SFxT is like patient Omega.

It might be the bridge too far, nobody seems to be on board particularly.

Edit: I have some doozies, but I think they break the TOS, sorry nini :frowning:


#6

“feature-creep” is another one of those stupid phrases to explain a problem that doesn’t actually exist that people like to throw around to create an illusion of competency, generally by lumping a bunch of unrelated problems together and trying to conjure up some idiotic unified theory.

In regards to the last question, no. I’m more liable to play an “old and simple” game and be disappointed at the utter and complete lack of features and mechanics than praise the game for having being barebones (though likely some idiot will interpret that as me saying SF2 is a bad game because it lacks a bunch of system mechanics).


#7

Well, there’s you, Nini-chan.


#8

I feel I’m being parodied! But it could just be the labyrinth of egotism (bonus points for reference)

Feature creep is very very real, as anybody that has worked on an actual development project will tell you.

Anyways, don’t you ever at all feel the way in the quote? That all the extra engine stuff getting in the way of playing the game?

maybe its a generational thing and I’m just old :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

Isn’t it a problem with Japanese product design in general? So much stuff from that place have unnecessary features that ends up cluttering the product, and it’s there because, well, it can be there. I’d like someone with more knowledge on the subject to put it better than I can.


#10

I don’t feel like recent games are suffering specifically from adding multiple systems and whatnot so much as the systems that they do have are just not well-designed.

I would rather play a well made game full of unique and relevant subsystems and mechanics than an “old and simple” game designed only around fundamentals. For example, GGXXAC and Arcana Heart 3 are loaded with subsystems and unique character mechanics and it makes those games interesting, fun, and rewarding of creativity.

I give older games like SF2 full credit as legit competitive endeavors but in no way would I ever want to go back to that.


#11

Thats why the FPS quote was included. Play Civ1 vs Civ4, or MK2 vs MK9, and there’s the same thing going on; just… so… much… stuff… piled… on.


#12

Let’s go back to Karate Champ then because as you said, more rules=always bad.

HF isn’t good BECAUSE it’s basic, but it’s good DESPITE being basic. All the rules were just implemented extremely well.
Newer, more complex games are great too when all their rules are implemented well.

New (good) games reward “fundamentals” just as much.


#13

Man there’s some word for attributing something to a person that they didn’t actually say, and then attacking that thing… For the life of me I just can’t quite think of what the word is. I think it’s a logical fallacy, but I can’t be sure.


#14

Straw man!


#15

Alpha 3 the most popular Street Fighter in Japan has tournaments still has to this date also had a Tournament that was 10,000 entrants and it had the most systems in any Street Fighter title.

It is on ggpo also


#16

its’ also the last one. In almost every case the last game of a series is the popular one, especially for arcade titles.

It makes sense though, the arcades almost always all updated too, so thats what everyone COULD play.

 
From reading the responses though, I guess I'm largely the only one that's had this kind of experience :p

#17

Uhhh… no. Feature creep is a serious issue in software development and the reason most development teams need a producer to keep a strict schedule so the product can actually be completed.

The the case of user facing design, you tend to see new features in order to compensate for other features not functioning to spec or the goal of the project shifting. For example, clumsy energy systems in freemium games to drive up revenue beyond selling content, or, in the case of SFxT, a system that has a high potential for increased revenue with little resource risk (gems).


#18

I should ask, is there a term like ‘sequel creep’? The absolute need to add something to a sequel, and top the one before it?

That’s a piece of increasing complexity too.

My go-to example for ‘fighting the system’ is the intentional addition of links to SF4.

Really though, its a term that (afaik) I came up with myself, so the definition is gonna be a bit vague :stuck_out_tongue: Another way to put it would be that it takes a study and knowledge to understand the game systems (ala the just block/barrier/defense bar system in BB), as compared to the systems being reasonably self-evident (more basic blocking).

 
It is probably taste though, like I said, I read that RPS article and had a massive 'wow thats how I feel about FG's' moment, and felt compelled to post about it.

#19

You’re are wrong about Zero 3 being the last one there was Zero 3 Upper. Yet Zero 3 Upper didn’t caught on despite being the last one.

You have no idea how an arcade is run if the nesciaxlive didn’t allow to switch games for free arcades would lost alot of money on 98umfe. Which a lot arcades lost money on Zero 3 Upper, Savior 2, and Hunter 2.

What experience running multiple accounts? every time you post Re Runs and ilthuain comes in to support you.


#20

The subsystems are not getting in the way of what fighting games are about, they are a part of what the fighting games they are in are about.

This topic reminds me of the people who moan about execution requirements like they are somehow the bane of fighters rather than simply being another part of the game that you need to put effort into.