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Monday, August 07, 2006


It's a guy thing.

For some folks, reading the instructions is a sign of weakness. Now I'm definitely not one of those people who will put others down for looking up information, but I do try to make my games as intuitive as possible. Ideally, I'd like the user to be able to pick up my game, start playing it, and actually have fun with it without spending a lot of time in "training." A game shouldn't require a lot of work to enjoy. When I was making the pinball games for Sierra, they were heavily involved with Prima, the company that publishes strategy guides. Naturally, they were keen on making a guide with hints and tips for 3D Ultra Pinball. Unfortunately, all of the strategy I could offer them would barely fill a pamphlet, much less a 100 page strategy guide (even with lots of glossy, full-color photos). True, there's some skill involved in winning pinball, but what it all boils down to is, "don't let the ball go down the hole." Words to live by.
Yeah, but some manuals have really neat design or cool info on the game or characters. Almost like watching the credits at the end of the movie!

Unless I'm the only one who does that...
Nope, you're not the only one. And I've been truly impressed with the way these things have evolved. Sadly, back then, Sierra wasn't going to give us the bucks to come up with sufficient background material, and I didn't feel comfortable with leaving that in the hands of strangers.
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