Most games aren't good enough, says Total War dev

Creative Assembly lead designer says developers need to make design prototyping a focus, not advancing technological capabilities.


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According to Total War Battles: Shogun lead designer Renaud Charpentier, most games today suffer from poor design, and as a result, are not "good enough."

Charpentier thinks most games aren't up to par.
Charpentier thinks most games aren't up to par.

"When you look at the market, probably 20 to 30 per cent of the games are confident, and maybe 60 to 70 per cent are not good enough," Charpentier told Edge in an interview published today. "Usually, they run. Most of them don't crash; most are competent technically. Most of them look okay or even good, but they play like sh**."

Charpentier believes that too many developers do not recognize the positives of prototyping game ideas and gameplay early enough in the design process. The designer stressed that developers need to make design a focus of game development, and not concentrate purely on advancing technological capabilities.

"Their biggest risk is not on the tech, not on the art, it's on the design," he said. "You have to front-load that: it has to drive many of the other decisions. Hopefully that's something we manage to do at Creative Assembly, and that we managed to do with Battles, but it's still something that I think is lacking [in the industry] and it has to change. We can't keep releasing games that anyone can tell are not interesting to play after 30 minutes when 20 or 30 people spent two years working on them. It doesn't make any sense."

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