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Old 05-20-2010, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cleaning Out the Respawn Closet

As a young lad, I remember the first time I laid my eyes on the arcade version of Mortal Kombat. “Wow,” I said to myself. I subsequently turned to my friend right next to me and said, “one day, videogames are going to feel like real life.” My friend turned to me and replied, “Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of real life?”

While I was a bit naďve back then and Mortal Kombat is an old and dated-looking game by today’s standards, the point is, from an early technological age, videogames have constantly strived to immerse players into its virtual world by mimicking the look of the real. While videogames are not quite photorealistic-looking just yet, with each passing generation, they get less and less far off. First-person shooters like Crysis and Killzone look so realistic that they are sometimes portrayed as killing-simulators for young children from the mass media.

And yet, even though videogames have evolved tremendously from a visual standpoint, there is an old, outdated gameplay mechanic that still exists today which detracts from the immersion that the graphics are trying to provide; I’m referring to re-spawning enemies.

A game development theory has always been this: in order for gamers to have fun, they need a point of contention. I.e., they need something to kill. Therefore, killing bad guys = fun. Ergo, the more bad guys you have, the more fun should ensue. Thus, the simple idea of infinitely re-spawning enemies was born.

GameXplain // Cleaning Out the Respawn Closet
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