Forum Overview :: Wizardry 8
BioWare games are made by and for depressing housewives who hate videogames. by Jerry Whorebach 05/12/2011, 6:35am PDT
...according to BioWare writer Jennifer Hepler.

Killer Women: Jennifer Hepler wrote:

What is your least favorite thing about working in the industry?

Playing the games. This is probably a terrible thing to admit, but it has definitely been the single most difficult thing for me. I came into the job out of a love of writing, not a love of playing games. While I enjoy the interactive aspects of gaming, if a game doesn't have a good story, it's very hard for me to get interested in playing it. Similarly, I'm really terrible at so many things which most games use incessantly -- I have awful hand-eye coordination, I don't like tactics, I don't like fighting, I don't like keeping track of inventory, and I can't read a game map to save my life. This makes it very difficult for me to play to the myriad games I really should be keeping up on as our competition.

And with a baby on the way in a few months, my minimal free time (which makes it impossible for me to finish a big RPG in less than six months already), will disappear entirely. If there was a fast-forward feature on games which would let me easily review the writing and stories and skip the features that I find more frustrating than fun, I'd find it much easier to keep abreast of what's happening in the field.

If you could tell developers of games to make sure to put one thing in games to appeal to a broader audience which includes women, what would that one thing be?

A fast-forward button. Games almost always include a way to "button through" dialogue without paying attention, because they understand that some players don't enjoy listening to dialogue and they don't want to stop their fun. Yet they persist in practically coming into your living room and forcing you to play through the combats even if you're a player who only enjoys the dialogue. In a game with sufficient story to be interesting without the fighting, there is no reason on earth that you can't have a little button at the corner of the screen that you can click to skip to the end of the fighting.

Companies have a lot of objections, such as how to calculate loot and experience points for a player who doesn't actually play the combats, but these could be easily addressed by simply figuring out an average or minimum amount of experience for every fight and awarding that.

The biggest objection is usually that skipping the fight scenes would make the game so much shorter, but to me, that's the biggest perk. If you're a woman, especially a mother, with dinner to prepare, kids' homework to help with, and a lot of other demands on your time, you don't need a game to be 100 hours long to hold your interest -- especially if those 100 hours are primarily doing things you don't enjoy. A fast forward button would give all players -- not just women -- the same options that we have with books or DVDs -- to skim past the parts we don't like and savor the ones we do. Over and over, women complain that they don't like violence, or they don't enjoy difficult and vertigo-inducing gameplay, yet this simple feature hasn't been tried on any game I know of.

Granted, many games would have very little left if you removed the combat, but for a game like Deus Ex or Bioware's RPGs, you could take out every shred of combat and still have an entertainment experience that rivals anything you'd see in the theater or on TV.

I have it on good authority that the Mass Effect team's next game is going to be a DVD of clips from Stargate SG-1 where the men take their shirts off or almost kiss.

Avadon - The new Spiderweb Software game by Mr. Kool 05/05/2011, 12:58pm PDT NEW
    Avadon creator explains the appeal of computer role-playing games by Jerry Whorebach 05/05/2011, 6:49pm PDT NEW
    Re: Avadon - The new Spiderweb Software game by fabio 05/05/2011, 8:07pm PDT NEW
        Re: Avadon - The new Spiderweb Software game by Shadow of the Molasses 05/09/2011, 5:50pm PDT NEW
            There are Mass Effect fans on this forum. They're come out publicly before NT by but now hide in the shadows. 05/10/2011, 7:54am PDT NEW
            BioWare games are made by and for depressing housewives who hate videogames. by Jerry Whorebach 05/12/2011, 6:35am PDT NEW
                Re: BioWare games are made by and for depressing housewives who hate videogames. by Ice Cream Jonsey 05/12/2011, 9:05am PDT NEW
                    I... didn't *mean* the "skip battles and porn++" feedback. IT WAS A JOKE by up with pod people 05/12/2011, 12:47pm PDT NEW
                        It's safe to watch the video. It's only 7 seconds and a still photo. NT by [Video Prewatching Service] 05/12/2011, 1:09pm PDT NEW
                        "skip battles and porn++" is fine, if the porn is sufficiently interactive by Mysterio 05/12/2011, 7:04pm PDT NEW
                    gamer parents strike again NT by fabio 05/13/2011, 7:35am PDT NEW
                There is so much terribleness in this it is hard to respond. by Arbit 05/13/2011, 12:44pm PDT NEW
                    Re: There is so much terribleness in this it is hard to respond. by Rafiki 05/13/2011, 1:50pm PDT NEW
                        I guess you could upgrade to full 3D motion by up with pod people 05/13/2011, 2:30pm PDT NEW
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