After giving it some thought over the last couple of days, I have come up with 3 main areas of inquiry I am going to be exploring over the coming weeks to see which one interests me the most. I am not locked to these ideas but I figure they are each an area of interest for me and could provide ample research material.
Some initial Ideas I have come up with are as follows:
Indirect storytelling methods in the games industry
This kind of idea revolves around the minimalist storytelling in games such as Darksouls where the majority of the story is told throughout items and areas in the world rather than cutscenes and large amounts of dialogue. In my mind initially I felt it would create a game with minimal narrative and story focus initially. However, after playing a considerable amount of BloodBorne, the number of tales and interesting backstory that are available are huge if you are willing to invest a little time reading and closing the gaps yourself through deduction. This area interests me and could provide some interesting opportunity.
Art styles and their uses in the games industry
Coming from, in part, an art background, I have a high level of interest in the artistic side of video games. From highly colourful adventures to sullen realistic drama’s, art styles in video games have a fantastic way of setting the mood and influencing player behaviour. Throughout the history of the games industry, despite technical limitations, there have always been a wide variety of different art styles and this would be something worth looking over and examining in comparison to the modern day uses. Speaking personally, I have always valued the gameplay area of gaming first and foremost, but graphics and art styles are a close second. A good game is made all the better by a strong art style
High skill investment gaming
This idea seems more conceptual than the others, but interests me never the less. There are many games and game genres that can be enjoyed with minimal investment that become more complex and demanding the higher your skill level becomes. These games mainly take place in the Fighting and RTS genres and, when designed correctly, are both entertaining for an entry level user and sufficiently complex to allow for high levels of competition based on user time investment. The primary Issue I have with this genre is the entry level is still relatively high when player in a competitive nature. In fighting games, someone who have spent a certain amount of time in them in the past will be able to pick up a new game in the genre and dominate someone far newer to the genre. This is to be expected but can also mean a high level of frustration and can render the game unenjoyable.
I speak about this from a personal level being someone who has invested a decent amount of time into fighting games and having trouble enjoying them with friends due to the skill gap. There has been a movement to introduce “Simplified” Control schemes that automatically do harder inputs for the players which is a step in the right direction as far as allowing a lower point of entry. But I have to wonder (And would like to research) if there are any other methods of allowing people with less time to invest a chance to play competitively. This could be a very fertile area of research if I chose to read more into it.
These areas are all interesting for me and over the coming weeks, I will spend some time looking into them before choosing one to take forward. Obviously if I come up with a new idea, Ill likely take that one forward instead if I prefer it.