Saturday, May 31, 2008

Kids Games

I'll keep this short and simple.

If I ever create a kids game I vow that I will do everything possible to make the game load straight away with no publisher, developer or licensor splash screens that take up precious minutes of time.

Every time my daughter wants to play a new game (which is often - she plays one for ten minutes, then wants to try another) - we have to sit through the same load screens again and again - many of which are unskippable. Then we get to the menu screen and have to click on more buttons to start the game. She just wants to play. Why not boot straight into the game? My 3.5 year old could care less about copyright notices.

Put all this stuff just before the team credits! That means it will be buried in a menu somewhere, or will only be seen when the game is completed, or printed in small type in the back of the user manual (if the developer is lucky).

They can be as bad as those kids DVDs that take forever to get to the Menu, then don't have the Play Movie option as the default. Grrr. Thank heaven's that Disney has their fast play feature - that is such a great idea. Kids game developers should look and learn.


Duncan said...

Hi John,

I couldn't agree more. I borrowed my Brother-in-laws Wii the other day to test out at home and was flabbergasted by the amount of screens I had to skip past just to play a game of guitar hero, I didn't know if I was coming or going. I can't imagine a young child having the attention span to sit through that every time, and the poor parent who has to sit through it every time their child asks them to load up their favourite Wii game.


Mike said...

Beautiful article! Stress is not only experienced by the parents but also the children. Playing games can be a way out for your child escape from the pressures to reduce stress levels.
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