Videogame standards

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about things that every game should have. These are mostly about technical stuff that apply to any game and are based on my rather limited experience.

  • Quicksave: every game should have quicksave. Yes, quicksave and quickload can break a game making it too easy but that’s no excuse. The real world is happening while we play and sometimes you need to quit to do something else. It’s ridiculous that many games make you lose your progress because you needed to stop playing to attend to other things. The problems with difficulty are easily solved by erasing saves after any failstate, making quicksave more like a “suspend” thing. If you die, you start from the checkpoint and cannot load again.

  • Pause anytime: and I mean, anytime. That includes cutscenes, dialogue trees, whatever. Again, this is related to real life. It’s unacceptable how many games don’t allow to pause during curscenes (even long-ass ones) or when interacting with NPCs.

  • No unskippable cutscenes: f* unskippable them. This is a particularly egregious problem with paired with no quicksaves or stupidly placed checkpoints. Dying during a boss fight just to be forced to watch a 3 minute video before trying again should be considered a bug.

  • No unskippable splashscreens: f* splashscreens too. No one wants to sit through a crapload of logos and company names every time they want to play.

  • Customizable graphical settings: a simple “High” and “Low” selection should be the bare minimum standard, but ideally every game should let to change resolution, antialiasing, shadow quality, etc…

  • Remapable controls: should be a no-brainer. Maybe is not a big deal for console gamers, but this is huge with keyboard+mouse. It’s also important for people with disabilities who might hace impaired mobility.

  • Alt+Tab support: for PC only, of course. Most modern games do, but there are still some that crash or don’t work properly after losing focus.

  • Subtitles: not only for dialog, but also for any sound. Accommodating the hearing impaired people means not only providing subtitles during cutscenes an in-game dialogue, but also visual clues. Be it enemies attacking, or whatever. In recent memory I’ve played two games with sound-based puzzles that would be impossible for deaf people.

  • Color blind modes: not everyone sees the same. This needn’t be a must for every game, but developers should think about it if there are important aspects of the game that are color coded (puzzles, mostly).

Any other ideas?

  • multi-monitor support (fortunately there are soultions and fixes.)
  • a way to edit graphics settings, controls and more outside the game itself. launcher, ini, etc.
  • Cheat codes, preferably a -console “~” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I would like to add a few things I feel every game should pretty much not have:

  • Journalist style Hype
  • Associative marketing ploys that focus on being like other big name active games or classics with big fan bases.
  • Alpha releases on steam.
  • Exclusive titles
  • Pay to win design schemes.
  • Content, DLC, or even stand alone sequels that could have just been in the original game.
  • Pre order exclusive content / seasonal pass, ‘filler’ that needn’t be in any version of the game.
  • Poor writing that makes the rest of the game suffer in some way often feeling uninspired or churned out
  • Remappable controls that don’t remap right.
  • QTE’s (quick time events)
  • “Jumping Puzzles” (generally speaking)
  • “Gotchas” (generally speaking)

(Those last four really are pet peeves for me)


YES YES YES. Any software that needs to be run in order to change potentially crashing preferences should be catalogued as malware.

I didn’t know games had trouble with this! It’s outrageous.