Everyone, I just received an email from the Nigerian Prince stating he needs me to help him get his money out of the country and in turn will pay me for my efforts! He said the email may come as a surprise and boy did it. I only need to send him $50K cashiers check and in two week he’ll send me a money order for four times that amount!!

For those who have grown up during the birth of the internet will remember these popular schemes littering our email boxes. So much in the fact that the government had to get involved. Futurama even got in on the fun of internet scammers.

People wise up. They don’t fall for the same tricks again and again. It requires you to go back to the drawing board. In the terms of scams found on the internet, people have become very smart in phishing out your information without you knowing it. And it comes from learning from the past.

You see this in video games too. For those platformers of old that used keys to separate you from one area to another doesn’t have the same feel as it once did. Searching high and low for that blue key to open the blue door, that was the adventure. Now, it seems like a burden or even in poor design.

Now take a game like Braid by Jonathan Blow and Number None, Inc. Sure there are keys and doors, but getting to those keys and doors is really what makes Braid unique. For those who haven’t played it, (and you should because it’s amazing), you have the ability to rewind time almost infinity. In doing so, the game is designed around this mechanic. The normal things aren’t normal anymore. What you expect to happen, doesn’t happen.

It seems silly now for a platformer to wall off areas in a game with a simply fetch quest of a key (unless you’re Doom).  As the audience of gamers matures and continues to learn and play, going back would be considered poor form and come off as a negative rather than a blast from the past. 

Much like our Nigerian Prince, you as a developer have to evolve your tactics. Evolve for better, not for worse. And if someone has already evolved for you, start there. No reason to do the work someone’s already done.

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Eric M Hunter

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