Game Design VS Quick-Time Events– Why?

Since the 2000s, quick-time events have created some of the most unforgivable game design trends in gaming history. A poor reputation is that well-earned! From “Press X to JASON” to all those mindlessly-animated “Top 10 Bad QTE” videos you found on Kotaku and YouTube. Quick-time events frequently miss the mark when held up against other gameplay styles. As a result, they’ve understandably left a bad taste in the mouths of countless gamers… but why is that? Today I ask a simple question.

My actual reaction to poor game design. Find me on Twitter!

Why makes Quick-Time Events suck?

I ask this question to dig to the bottom of the issue and present my case. For starters, fundamental game design. It’s intuitive and time-tested, not rocket science. You game should feel good to play at all times. There’s a reason all the best-selling games have play-testers. It’s because play-testing ensures the most glaring issues in your game can be solved before it gets released to the public and hurts your reputation. There really shouldn’t be parts of your game that everyone universally hates or feels like they have to tolerate just because it wasn’t thought-out or tested for issues. Generally speaking, simple choices outside of the players control (like button layouts or forced camera angles) should never hinder gameplay, and neither should silly-looking “interactive cutscenes”.

Treat QTEs like Visual Novel branching story-lines… with a countdown timer!

There are literally hundreds of thousands of games that have already done it right, and there is no excuse to be making horrible mistakes like this in 2020. Want to make awesome games? Play some good ones. Want to write an amazing story? Start reading good books. Want to create an impressive art style? Start studying anatomy. By having a solid foundation on what you want to create, you lessen the chance you’ll make grave errors. Game design should never feel overly-clunky, badly-designed or uninteresting. Nothing in your game should ever feel thoughtlessly bad— and that includes the all fundamental principles and designs that fuel great QTEs.

It’s simple. Bad ideas ruin franchises. Great ideas make new ones.

Detroit Become Human… Osu… Shenmue II. Why do these games stand out? Their QTEs add genuine excitement to the experience, rather than being tacked on in a game or forced onto an audience that openly hate them. Instead of being forced into development just to copy trends, these games made sense of QTEs without compromising the players experience.

QTEs can enhance other gameplay elements and when they’re handled well– and sometimes can replace it altogether. Lackluster QTEs are reduced to unbearable, outrageous moments and millions of furious gamer when handled poorly, and can irreversibly destroy what fun a game WOULD HAVE been. In a future blog post, I will consider this simple question:

What makes Quick-Time Events not suck? See you next blog post.

Why I Renamed My Animation Brand After 11 Years of Content Creation

For some years, http://ainnms.com was my domain of choice. At the time, my username was “AinnMS”, and before that… it was much, much dumber. In fact, it’s so terrible I’d love not to tell you until I purge every trace of it first. I started animating when I was about 13– it looked like an actual dumpster fire, but I was willing to learn anyway.

Photo by Kobu Agency on Unsplash

I rolled with it… but now I don’t have to. Turns out “Ainn MS” is not the catchiest thing to voice search. It’s even worse if someone asks “Okay, so how do I spell that? Where do I go? What’s it called again?”

In recent months, I renamed myself to “AaronAnims”. If somehow you couldn’t tell, “Anims” is a common abbreviation for the word “Animations”. Since my first name has been floating around on the Internet for many years, I broke the oldest rule in the book. The one that sounds like “never give away your personal information on the internet”! The fact that I’m just shy enough to want my name private, and just outspoken enough to have to take credit for my work put me into “author credits limbo”. This strange state of ‘rarely taking credit for stuff you made every day for the past 10 years’.

Somehow, this video was impossible for some people to process. “YOU made this? You made it into Maplestory? Yeah right…”

For some context, my personal motto growing up was “I want to be the camera-man, not the main actor!” To me, that meant “I’d rather have interesting, not-so-glorious art career that puts me in a vital spot, where my job is urgent in the production progress. I don’t want all the prominence or fame that comes with being the face that’s on-screen and being doted over by millions adoring fans.” Even now, I think that’s way too much attention for me to even handle. I still actively tread around it.

The part of me that made that remark hasn’t completely changed, but I can’t tell you how many times I said “hey look I made this thing on the Internet” and the person hearing it just couldn’t accept what I just said.

“No really, I made this!” I insist, and they give me the most distrusting glare they possibly could. Even me own mum looked at me funny when mentioned it. Things like “Hey Mom, look, I was put into a video game once”! Or “I assure you I understand animation! I have a new appreciation for music production and sound engineering. I get what goes into writing satisfying character development, I’ve been at it for X years!”

It’s extremely upsetting when people I respect just assume I’m lying to their face or conclude that somehow I must be bluffing. It’s not the best feeling in the world. It’s infuriating to be called a liar just because you took credit for one your life’s accomplishments out in the open. Oh yeah? Watch this.

All the years of “What, you made this? Yeah right.” needed to fly out of the window, fast.

By naming one of my content creation accounts after myself, I shatter the need for the benefit of the doubt. I certainly wasn’t the most active animator, but I was willing to teach myself everything I know wasn’t it? I did so without a Mentor or Teacher to fall back on, didn’t I? Damn right, I did. I’m allowed to take credit for the things I make, and I don’t need approval. I’m established enough to have even gained express legal consent from Nexon Inc. Does that somehow make me less of an Animator?

This is for the times I would’ve loved to scream “Yes, you inconceivable creature! Of course I made it!!”

Maybe this will give you some insight as to why I bothered to rename at all.

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