Over on the Entombed list, there has been a wave of discussions concerning
different ways to "cheat" in playing Entombed to increase your party size,
bring items from game into another, etc. Now mind you, there's a paid-for
cheat that does some of these things, but clever players have figured out
different ways to spoof the game.
Now, I have used these cheats to increase the replay value of the game, to
experiment with character combinations I might not choose in the game as
intended. I have enjoyed the results and they have added significantly to
the replay value of Entombed while we wait for upgrades.
This morning, I read a message from the game developer Jason Allen. I
expected it to be at best luke-warm on the subject. Instead he says
basically that it's awesome people have been finding ways around the limits
imposed on the game and that he's considering adding capabilities into the
actual game to mimic some of the cheats. Here's a developer who is taking a
player-driven phenomenon, recognizing the underlying message of directions
of development we'd like to see, and embracing it. To me, this is a mark of
excellence and flexibility.
I tell this story not to chastise any developers, but to provide positive
feedback in the larger blind gaming community for this kind of creative
thinking and relationship developed between game creators and their fans.
This earns loyalty, trust and respect, even when the rest of life means that
a developer has no time to devote to the game we're playing and breathlessly
awaiting new developments in. Anyone considering becoming a game developer
(which I am) would do well to look at this example of engagement and take
its lessons to heart.
Thank you and I'm off the soap box now.
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