Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Video Game Graphics, Minecraft, and You

In a post over at, fellow game design blogger (though definitely one with more experience than I have) over00  mentions how the hard and fast game design rules he learned were clearly wrong, as proven by Minecraft’s success. According to him it is common knowledge that crappy graphics and no tutorial can kill a game both of which are apparently proven wrong by Minecraft’s shitty graphics and it’s non-existent tutorial.

Well, Minecraft definitely is somewhat of a success – but at least I am not playing it exactly for those two reasons.

Isn't Minecraft beautiful?

I used to say that I am someone who doesn’t care much for graphics as long as the game is good and I would still stick to that statement – but there are boundaries to my willingness to endure awful graphics and Minecraft  oversteps them by quite a bit.

I’m more than willing to spend money on games – and especially indy games if I get the chance to – but I just can’t get myself to get Minecraft. It might be the best game ever designed, but it is just sooooo ugly. Add to that that everyone says that it is nigh-on impossible to understand without watching some introductory videos on YouTube first and you get a game that I’m currently not willing to touch with a ten-foot-pole.

Yeah Minecraft is selling a lot compared to the budget used to create it, but imagine the amount of people that would be willing to buy a game  hyped as much as Minecraft if it had decent graphics and was a little more newbie friendly than a Linux version of Eve Online. Clearly not everyone is as superficial as I am, but I would wager that quite a few people are. I would be interested in the amount of players actually actively playing Minecraft as opposed to the amount who bought it due to the hype.  It is very fashionable these days to like indy games and once the Kotakus of this world have decided one of these games is worth promoting, sales are inevitable.

I don’t know whether Minecraft really is as good as people say, what I know is that there are people like me who are definitely put off by awful graphics and steep learning curves. It might not be true that it is impossible to sell a game with those features, but it is a damn lot harder than selling one that looks decent and doesn’t alienate players within the first few minutes of playing the game.

To be honest, I think I’d rather break out the old SNES or play some Bonsai Blast on my phone. Those games at least don’t hurt my eyes as much as Minecraft does.

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