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Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design by Scott Rogers

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Chapter 7. THE THREE CS, PART 3—CONTROLS

Once upon a time, I joined the team of a console game that had been in production for three years. I was asked to take a look at the current state of the game and report back any issues I had. Overall, the game was really good but there was one thing that bothered me. One of the enemies could only be defeated with a quick time event (see Level 8 for more on these), and even though I'm awesome at playing action games, I just couldn't seem to press the button fast enough to win the contest and kill the monster.

I went to the creative director and told him that I thought the controls for the minigame were too hard. He asked me "How did you hold the controller?" This is what I showed him:

THE THREE CS, PART 3—CONTROLS

He said "Oh, no wonder. You are holding the controller wrong." Whaaa? As far as I knew, there was only one way to hold the controller. Keeping things respectful, I asked: how did he recommend I hold it? This is what he showed me:

THE THREE CS, PART 3—CONTROLS

I wasn't sure if he was joking. "I don't believe that players would change their hand positions midway through the game. It just doesn't seem very natural." He became insulted and proceeded to tell me that not only was it the proper way to hold it, but that everyone else on the team held it that way as well. "Hmm. Did you tell them how to ...

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