Fez and the virtues and pitfalls of perfection
After a 5 year wait we will finally have Fez soon, a game that won the IGF “Excellence in Visual Art” award way back in 2008. The game just recently won the IGF “Seumas McNally Grand Prize” and will probably go down as one of the most infamous indie titles in recent years. Its been a long time coming and to be honest I lost a lot of interest I had in the game a couple of years ago. I’m ready to come back, but I decided to reserve any more excitement I had for the game when the guys at Polytron were ready to deliver.
I got me to thinking though: Is perfectionism more of a vice than it is a virtue? Many gamers seem as though they would be much more content with a “complete” game, with something that has the sort of quality that only time and quality assurance can provide. But I’m not completely convinced the market really rewards people for this sort of behavior. Sure, Valve has a loyal fanbase that will certainly be coming to buy Half-Life 3 in droves, but their crowd is dwarfed by the mobs that come running out for the next Call of Duty game each year.
I’m not saying gamers should flock toward unfinished, buggy yearly released games, but I think its the consistency sometimes that might keep them coming back. Maybe not the sort of extreme consistency that Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed currently offers, but maybe something more akin to the bi-annual release of a Christopher Nolan movie or even just that one game that receives consistent updates like League of Legends. When you’re promised a game so early on and it takes years and years to finally grab onto the end result, its hard to tell if your expectations are going to be too high to feel satisfied or if finally netting the final product will redeem all of your waiting.
But I’m done with rambling on the subject, it just gets back to my point that I don’t want people announcing their game well before its done. I guess what I’m really trying to get at here is that its great that Fez is finally being released, but had they delievered a simpler version of the game back in, say, 2009 when I sort of expected it, we would probably be looking at Fez 2 by now. Just sayin’.