The Paradox of Choice.

I think I get it now… (I hope)

I can finely see why so many AAA games are released with terrible and/or completely unbalanced mechanics…

The mechanics are usually the first thing planned/created in the project, the foundation of everything that’s built, and also the easiest to find fault in as you run into unintended consequences of those early choices. The temptation is to ‘fix’ those choices, as you go, but once you do the ripple effect creates even more unintended consequences, and thus MORE things to fix… Yada, yada, yada, until you are literally gutting the mechanics completely, and flushing a good 30% or more of your scheduled work to date down the drain.

So, any experienced (and successful) development house knows that releasing an unbalanced game is always preferable to not releasing the game at all. Because the more you tweak ‘as you go’ the more likely you will end up being forced to re-vamp the build at the worst possible time, and push back the project (raising the budget) and increasing the chance that your project will be written off and scrapped, rather than completed.


One great thing about RPG Maker VX Ace, is the ease with which you can change almost any aspect of the game through the scripting selection. Of course, that is also the worst thing!! If you are lucky enough not to get stuck in the analysis paralysis that comes with the paradox of having to much choice in which to change, you quickly find yourself realizing that the more you add, the more work you have created to be done (a form of debt built into the project that must be paid before completion) and the more complexity you have introduced into the experience, forcing you to either find a way to explain this complexity to the player in a palatable fashion (in the form of a FAQ or something) or worse (or better?) try to build the transparency necessary for the complexity, into the game itself… (Which is much more time consuming than it sounds)

Either way, I find myself on my seventh? re-vamp of my chosen mechanics… And feeling as though I should punch myself in the nose.


Because I am literally, back where I started, and had I not even tried to change anything at the beginning, I would likely be ~90% finished with an actual game rather than ~5% done, with more assets than I have content for, because of re-vamping mechanics every week and a half or so…

In the future, I realize that I need to just put my head down and soldier through the flaws of a mechanic rather than try to change it once the project is started… Unless, of course, the mechnic is somehow game breaking. Which is unlikely. Then, once done, I can take what I learned about the flaws, and do it better ON THE NEXT COMPLETE PROJECT. Thus I will have TWO complete ones, rather than NONE.





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