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'70 per cent of games not good enough' - Creative Assembly dev

Total War Battles designer calls for increased focus on gameplay refinement

Renaud Charpentier, Creative Assembly's lead designer on Total War Battles: Shogun, has said that 60-70 per cent of games simply don't meet the quality bar gamers expect.

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"When you look at the market, probably 20 to 30 per cent of the games are confident, and maybe 60 to 70 per cent are not good enough," Charpentier told Edge.

"Usually, they run. Most of them don't crash - most are competent technically. Most of them look okay or even good, but they play like shit," he declared.

The biggest problem, Charpentier goes on to explain, is developers' focus on tech over gameplay, and a lack of early gameplay prototyping.

"Their biggest risk is not on the tech, not on the art, it's on the design," he adds. "You have to front-load that: it has to drive many of the other decisions.

"We can't keep releasing games that anyone can tell are not interesting to play after 30 minutes when 20 or 30 people spent two years working on them. It doesn't make any sense."

He goes on, "It's not about writing a 100-page document of design that is totally useless, no one will read and will be out of date by the time they do. It's about crafting the game. For that you need tech that is ready."

As a gamer himself, Charpentier also expresses frustration with some of the typical traits of modern gaming. "As a player, I hate going through the burden of downloading a game, installing it, rebinding the controller, going through the tutorial, playing another couple of hours and then realising it's fucking boring!"

Total War Battles: Shogun is a new real-time strategy entry from the makers of the Total War series, developed specifically for touch-screen platforms. It's available now on iTunes for iPhone and iPad for $4.99, and is 'coming soon' to Android.

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