What I’ve Been Playing – September 2018

It’s already October, holy cow. Well in case you hadn’t noticed I’ve been a little busy in September as I launched my first podcast Make Me A Gamer with my pal Harvey Z. As such I haven’t had as much time to write articles – I’ve also been kind of saving some of the more interesting topics that I would normally write about for discussions on the podcast. So please check it out – all four episodes so far are available here on this site as well as on Apple, Google, and Stitcher Podcast apps.

But since it’s October, it’s time for another update on what I’ve been playing! There’s not as much this month – a majority of my gaming time was taken up by Spider-Man which I already wrote a full review for here. But what else did I play? Well I dabbled a little into Destiny 2 since it was free for PS+ users this month in hopes people would then get addicted enough to buy the new expansion. I also jumped back into Fortnite for a bit thanks to the new season 6 launching. On PC I played a lot more of Into the Breach and Audiosurfed for a little bit. And on Switch I finally tried out Breath of the Wild – a year and a half after the hype died down.

So what did I think about all these games? Let’s find out!

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Endgame Discontent

Endgame content (also sometimes referred to as postgame content) has always been a thing in video games. What it refers to is the idea that you’ve been the main story of the game, but now that that’s over there’s more stuff for you to do if you want to keep exploring the game’s world. These are different from sidequests that are just super hard but still available to you before you beat the game: this is specifically content you’re only given access to after you’ve completed the main storyline. One of the more well-known types of endgame content include “raids” that were popularized by World of Warcraft – very hard bosses that you have access to once you’ve completed the game and have hit a high (or max) level with your character. These raid bosses can take anywhere from 3-4 hours to complete and teamwork from many different players. But they aren’t required for the main game – they’re only for people who really love World of Warcraft and want to participate in that kind of epic strategical play.

This content is a way to keep players engaged and challenged in your game after they’ve supposedly done everything they actually need to. Super Mario Odyssey, for example, only requires a certain amount of moons to beat the game – but once you have beaten it a whole bunch more moons are unlocked across all the worlds along with a completely new world. These moons are more challenging to get but are completely unnecessary if you’ve already had your fill with the game. It’s a good way for developers to add more content for people who really enjoy the game but not to overwhelm other people who play the game more casually.

The problem is that as developers are extending game length, the idea of “content” starts selling at a premium. And the emerging idea of Games As A Service (which I talked about in my very first blog post on here) had made it so developers don’t want their games to end at all. So endgame content stops being extra and starts becoming a part of the actual game which becomes a detriment to the game (and overall game design) itself.

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