Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The World is Moving for no Reason!

I had a discussion with a friend the other day about platformers and he asked a question "What is the point of a scrolling screen? It doesn't make sense from the point of the character." I laughed gave the obvious answer: the challenge. He retorted "No, that doesn't make sense to me. If I'm supposed to be the guy on screen, it doesn't make sense to me." He had me. I couldn't answer. I mean, have you just been sitting around and had the world start to suddenly rotate so suddenly you're forced to keep moving to survive? NO! (If you're answering yes you need to stop reading this now and go nap.) Can you just imagine walking down the street and suddenly you're running as everything scrolls by at some uncontrollable speed and for no real reason? It makes no sense! Why do we retain this holdover from the 80s?

Sure, there are falling ceiling tiles and moving floors, but those can make sense in fantasyland because they're still plausible. However, a scrolling screen makes little sense to the character, especially since the feat can't be replicated in 3D. Moving platforms just make more sense and can be used far more creatively - think Rainbow Ride from Super Mario 64. Let's bury this odd contraption we call the scrolling screen and move on. It had its time and I'm tired of it pissing me off.

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