Tag Archives: hack

Hack a Game to Bits

hacking in video games“Connect power coupling A with coupling B, then repeat three other times, and do this before the timer runs out. Avoid electric shock. Do not eat coupling or drop it into a bathtub.”

I don’t know about you, but I think this sounds boring. It sounds like a technical writer’s manual – keep in mind that I think they are swell people – for some product. It certainly does not excite me enough to read more.

Yet, some games ask you to fiddle with couplings, cogs, etc. when you hack, say, a security camera or computer. In these hacking mini games, you quickly memorize patterns or solve a puzzle. Then you earn a shiny reward.

I understand that people want to hack to gain rewards in games. There’s a huge payout when you finish the hack that makes you feel proud of your skills. You could gain control of a turret, as your reward, and mow down enemies. You could also grab more coins after you avoid a vending machine’s security system. These bonuses sound great.

However, it is a pain to hack things in games; the process itself is not fun. Developers could make both the process and the rewards fun to impress players. If they cannot do that, they should cut boring game segments like an editor faced with a bad sentence.

Granted, hacking things is a small part of most video games. Mass Effect and BioShock are excellent even though they have these hacking mini games. So why should anyone bother to make these mini games more fun?

Developers can stand out if they take the time to make hacking fun. Play then becomes a joy instead of a chore when every moment of the game is fun. Next-gen, I’m looking at you.


Filed under Video Game Trends