What are some of your game design pet peeves?

I cannot stand how modern deathmatch shooters all have rollouts that you need to unlock. FPS games used to just be about dropping you in an arena with weapons spaced out to pick up and everyone started with the same weapons on even footing.

Now, in contrast, you need to play enough with standard weapons to fill some bars to unlock all of the weapons you may want to play with. It makes it harder to jump in and have fun for a few mins at a time.

Grinding just to unlock perks and weapons that give you a chance to stay in the game just makes me want to put the game down right away. I don’t mind purely cosmetic unlocks. But I hate the ones that unlock actual weapons like in Splatoon.

What are some of your major game design pet peeves?


I agree that’s annoying. I’m sure I’ll think of more but that reminds me of my related pet peeve which is having long waits to get back into a match. If I die I don’t want to wait 2+ minutes to get back in, anything more than 10-20 seconds gets annoying.

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Hands down it it unskippable cut scenes before a boss fight. For me there isn’t anything worse than sitting through some long winded overblown cutscene 10 times.


Bars to fill up. Cutscenes. Tutorials. Update downloading. Forced walking.

Generally games where the objective can be accomplished by just directing the player to one place and then another, as opposed to allowing the player to get better and feel a true sense of accomplishment.


At any moment during gameplay when the game takes over the camera to show something “cinematic.”

It always reminds me that someone is trying very hard to turn this toy into art.

Modern data-driven games-as-a-service design really has led to some nasty time wasters which have already been covered here.

Online multiplayer has transformed from a simple extension of the local multiplayer experience to its own beast, where you really do feel compelled to keep playing in order to stay on top of all the levelling, weapon unlocks, new content updates, seasonal challenges and so on.

The gamification of games really is detestable. It seems nowadays almost any action become a goal as part of an effortless deluge of rewards and praise. While this has been proven to increase engagement in the short-term, in the long term attaching a goal to something actually lowers our motivation for doing it once the rewards stop.

One conclusion we can draw from this is that those compelling games of the past that never relied on blanket gamification have a genuine quality to them that speaks for itself.


I think my pet peeve is cutscenes when I start a game. Noticed this a lot on retro (Cd based) games TBH. When I start a game, I want to get in there and play it, not sit around for 5 minutes watching it set up some exposition for me. If you want to do that, let me play for a bit, have something happen, THEN give me a cutscene (if you REALLY must).

Tutorials don’t bother me, but they must have something engaging about them. I started playing Monster Hunter Rise demo and the tutorial is kind of there, but it does have my hated style of tutorial, a wad of text explaining something and then disappearing somewhere. I think Spiderman on PS4 did a good job with its slow down of the action needed for you to proceed.

A definite dislike I have now is Terms of Service on games.
Let’s say that I buy a game with TOS on it, but was unaware that it had TOS (for like a one player game). I load the game, it says “You must agree to these TOS to play.” I don’t want to, so I decide to not play the game. Could I get a refund on that game? Chances are no. They need to make it clear before purchase about these things.
Also being online for single player games. What’s going on with that???


I mostly agree with what you guys are saying.

The big one for me it’s quicktime events. Such a rediculous stupid mechanic that needs to die in a fire. It’s totally immersion breaking, not fun, and not challenging.

Agreed on the cutscenes. I started Like A Dragon recently and a good 20 mins passed before I got into real gameplay.

TOS reminded me of “please log in to our special online account to play this offline game” :face_vomiting:

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