Happy Accidents: 6 Brilliant Videogame Mechanics That Started As Bugs
You might think that every great videogame idea and innovation is a product of the mind of a design genius, but that’s not the case. Some of the most iconic videogames and the mechanics that made them are the result of a screw-up. In fact, there are surprising number of games whose success is built around some bug or other that developers realised actually made the game better. Were it not for those bugs, theses games might not have even been successful:
Space Invaders’ Accidental Difficulty Curve
One of the most iconic videogames all time is partly the product of a mistake. As you probably know, as you pick off alien ships the gradually speed up, descending on you at an ever greater pace.
Developer Tomohiro Nishikado had intended for the ships to move at a steady rate, but the hardware couldn’t handle the amount of ships that were on screen. What he noticed, however, was that as ship were destroyed and memory freed up, the game started to run faster and faster. Nishikado realised this made the game better and decided to keep the accidental difficult curve in the game.
Street Fighter 2 Accidentally Inventing Combos
Can you imagine competitive fighting games without combos? Well, perhaps that’s what we’d be faced with if Street Fighter 2 hadn’t accidentally invented the combo.
During testing of the game, Noritaka Funamizu realised that through careful timing, it was possible to ‘glitch’ the game, allowing you to chain attacks together without allowing the opponent to respond. He decided to leave it in, figuring that the timing would be too difficult for players to be of significance.
He was, of course, wrong. Thanks god, because that oversight ended up being one of the cores of the genre.
Team Fortress Bug Birthing The Spy Class
Team Fortress 2 players among you will be familiar with the Spy Class, which allows you to disguise yourself as a member of the opposing team to get behind enemy lines. But did you know that the Spy Class was actually born of a mistake?
Back when the original Team Fortress was a mod for Quake, there was a bug that would make players look like a member of the opposing team, which players would occasionally exploit. The mods creators realised that this was actually pretty interesting and decided to make a class that allowed you to do this deliberately, creating the Spy Class.