However with all of this being said I often get sick to my stomach when playing some games due to the level of handholding. It's nauseating when all I have to do is follow a stupid little HUD arrow until the next stupid little HUD arrow appears and shoot anything I find along the way. If that's how a game is going to play then just put everything in little square fucking corridors.
I tend to see most of the handholding as designing around the problems rather than acknowledging and addressing them anyway. Why bother making your maps clearer or naturally guiding the player around when you can just put a big fuck off arrow there? Why go to the bother of having an exit that's clearly labelled or clearly identifiable when you can get some overly chattery AI dude to open it for the player and so on? It's never addressing the broken part, it's papering over it and hoping that if you point hard enough, no-one will notice. Yet in that wonderful game dev way, there's probably about fivetyzillion hours put in trying to write an AI dude to open the door when someone could just put a bloody light over it or something and everyone would know it's the door to go through. But that takes acknowledging the problem from the off :D
Did anyone else play through Fable III? I know they're Sunday afternoon fluff and barely games at the best of times but the third one is the most focus tested to piss taking levels thing I've ever come across. If you stand still for a second or two it drops a nag prompt down at you. And it's full of stuff like that. Every edge shaved from it, every action accounted for and the game's ready to say "it's ok, just do this right now" and it's really hard to ignore you're playing a computer game because it constantly wants to remind you that there's buttons on the controller you could be pressing RIGHT NOW.
Yet it fixes not one single problem. Not with Fable, not with RPG's (or approximations thereof), it certainly doesn't improve accessibility, it's just someone constantly reminding you that you might be playing it wrong and you should stop that.
Sometimes I don't understand how we've gone the best part of ten years with very few awkward things solved design wise. Then I remember that a lot of them *are* relatively if not entirely solved it's just that everyone will hang on to the flawed thing because that's how it's done.