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Means-Based Game Design

SirBenedictSirBenedict Terry, MSPosts: 5Member

What if there were a game about means rather than ends, the experience rather than the completion. It appears to me that "leveling up" "beating the game" or "killing the monster" are not the inherently rewarding components of a game. Take sports as an example. People don't play sports just because they want to win. Rather, they play sports because the mere experience of engaging in them is rewarding on a level far below the abstractions of status and hierarchy. Sipping hot chocolate or smelling a frangrant flower are engaged in because the experiences themselves are rewarding, not because once you've drunk the cocoa you get "cocoa xp" or because you "leveled up your flower-smelling ability." In short, I think that the whole concept of designing games around "success" or "end" should be exchanged for games which focus on the experience of the game or means to its "end".

I think thatGameCompany has adopted this idea in its purest form with its flOw and Flower games. These focus exclusively and very consciously (on the designer's part) on an experience rather than an end. As one review I read put it, flOw and Flower blur the distinction between the "toy" and the "game". These games are about creating feelings in the player directly rather than handing them "medals". Another game which implements this experience-based model is Shadow of the Colossus. I think this game is more about experiencing the colossi than about "beating" them or achieving the "end" of the game. The sights, sounds, and movements are, in themselves, the essence of what makes the game enjoyable. Also, Age of Conan's combat system is a decent example of this. When I engaged in combat in AoC, I never thought for a moment about how much closer the approaching kill would get me to an objective, I enjoyed the act of battle itself. I could be level 60 or level 1 and still get the exact same enjoyment out of it.

Ultimately, what I'm envisioning: a truly huge "game" that is really just the toy-like experience of stepping into another world and being there, "smelling the roses" as it were. Probably the most perfect encapsulation of this idea is the old story of Alexander the Great in which, upon reaching the Himalayas he cried because there were no more worlds to conquer. He didn't care that he had conquered the world, he cared that he could no longer be conquering one.

Here's an excellent article on the subject - in case you haven't had enough of the experience of reading yet ;)

...and while you go indulge your lust for reading about game-design theory, I'm going to have a swig at this Irish-cream type liquor over here... just so I can say I did it, you understand.

lolcatz - ftw

Comments

  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,659Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SirBenedict


    What if there were a game about means rather than ends, the experience rather than the completion. It appears to me that "leveling up" "beating the game" or "killing the monster" are not the inherently rewarding components of a game. Take sports as an example. People don't play sports just because they want to win. Rather, they play sports because the mere experience of engaging in them is rewarding on a level far below the abstractions of status and hierarchy. Sipping hot chocolate or smelling a frangrant flower are engaged in because the experiences themselves are rewarding, not because once you've drunk the cocoa you get "cocoa xp" or because you "leveled up your flower-smelling ability." In short, I think that the whole concept of designing games around "success" or "end" should be exchanged for games which focus on the experience of the game or means to its "end".
    I think Age of Conan's combat system is an example of this. When I engaged in combat in AoC, I never thought for a moment about how much closer the approaching kill would get me to an objective, I enjoyed the act of battle itself. I could be level 60 or level 1 and still get the exact same enjoyment out of it. Another game which I think does the same thing is Shadow of the Colossus. I think this game is more about experiencing the colossi than about "beating" them or achieving the "end" of the game. The sights, sounds, and movements are, in themselves, the essence of what makes the game enjoyable. Finally, I think thatGameCompany has adopted this idea in its purest form with its flOw and Flower games. These focus exclusively and very consciously (on the designer's part) on an experience rather than an end. As one review I read put it, flOw and Flower blur the distinction between the "toy" and the "game". 
    Ultimately, that's what I'm envisioning: a truly huge "game" that was really just the toy-like experience of stepping into another world and being there, "smelling the roses" as it were. Probably the most perfect encapsulation of this idea is the old story of Alexander the Great in which, upon reaching the Himalayas he cried because there were no more worlds to conquer.
    Here's an excellent article on the subject - in case you haven't had enough of the experience of reading yet ;)
    ...and while you go indulge your lust for reading about game-design theory, I'm going to have a swig at this Irish-cream type liquor over here... just so I can say I did it, you understand.

    Would be great if games were designed more along those lines, but instead 99% of the market insists on trying to clone WoW and giving us more and more of this repetetive boring ass gameplay that consists of tab targeting and pressing your most useful hotkeys. I definitely get more of the feeling youre describing when playing FPS games vs othe rplayers because the fight itself is actually exciting, wether you win or lose. Same goes for single player RPGs where theres some real depth to the game and the story and more innovation behind the combat systems to make them unique instead of the same tired crap weve been using on MMOs for like 10 years and theyve all become about getting to end game and being the highest level with the best gear, not about actual fun & skilled combat.

     

  • DrezeksDrezeks Los Altos, CAPosts: 51Member

    But the problem is, for AoC's example is that I HATED the combat system. So when your making a means based game, you really need to make the game exceptional. Not saying AoC's system is bad, and I'm sure a lot hail it as great...but I really never found AoC to be 'means' based at all. I personally felt Vanilla wow was that way, I loved everything about it. Things are different now, but perhaps that is what made WoW so successful, it was fun from the start.

  • GreenChaosGreenChaos Chicago, ILPosts: 2,268Member



    It really depends on the person not the game. I played City of heroes for 5 years and never reached endgame, because I like the process of getter there and creating new characters. But many people rushed to end game, said there was nothing there and quit.

    So it really depends more on the player not the game.



    What what you really want to talk about is means base game playing not game design. I played WoW for 2 years and never got to end game. When I do hit end game I stop playing the game. For me end game is END GAME.

  • DrezeksDrezeks Los Altos, CAPosts: 51Member

    Yea I was just writing and avoiding the point, its a terrible habit I have. My real issue is that because its the player, companies are forced to create games that cater to specific groups of people--most having a hard time doing this.

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 1,658Member Uncommon

    I think most games would benefit from making the means to its ends a better and more enjoyable experience. But I'm not sure I would enjoy a game without any ends.

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • astoriaastoria Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,681Member
    Originally posted by GreenChaos




    It really depends on the person not the game. I played City of heroes for 5 years and never reached endgame, because I like the process of getter there and creating new characters. But many people rushed to end game, said there was nothing there and quit.
    So it really depends more on the player not the game.



    What what you really want to talk about is means base game playing not game design. I played WoW for 2 years and never got to end game. When I do hit end game I stop playing the game. For me end game is END GAME.



     

    I had a similar experience in City of Heroes. I probably have 20 lvl 50s on that game, did some of the same content over and over but it was always so different because of the group or the class because that game has vastly more customizable powers and combos than most class based games. (hell more diverse than some skill based).

    Eve is another one. The unusual way of balancing 'bigger is not always better' means you can learn to excel at so many different roles.

    "Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    I think it depends on the person.

    In Dark Age of Camelot, I only cared about the journey. I never focused on getting to max level, because I loved just grouping up and dungeon crawling or finding a nice place to xp above ground. The same goes for SWG.

    I think it's the community that determines whether to enjoy the journey or the destination. If an overwhelming majority of players concentrate on end game, then that'll either rub off on you, or you'll suffer for not rushing with them. For example, in World of Warcraft, many people enjoy the leveling up experience and running dungeons, yet many people fealt they had to rush to level cap if they were to stay with the large body of people who are also leveling up. This is because if you want to have an easier time finding a group, then you gotta keep up, especially when it comes to raiding. Spots in a good raiding guild can be competitive to get.

    In theory, a game where there aren't levels, but only a skill system that allows you to get better by actively participating in the use of that skill (ie. use a sword to get better at swords), would allow you to enjoy the journey. Take Darkfall for example. Imagine if Darkfall, instead of being inhabited by PvP fanatics, was instead inhabited by those who like to roleplay, socialize, and enjoy the journey. You have a community that spends most of their time exploring, building up their city and houses, working on their trades and making money, while warring only with opposing nations (guilds) that occupy land that has much needed resources.

    So the problem here is that most of the MMO community care only or almost only for endgame. It certainly would help if a game made every effort to make the journey enjoyable, but the repetitiveness is inevitable in a game that's supposed to last for years. Hack n Slash single player games, such as Diablo are examples of repetitive gameplay that people just enjoy. People enjoy MMO's much the same way, except that MMO's last a lot longer than a Diablo-esque game does, resulting in people complaining about the grind, when they wouldn't if they were playing Diablo. This begs the question of whether or not MMO's should have an ending for those MMO's that revolve around telling a story.

  • SirBenedictSirBenedict Terry, MSPosts: 5Member

    The point that really comes out and strikes me is that a means-based game design would inherently alienate some while drawing in others. It's the same as in each analogy I gave. Some people like smelling flowers more than others; some people enjoy cocoa more than others; and some people wouldn't touch basketball with a ten foot pole.

    However, this begs the question: does one game need to draw in everybody? Football makes a fine living without all the basketball fans, it seems to me, and chocolate companies are buzzing along just fine without the entire planet addictively sucking chocolates 24/7. My point is, if a game really did succeed in providing at least one genuinely, solidly, and inherently satisfying and self-fulfilling activity, then would it not succeed in its purpose as a game more so than the current crop of modern, ends-based games?

    The point that means vs. ends is more of a player-side issue than the designer-side issue is also well taken, but I think it is moot, to a large degree, because, ultimately, it is an inherent part of a designer's job to create a game that is not only entertaining when played the right way but also ensures that the players indeed do play it that way. And I don't consider this mere personal speculation. If you refer to Sid Meier's keynote address at the GDC, you will notice a couple of things. First and foremost that he entire talk is about how the game designer needs to take into account the psychology of the gamer, the ultimate inference being that the game designer needs to methodically manipulate the consciousness of the player. Second, and more to the point, is the bit where Meier explains that the game designer needs to prevent the player from engaging in self destructive behavior such as paranoia (I think this is in his principle of "Mutually Assured Destruction"). In short, I think it can be stated the it is Sid Meier's opinion that it is the responsibility of the designer, not the player, to prevent self-destructive game play behaviors and attitudes (such as the "pass go" mentality I am bewailing).

    The issue  of player community is very similar to the issue of individual player psychology. In fact, the latter is really an extension of the latter with one caveat: it feeds back. I agree that the community has a tremendous impact in shaping the psychology and behavior of the individual player (any elementary introduction to principles of psychology establishes this), but I disagree, again, with the assumption that the player community "forms itself" out of nothing. I believe that it is, again, the developer's job to shape the community as well as the individual player psychology.

    Ultimately, therefore, I think that the design of a means-based game would have to be paired with a careful system for managing player psychology both at the group and individual levels. How to do this would be the subject of a whole other thread... it would be pretty fascinating though... Anyway, for our purposes here, it suffices to say that yes player psychology is essential to shifting focus from the end to the journey, but no this isn't the player's job, it's the developer's. Okay, now that was too long - sorry.

    ps: ohoh, I almost forgot. Here's one of my favorite articles germane to this issue.

    pps: I don't want us all to get hung up on AoC. I don't think of it as the ultimate expression of successful gameplay. It has many failings. Instead, get hung up on thatGameCompany. Read about Flower and flOw and most of all, listen to Chen's little acceptance speech at about 40:00 of the GDC Choice Awards. That's really more where I'm coming from. AoC really wasn't that ground breaking, so far as I can see. Flower is.

    lolcatz - ftw

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    When you're in the business of making money, you give the customer what they ask for. The most vocal of the community, the portion that results in good or bad press, wants gameplay that caters to unhealthy gaming habits. They're people who have unhealthy gaming habits, maybe unhealthy mental and physical states, and no real life ambition. Yet developer's cater to them, because that's where the money is. Most people who are healthy, both mentally and physically, and have real life ambition are not playing video games. Notice I said "most," because there's always the exception and I'm sure our genre has about 1 games worth of that exception.

    With the market being as saturated as it is, you have those exceptions spread out over more games. There ARE games out there that focus on the journey, yet those games have low populations and some even close down. The market for the game you speak of just doesn't exist in large part because most online gamers are unhealthy people looking for "non-fun," but addicting gameplay to make them forget their pitiful lives.

    You think that a game company can magically wave their wands and make a game that's fun to play as is, but you don't take into consideration that these companies depend on subscriptions to keep going. It's just not possible right now to keep online gamers busy with content for months at a time with the 10's of millions of dollar budgets they're currently operating with. Hell, Bioware's Star Wars must be the most ambitious MMO project to date, spending around $200 million dollars. They're about as close as getting to what you speak of.

    I just think that while it's fine to come onto a gaming forum and speculate, or ask philisophical questions that no one can answer without first having doctoral students spend years analyzing the MMO market, the MMO consumers, and the psychology and etc. dealing with it, you need to acknowledge the reality that every developer and player is faced and dealing with.

  • BenediktBenedikt PraguePosts: 1,406Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nate1980


    With the market being as saturated as it is, you have those exceptions spread out over more games. There ARE games out there that focus on the journey, yet those games have low populations and some even close down. The market for the game you speak of just doesn't exist in large part because most online gamers are unhealthy people looking for "non-fun," but addicting gameplay to make them forget their pitiful lives.



     

    could you give me few examples of those games pls? because i really cannt think more or less of any such mmorpg

    edit: ok, maybe wurm on freedom server and a bit UO

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    Games that focus on the journey, to name a few:

    1. Saga of Ryzom

    2. EvE

    3. STO

    4. Champions

    5. CoX

  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 , CAPosts: 2,441Member Uncommon

    Right, means based only works if the player can put up with the linear content and finds enjoyment in playing different characters; or the there is no way to achieve an end to the character, like in EVE.

  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,659Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mmoguy43


    Right, means based only works if the player can put up with the linear content and finds enjoyment in playing different characters; or the there is no way to achieve an end to the character, like in EVE.



     

    I would think being completely non-linear would work better for this type of thing, basically a sandbox design with lots of different elements that can be changed constantly with your character to make it advance and have flexibility for different parts of the journey, though not in a linear fashion, more like allowing you access to a larger variety of things, and some slight boosts in power to different things, rather than a typical level grinder where its all about getting to level cap and gearing up.

    Ryzom comes to mind when i think of this, because youve basically got a whole bunch of small parts that you can combine the way you want to make up different skills for everything from attacks, spells, crafting, and gathering, and alter those skills anyway you please throughout the game for things like increased damage, range, aoe, duration, etc but while balancing it by also increasing the costs of the different parts (HP/Stamina costs and stuff). You do gain access to some bigger and better things as you progress in leveling up the different skill branches (fighting, magic, crafting, gathering, etc), but youre not trying to rush through to get max level and automatically increasing your power by massive leaps like in WoW type games.

  • A-L-S-EA-L-S-E Walton, NYPosts: 113Member
    Originally posted by Drezeks


    But the problem is, for AoC's example is that I HATED the combat system. So when your making a means based game, you really need to make the game exceptional. Not saying AoC's system is bad, and I'm sure a lot hail it as great...but I really never found AoC to be 'means' based at all. I personally felt Vanilla wow was that way, I loved everything about it. Things are different now, but perhaps that is what made WoW so successful, it was fun from the start.

     

    Vanilla WoW was certainly a better experience, before everything went... Just plain bad.

  • A-L-S-EA-L-S-E Walton, NYPosts: 113Member

    I would personally want a game that focuses on means, but have rewarding, satisfying ends as well. That way the entire experience just clicks. Rather than pushing the player to reach a high level, or to work to get gear (World of Warcraft, anyone?) developers need to find new ways to make the paths leading to those rewards diverse and interesting. Rather than just "questing" or (the primary source of boredom) "grinding" to meet a goal. Grinding means doing the same repetitious thing over and over, and I would like to know how exactly developers thought that was a good idea to do for every aspect of the game.

     

    You want cool gear? Get your ass to level X and work for it. How do you do that? Do the three quest types; kill this, get that, go here. Repeat with lynx paws, goat bladders, and blood elf spleens for hours on end. There, twenty quests down and you only have forty more levels to go.

    You want to craft something awesome? Craft this useless crap for 250 skill levels and spend this much gold.

    You want gold, too, you say?? Don't get my started.

     

    It's just not fun to me. Grind CAN be good if the task you're doing is fun, but working my ass off to make a level rise by 1 every hour or so does not sound fun to me.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    Like some have already said: It's not the game, its the player. Its all an illusion. When you see past it - there's nothing to "experience". When it becomes familiar - it becomes less exciting.

    All I see in Eve is different colored sky-boxes. I see no "universe". After a while in AoC, the melee becomes a button mash just like any other game. You can't keep that feeling forever and it is foolish to demand it from games.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • midmagicmidmagic Portland, ORPosts: 614Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid


    Like some have already said: It's not the game, its the player. Its all an illusion. When you see past it - there's nothing to "experience". When it becomes familiar - it becomes less exciting.
    All I see in Eve is different colored sky-boxes. I see no "universe". After a while in AoC, the melee becomes a button mash just like any other game. You can't keep that feeling forever and it is foolish to demand it from games.

     

    It is not just a familiarity problem. Most games become refined as the content updates and expansions come out to make content and balancing easier. The game often loses any sort of special feeling due to the refinement that occurs.

    Often times they become less inspired as time goes on. Part of this is due to the brains leaving for other projects. Part of this is due to shrinking the size of the support team post release.

    Forever looking for employment. Life is rather dull without it.

  • InterestingInteresting Porto AlegrePosts: 950Member

    Sorry, but....

     

    In a means-based game design, how would the developers scam people with their abusive cash shops?

     

    Because 99% of the money spent on cash shops are destined to acquire power in-game, thus the end-based game design.

  • huge_froglokhuge_froglok Nanticoke, PAPosts: 135Member
    Originally posted by SirBenedict


    What if there were a game about means rather than ends, the experience rather than the completion. It appears to me that "leveling up" "beating the game" or "killing the monster" are not the inherently rewarding components of a game. Take sports as an example. People don't play sports just because they want to win. Rather, they play sports because the mere experience of engaging in them is rewarding on a level far below the abstractions of status and hierarchy. Sipping hot chocolate or smelling a frangrant flower are engaged in because the experiences themselves are rewarding, not because once you've drunk the cocoa you get "cocoa xp" or because you "leveled up your flower-smelling ability." In short, I think that the whole concept of designing games around "success" or "end" should be exchanged for games which focus on the experience of the game or means to its "end".


     

    Leveling up is rewarding, if you leveled up in an MMORPG that was actually challenging and required skill/effort to level up.  Of course, if you were playing WoW, I guess it wouldn't be very rewarding.

    Know what else is rewarding? World PvP.  



    Too bad these sugarcoated MMORPGs don't expose players to things that make the game fun.  They've taken them out to protect you, and now all you are left with is a dull and shitty experience, and lifeless game.  

    It's funny because you guys don't seem to know why MMORPGs have suddenly started sucking, and think there needs to be some major change to them.  

    The only change that is needed is to revert to the older style MMORPGs that made the game challenging, painful, etc. 

    World PvE, World PvP, Death Penalties.  Guild vs Guild or Faction vs Factions is probably the most fun thing that comes out of an MMORPG, yet it is not present in current MMORPGs because they've sugarcoated it and put it in an Arena system where you don't lose experience, and you basically compete over items to buy in a gearshop.  

    Well, now you know why MMORPGs are garbage.  Catering to those players who didn't want any features that cause discomfort is what has been ruining MMORPGs.

  • SirBenedictSirBenedict Terry, MSPosts: 5Member

    I see the theme of psychology cropping up again and again, and I think that it does so because it's absolutely the key to this issue. What is the difference between "work" and "play"? Or what is the difference between "repetitive" and "addictive"? An internal state of mind, a perspective. A means-based game would have to carefully, purposefully, and scientifically manage the psychology of the player to prevent his developing self-destructive psychological attitudes. Sid Meier's talk on this was really excellent because he established a distinct list of key mental attitudes players could put themselves in which destroyed the game, and he furthermore established that there are legitimate ways of handling this. Essentially, to put it in his terms, the game design needs to be such that it never breaks the player's suspension of disbelief. A means-based game would have to be one which induced and maintained a child-like credulity, a make-believe dream-state that permanently kept the mind of the player in the "playful" state of mind.

    The type of player is important, yes, but I think we easily underestimate the power of the unspoken command, of the environment's ability to shape our consciousness and feelings. If a printed page can draw out attention into the fantasy world of the author's make believe for hours, then why can't this be done in the dynamic world of multimedia gaming? When the player is drawn into the game, when his disbelief and incredulity are forgotten, and when he slips into that simple state of unconscious joy felt by children when playing with toys, then you have a "means-based" game in which the player isn't thinking about how much better it's going to get down the road, but about the moment. Really, it's about living in the moment, or rather, getting the player to live in the moment.

    Is this possible? Is this practical? Wouldn't this cost way too much money? Aren't gamers way to jaded? Are adults even capable of such a dream-like consciousness? My answer would be, why not? It's been done before hasn't it? People dream all the time, and people forget all the time. Even if people didn't want to forget their cares, to leave their worries behind for a time, to be liberated from their fears for a while, there are known ways of making this happen. Think of psychotherapy and hypnosis. The whole principle of these sciences is the suspension of analytical thought and the delving into a deeper, simpler state of dream-like reality. I'm not saying that games need to be designed to hypnotize us, I'm just saying that this child-like, carefree joy in the moment is entirely attainable for anyone.

    lolcatz - ftw

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member
    Originally posted by SirBenedict


    I see the theme of psychology cropping up again and again, and I think that it does so because it's absolutely the key to this issue. What is the difference between "work" and "play"? Or what is the difference between "repetitive" and "addictive"? An internal state of mind, a perspective. A means-based game would have to carefully, purposefully, and scientifically manage the psychology of the player to prevent his developing self-destructive psychological attitudes. Sid Meier's talk on this was really excellent because he established a distinct list of key mental attitudes players could put themselves in which destroyed the game, and he furthermore established that there are legitimate ways of handling this. Essentially, to put it in his terms, the game design needs to be such that it never breaks the player's suspension of disbelief. A means-based game would have to be one which induced and maintained a child-like credulity, a make-believe dream-state that permanently kept the mind of the player in the "playful" state of mind.
    The type of player is important, yes, but I think we easily underestimate the power of the unspoken command, of the environment's ability to shape our consciousness and feelings. If a printed page can draw out attention into the fantasy world of the author's make believe for hours, then why can't this be done in the dynamic world of multimedia gaming? When the player is drawn into the game, when his disbelief and incredulity are forgotten, and when he slips into that simple state of unconscious joy felt by children when playing with toys, then you have a "means-based" game in which the player isn't thinking about how much better it's going to get down the road, but about the moment. Really, it's about living in the moment, or rather, getting the player to live in the moment.
    Is this possible? Is this practical? Wouldn't this cost way too much money? Aren't gamers way to jaded? Are adults even capable of such a dream-like consciousness? My answer would be, why not? It's been done before hasn't it? People dream all the time, and people forget all the time. Even if people didn't want to forget their cares, to leave their worries behind for a time, to be liberated from their fears for a while, there are known ways of making this happen. Think of psychotherapy and hypnosis. The whole principle of these sciences is the suspension of analytical thought and the delving into a deeper, simpler state of dream-like reality. I'm not saying that games need to be designed to hypnotize us, I'm just saying that this child-like, carefree joy in the moment is entirely attainable for anyone.



     

    That's something that is hard to do for a single player game, much less an online game meant to keep players subscribing for months and even years. Let's not forget the most important element of a MMO, the community. If you have much experience in MMO gaming, you know that a lot of player get their kicks by ruining the game for others. It doesn't take but a handful of these types of people to ruin that suspension of disbelief, so while it's possible for a developer to create the atmosphere for a player to be immersed into their game, the player community will most likely ruin it in every game.

    The primary goal of a business is to increase shareholder wealth. So you tell me what's practical: a) what we have now or b) what you propose. We both know what we'd both prefer, but that's the ever going conflict between businesses and consumers. We want what's best for us, while they want what's best for the shareholder's. What's best for the shareholder's is the strategic plan that brings in the most amount of money, while simultaneously reducing the amount of money going out towards the project. So until todays consumer completely turns away from MMO gaming as it is today, we'll never see a business motivated enough to spend more money on a more immersive game.

    I do think that gamers are jaded, but I don't think gamers are too jaded. Maybe some are, but most of us still get immersed when we play an immersive game. Most of us still get excited when a new game releases that we're interested in.

  • SirBenedictSirBenedict Terry, MSPosts: 5Member

    But why do you assume that an immersive game is inevitably more expensive? Was the Zelda game discussed in that "Lovin' Feeling" article I cited an uber-budget expense? Was the Yoshi game mentioned initially in my first post an economy-crashing pecuniary catastrophe? What about Flower? Or flOw? I don't think so. I guess you might say that the implicit premise of my original idea is that becoming means rather than ends based is a feature of design rather than budget. Thank of literature. Is a good book differentiated from a bad book primarily by the resources of the author? On the contrary, great herds of the greatest titans of human expression have been completely penniless. In short, I don't think that creating a game whose end is in the moment and whose aim is in the now would be a necessarily expensive game, but I do think it would be a deeply thought-out and very carefully crafted game.

    lolcatz - ftw

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    Originally posted by SirBenedict


    But why do you assume that an immersive game is inevitably more expensive? Was the Zelda game discussed in that "Lovin' Feeling" article I cited an uber-budget expense? Was the Yoshi game mentioned initially in my first post an economy-crashing pecuniary catastrophe? What about Flower? Or flOw? I don't think so. I guess you might say that the implicit premise of my original idea is that becoming means rather than ends based is a feature of design rather than budget. Thank of literature. Is a good book differentiated from a bad book primarily by the resources of the author? On the contrary, great herds of the greatest titans of human expression have been completely penniless. In short, I don't think that creating a game whose end is in the moment and whose aim is in the now would be a necessarily expensive game, but I do think it would be a deeply thought-out and very carefully crafted game.


     Well, I'm not going to argue with you, especially since I don't know you and since our argument will mean nothing in the end. But I'll pose you a question, let you think about it, and come to your own conclusions.


    1) What costs money when it comes to development?


    2) Assuming paying programmers, artists, writers, and so on hourly was one of your above answers, which do you think takes longer to create: a) Go here, Kill x, Collect y, Deliver z quests or b) An elaborate and immersive quest or activity that makes a person want to concentrate on the moment, rather than getting past the tedious task?


    3) If a company can profit doing a), with an already proven market for a), then why would a company spend more to serve market b), which also buys a) when they're released?

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