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Is it time to start making more games for "older" gamers?

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  • WargfootWargfoot Member RarePosts: 508
    Kyleran said:
    Oh yeah, and once game devs become mega corps then it looks more like this



    Look like gold farmers to me.
    AlBQuirky
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,998
    Doesn't that just kinda translate to "More reboots/remakes plz"?

    I mean, wouldn't mind if they made a GOOD reboot/remake.

    Welcome to the forums, and thanks for joining in :-)


    Reboots was not what I was thinking of. Reboots are mostly about nostalgia, something that is more common in older people simply due to the fact they've been around long enough to get nostalgic.



    Where I was originally coming from, but probably didn't articulate well, was the boredom / mastery issue.


    When you're a kid, you play "easy" games, like noughts-and-crosses (tic-tac-toe for u yanks) and it can keep you entertained for weeks. But eventually, the kid masters it, realises there is really only a few different games that can be played.

    So, you move on to more complicated stuff, master that, get bored, then move on to the next. This is a natural process, it's supposed to happen.




    However, my point was that the games industry doesn't really provide enough of a range. There are games for young kids, older kids, teens and young adults, both in terms of IP, themes and complexity / difficulty.

    But for actual adults, people who have been gaming for 20+ years?

    There just isn't much. Its not like there is nothing, but there isn't much. The complexity and difficulty levels just seem to plateau, and the themes of the games don't really tackle adult, complex issues particularly well.



    If you wanted to put a label on it, I would describe this group as "lapsed gamers".


    This is definitely a different group from casual older gamers (the farmville group), the non-gamers (who were never gamers) and the core gamers (those older folks who still play games and are happyish with the status quo).

    GdemamiAlBQuirky
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 37,894
    On a more serious note, I'd classify EVE as a "hobby" rather than a diversion, but people put extraordinary time into many others for the same reason, such as Alacast for ESO.




    AlBQuirky

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,659
    Kyleran said:
    On a more serious note, I'd classify EVE as a "hobby" rather than a diversion, but people put extraordinary time into many others for the same reason, such as Alacast for ESO.




    For Alcast it's more job than a a hobby :)
    KyleranAlBQuirky
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 4,542
    Demographics suggest that early gamers are now going to start to enter retirement.  This means they will have more time to play (and probably cash).

    Also, while older players may have more time, they also have more drains on that time.  There's just as many demands on my time as when I worked 50+ hours a week, or so it seems.  I may have more time to devote to gaming in theory, but it tends to be in smaller and smaller bundles.  Part of that is due to my health, but there are enough other things that contribute to the interruptions of my playing times.  Gone are the days of marathon 16+ hour gaming sessions.



    AlBQuirky

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 4,542
    Sovrath said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Along these lines I've always wondered why more developers didn't embrace gaming as a hobby instead of a mere diversion.

    A game that would fit the hobby category would be stable and feature very long term goals - with protecting the integrity of long term goals being a development team priority.   

    A hobby would also require more in game experience (learning the ropes through trial and error) and would do a great deal less hand holding.... such that the stuff the hobbyist learns about the world is even more important than twitch skills.

    There is a distinction in there I don't fully understand (between game and hobby).

    How do you know this is how they think of it?

    My guess is they try to think of every way possible to make money.......

    I've surmised that if a game could justify coming over to your house and kicking your dog, there would be a game that had that as part of their monetization.



    GdemamiKyleranAlBQuirky

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • tzervotzervo Member EpicPosts: 1,291
    edited June 7

    Reboots was not what I was thinking of. Reboots are mostly about nostalgia, something that is more common in older people simply due to the fact they've been around long enough to get nostalgic.
    Or just people that haven't played those games. I haven't played UO, SWG or DAoC and I have barely tried ATitD. I realize they have been seminal games for the genre but they are too old for today's standards and as far as I am concerned they did not age that well. I would not mind playing a remake of them with up to date graphics and UI (and unchanged design/gameplay).
    KyleranAlBQuirky
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,998
    Wargfoot said:
    Sovrath said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Along these lines I've always wondered why more developers didn't embrace gaming as a hobby instead of a mere diversion.

    A game that would fit the hobby category would be stable and feature very long term goals - with protecting the integrity of long term goals being a development team priority.   

    A hobby would also require more in game experience (learning the ropes through trial and error) and would do a great deal less hand holding.... such that the stuff the hobbyist learns about the world is even more important than twitch skills.

    There is a distinction in there I don't fully understand (between game and hobby).

    How do you know this is how they think of it?

    When I was a kid we stopped at a road side attraction where you could buy fresh fish.  The gimmick was that you could have your kid catch the fish.  The fish were all in a pond and fed little square shaped food everyday and surprise, the fishing poles they let the kids use were pre-baited with little metal food pieces with hooks.

    You could drop the pole in the water - good luck trying to get it out without a fish on the end.  It was absolutely kid proof.  Catch a fish every time.   Buy 'em, clean 'em, out the door - $10.00 please. K. Bi. Thanx.

    Compare that with a sports fisherman who pays attention to water temperature, seasons, bait types, locations - and often comes back a failure.  He has tons of knowledge and experience all that contribute to his success.  His experience fishing is entirely different than the kid with the pre-baited pole.

    The difference between the kid with the pre-baited pole and the sports fisherman is the difference between a diversion and a hobby. (1)

    So to your question: Do pay-to-win shops, lotteries, color coded MOBS, quest paths highlighted by color coded lines and inflexibility in outcomes all delivered on rails to people who will cry if they don't get it all for free sound like the first fisherman or the second one?





    NOTES
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1: Don't get hung up on the technical definition of diversion vs. hobby.  I know one can be the other and so forth.  I'm trying to get at a concept that has eluded me for years and the terms aren't prefect.

    I like your analogy and I get where you are coming from, though I don't think hobby vs diversion is the right way to think about it.


    I believe the terms you want are depth, complexity and shallowness.



    Anything can be a hobby, regardless of those factors. However, if something is shallow (like the kids fishing), then it becomes boring very quickly. Hobbies are about time expenditure, and the limits of a shallow hobby are found very quickly. Catching one of those fish in the kids pond might be exciting the first 5-10 times, but everyone, even the kids, are going to get bored quickly.


    If you add complexity (water temps, bait, rod types, locations, seasons) then there is a lot more to explore and to learn, so the fun can last for longer. It takes longer for the repetition and the boredom to set in. However, complexity without depth is a bad thing. Complexity is simply a measure of how many things there are, but who really cares if all those things don't lead to something? For example, there are tons of different fishing rods with all sorts of sizes and specs (complexity) but who cares if those rods don't actually do something for you? If you can catch a 30lb carp with any one of those rods, then the choice of rod is purely cosmetic.


    Depth is where things get fun. Depth is all about meaningful choices. You may know loads about fishing, but when you hit the lake to start fishing, your choice of tackle is actually meaningful. Do you use a 15lb line, hoping for a big catch but risk a fish bumping into the thick line? Or do you go for an 8lb line which will scare off less fish, but may snap if you get a whopper on the hook? Do you use maggots for bait, which move and smell to attract the fish but get eaten by everything? Or do you use a big pellet which only attracts carp and can only be eaten by fish with a big mouth?



    Depth is what keeps things interesting long term (for me at least, and for most people according to psychologists). You get a great sense of accomplishment from making the right decisions and seeing the right outcome. Choose the right rod, line, hook, bait and location, come home with a big fish. Make a different choice, get a different outcome. You aren't just learning all the complexities (which is fun, but limited), you're using that knowledge to achieve something. It's empowering.




    The reason you don't see this very often in computer games is that depth is very difficult to achieve. Most designers aren't capable of it. Occasionally you'll see some devs attempt it, and a very few succeed, but most attempts just end up with a lot of complexity without the depth. Otherwise known as bloat. Lots of systems, lots of stats, lots of skills etc, but not leading to anything meaningful.
    WargfootKyleranGdemamiTuor7AlBQuirky
  • WargfootWargfoot Member RarePosts: 508
    I like your analogy and I get where you are coming from, though I don't think hobby vs diversion is the right way to think about it.


    I believe the terms you want are depth, complexity and shallowness.
    You've listed key components.

    I'd add to the list: stability (1). 

    In the example of the sport fisherman one thing he can count on is that the knowledge he gains is useful for years - expertise can be built up block by block.  This is related to depth and really what makes depth meaningful.

    Economies have to be stable, rule sets have to be stable, approaches to PvP/etc have to be stable and long term.  A good MMORPG is a long term trust that should be curated.

    I cannot stress the curated aspect enough.

    The more depth a game has and the more stable it is the more likely it is to be really hard on new players.   Because of this up front communication about the nature of the game is crucial and the developers need to have enough commitment to their vision to ignore people who don't get it.

    Anyways, good points.















    NOTES
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1: Feel free to suggest a different word.
    GdemamiTuor7AlBQuirky
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 37,894
    Living world?

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,998
    Wargfoot said:
    I like your analogy and I get where you are coming from, though I don't think hobby vs diversion is the right way to think about it.


    I believe the terms you want are depth, complexity and shallowness.
    You've listed key components.

    I'd add to the list: stability (1). 

    In the example of the sport fisherman one thing he can count on is that the knowledge he gains is useful for years - expertise can be built up block by block.  This is related to depth and really what makes depth meaningful.

    Economies have to be stable, rule sets have to be stable, approaches to PvP/etc have to be stable and long term.  A good MMORPG is a long term trust that should be curated.

    I cannot stress the curated aspect enough.

    The more depth a game has and the more stable it is the more likely it is to be really hard on new players.   Because of this up front communication about the nature of the game is crucial and the developers need to have enough commitment to their vision to ignore people who don't get it.

    Anyways, good points.















    NOTES
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1: Feel free to suggest a different word.

    Stability is an interesting one.


    It's definitely a key component of long-term MMORPG success, but not necessarily to the general games market. I would also suggest there is an arguement that stability is a result of success, rather than a cause of success. 



    As to the on-boarding of new players being difficult in a game with lots of depth.....totally depends on the design. If the player has to learn a shit load of things (complexity) in order to understand and enjoy the depth, then sure, it can be a bit daunting. That's what tutorials are for. That's what leveling in MMORPGs is for. 

    The rest of the issues (like inflation in established virtual economies) don't really have anything to do with depth or complexity, but joining a game late when the economy is over-inflated can definitely add a barrier to enjoyment for new players.


    GdemamiWargfootAlBQuirky
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,815
    Sovrath said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Along these lines I've always wondered why more developers didn't embrace gaming as a hobby instead of a mere diversion.

    A game that would fit the hobby category would be stable and feature very long term goals - with protecting the integrity of long term goals being a development team priority.   

    A hobby would also require more in game experience (learning the ropes through trial and error) and would do a great deal less hand holding.... such that the stuff the hobbyist learns about the world is even more important than twitch skills.

    There is a distinction in there I don't fully understand (between game and hobby).

    How do you know this is how they think of it?

    My guess is they try to think of every way possible to make money.......
    I believe they don't. I sincerely believe that the people building the game, are thinking about how best to build the game, and some suit at top is just thinking how to use it as a money grab.

    Given Amazon's Reality Show of Game Development, I often wonder if they do much thinking at all, as they are putting the game together. Like, a brick layer who only thinks about laying the bricks, not what the building will look like when they are done.
    GdemamiAlBQuirky
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,794
    edited June 8
    Wargfoot said:
    Along these lines I've always wondered why more developers didn't embrace gaming as a hobby instead of a mere diversion.

    A game that would fit the hobby category would be stable and feature very long term goals - with protecting the integrity of long term goals being a development team priority.   

    A hobby would also require more in game experience (learning the ropes through trial and error) and would do a great deal less hand holding.... such that the stuff the hobbyist learns about the world is even more important than twitch skills.

    There is a distinction in there I don't fully understand (between game and hobby).

    From a gamer maker's view point, 1 game every 4 or 5 years usually doesn't pay the bills. Bigger companies (like EA, Ubisoft, et al) can survive working on multiple games at a time.

    Look at what Bethesda has tried in the past few years:
    1) Releasing their last huge hit (Skyrim) on every platform available
    2) Working on an MMO (ESO) to keep the cash flowing in (MOs being the first GaaS model) Zwenimax, I know...
    3) Designing another single player IP (Fallout) into a multiplayer format, so they keep the money coming in with "private severs"
    4) Attempting to capitalize on their player's modding skills with their "Community Shop"
    5) Coming under the wing of Microsoft
    ... All in the search for "consistent cash flow."

    I agree that at first the hobbyists were awesome! But then they saw how much money players were willing to spend... on their "hobby." Then businesses took over. Yet I can't fault them (game makers) for trying to maximize their profits. The unfortunate side of that is the vast lack of "creativity" and genuine love for the hobby.

    There are some developers that still love their hobby, but they have a tough job marrying "fun" with "maximize our profits."
    UngoodGdemami

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


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