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Do Gamers Want Simpler Games? 462

A recent GamePro article sums up a lesson that developers and publishers have been slowly learning over the last few years: gamers don't want as much from games as they say they do. Quoting: "Conventional gaming wisdom thus far has been 'bigger, better, MORE!' It's something affirmed by the vocal minority on forums, and by the vast majority of critics that praise games for ambition and scale. The problem is, in reality its almost completely wrong. ... How do we know this? Because an increasing number of games incorporate telemetry systems that track our every action. They measure the time we play, they watch where we get stuck, and they broadcast our behavior back to the people that make the games so they can tune the experience accordingly. Every studio I've spoken to that does this, to a fault, says that many of the games they've released are far too big and far too hard for most players' behavior. As a general rule, less than five percent of a game's audience plays a title through to completion. I've had several studios tell me that their general observation is that 'more than 90 percent' of a game's audience will play it for 'just four or five hours.'"
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Do Gamers Want Simpler Games?

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  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @04:25AM (#32095346)

    I think of the exact opposite. I don't like sandbox games at all. If I'm playing a game with a storyline and a quest, I want the gameplay to be tight, focused on the storyline, and with minimum to no distractions or side quests. I play those games for the story, I don't want to wander around lost or go off and do other things- I want the story, and I want a well written plotline engaging and long enough to be worth the game with nothing else tacked on.

    When I think replayability, I think Civ. Strategic gameplay instead of tactical and each game plays very different just by altering the starting conditions.

  • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @05:56AM (#32095754) Homepage

    We've been playing the Tales of Monkey Island episodic games on the Wii with a couple of friends lately. It's usually 3-4 hours to beat an episode, and at 10 Euros that's dirt cheap compared to a movie for the four of us. Win-win :)

  • by severn2j ( 209810 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @06:39AM (#32095946)
    The problem with episodic gaming is that each of those four parts will not be 25% of the price of the whole and you will more than likely end up paying more overall for the whole thing than you would have if it wasnt split into chunks.. Whenever there is an opportunity to increase price via obfuscation, you can be sure it will be taken. As has already happened with DLC.
  • by the_bard17 ( 626642 ) <> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:46AM (#32096264)
    I believe he's referring to the "balanced leveling" []... where Oblivion levels the world with you. It's why I've moved to using OOO (lately, FCOM) as a major mod... it overhauls the world, including releveling the bad guys.
  • by Colonel Korn ( 1258968 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:02AM (#32097510)

    What if I want to jack all of them up? Oh can't do that, not in the script.


    Yes you can. None of those people were invulnerable. You just didn't make a good attempt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @11:55AM (#32099424)

    I think the reason people rag on Oblivion is because they compare it to Marrowind (SP). There you could kill anyone you wanted. The thing about the elder scroll games is the worlds gets smaller each release, daggerfall was absolutely huge (and glichy) when it came out. Each release seems to take stuff away, flying was available, kill anyone and just get the message "You cannot complete the main mission" if you killed a key character.
    If on the otherhand you compare it to other games you often find it is actually a pretty good game. Really if you compare it to Final Fantasy where you pretty much can't even attack the mage council, you have a couple of objects you can equip, and an upgrade to copper ring is the silver ring, and have to follow a very liniar path, can't invent spells, have limited skills, and must fight in a limited turned based system with over half of your team as a bunch of loosers than can't even join in, oblivion rocks.
    All of these people that "hate" oblivion because it is not Marrowind should go get Marrowind and play it again, I have it and enjoy it from time to time. It is not that oblivion sucks, it is that our expectations for a bigger better world like daggerfall was not presented. I was hoping they would expand it and you could travel to other areas (not some stupid island teleporter), but it still stands on it's own.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @12:20PM (#32099912)

    Morrowwind wasn't really as big as it seemed. the game might have had 200 caves to explore, but really all it had was 5 caves copied and pasted 200 times. That's only huge and immersive if copying and pasting my comment here 200 times somehow makes it huge and insightful. It doesn't.

    More isn't better. I'll take 5 unique locations over 50 copied and pasted ones any day.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!