Discussion Gamer Culture - Sacrifice vision for appeal?

Neptune

Member
Should gamers continue to shape how we make games?

One Example:
Many old games had little or no tutorials.
Presently, if your game is not adequately tutorialized, you will have unhappy gamers and they have the power to downvote and/or discourage others from your content.

[EDIT]
Definitely some good points about tutorials & old games... Manuals... Simple controllers etc.
There are probably better examples of where gamers shape game dev, like changing difficulty or how cumbersome something is, perhaps?
Or making a dramatic pause of silence shorter, because people might be impatient.
Adding a requested feature or item that clashes with your target style. ETC


Publishers will do anything for gamers if it will sell units, this includes: encouraging any ideas, entertaining opinions, and changing/adding/removing game features at gamer's request.
Developers obviously also do this - perhaps to survive in the industry.

Is this how it should be? All thoughts welcome :)
 
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That depends on what you're ultimately trying to achieve. If you just want your game to sell well, it might be wise to follow the trends. But if you are making a game for yourself as a sort of esoteric niche project, don't worry about what people say. Just because it doesn't have the most popular core features, doesn't mean it's a bad game. There are still people out there looking for a game like yours. The success of a game will be determined by how well you reach out to audiences and whether that target audience is the right kind.
 

woodsmoke

Member
If you want $$$ from customers you should probably cater to them to some degree. Not doing so involves more risk, but has the potential of being a game with more character/uniqueness.
 
In my opinion, you should throw out everything that you know about video games. If you're only in it to recreate something that has already been done, it's not worth doing. I want to see something entirely different. It's actually something that's really been bothering me lately. I look around, and it's mostly people just recreating games that already exist. Just copying what others have already done. You ever watch a game trailer made by amateurs? Have you noticed they tend to all look exactly the same, using the same keywords, the same editing style, etc...?
 

pixeltroid

Member
Should gamers continue to shape how we make games?

One Example:
Many old games had little or no tutorials.
Presently, if your game is not adequately tutorialized, you will have unhappy gamers and they have the power to downvote and/or discourage others from your content.

Publishers will do anything for gamers if it will sell units, this includes: encouraging their ideas, entertaining their opinions, and changing/adding/removing game features at their request.
Developers obviously also do this - perhaps to survive in the industry.

Is this how it should be? All thoughts welcome :)
Old games were usually sold with manuals. That's why they (mostly) didn't have in-game tutorials. These days, a tutorial level is needed to train the player or at least acquaint him/her with the controls. IMO
not having an in-game tutorial would frustrate the player and cause them to give up and move on.

I'd say a tutorial is required, at least as part of the overall presentation of the game.
 
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Neptune

Member
@Dogwithswords @woodsmoke Agreed!

@flyingsaucerinvasion Little off topic, but interesting (you'd loooove my game trailer xD). I'd say unique ideas are few and far between in pretty much any form of entertainment at this point.

@pixeltroid That's a good point about the manuals, I never thought of that!

Looks like it boils down to money, as most things do in life xD
If you have money, make the unique game that people might not like or might not do well. And if you don't have money, you probably should sacrifice a bit for catering.
 
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ElectroMan

Jack of All Shades
If you're only in it to recreate something that has already been done, it's not worth doing.
No, it's gate keeping. People do whatever they feel like. If making an Angry Birds-inspired mobile app game is a person's vocation, by Jove they have my blessing. Creativity is achieved by spreading it, not restricting it.
 

Changgi

Member
As has been mentioned before, many old games had instructions, just in the form of manuals. Personally I always liked reading game manuals cause many, especially in Atari manuals, had really cool artwork. These days many indie games don't even come with manuals and I get confused about what I should do and just give up when I can't figure it out.

It's a sad but understandable decision I suppose not to rely on manuals anymore, since I have been making games for a decade where I have just a screen that shows you the controls in an overt way that you can't miss before you start the game but people still don't know how to control the game because no matter how in-your-face your instructions are, players just won't read it. It's kinda sad because for example a game like chess is great but in order to learn how to play it you'll need to fully understand its "instructions".

But honestly, about where people listen to gamers, I feel it's more people listening to what the companies want (if they're working for them) since there's been this new breed of pay-to-win games which I'm pretty sure gamers don't ask for, and comments on Play Store apps are often mysteriously removed if the rating is low, or otherwise you get an automated response anyway, which makes me feel gamer feedback has very little influence, at least compared to the companies, on how the games today are shaped.
 

EvanSki

King of Raccoons
Speak for yourself. Gamers have never shaped how I want to program.

It's a personal journey for me, always has been. I'm not particularly driven by money or fame.
I didn't know self-condemnation was a motivational tool.
 

Neptune

Member
@Sybok I guess everything I'm saying is in general.
Most devs I see here, twitter, reddit, University etc make games to be played, and for all the rewards of that, whether it be personal achievement, money, recognition etc.

I'm pretty sure we can agree a game you make that gets played is more fulfilling than if it was not.

To be blunt, if you are truly not interested in gamers playing your game, then your opinion doesn't carry much weight on this topic.
 

Sybok

Member
To be blunt, if you are truly not interested in gamers playing your game, then your opinion doesn't carry much weight on this topic.
That's fine to have that opinion. Although I never 'stated I am not interested in people playing my games'. I'm just not one to go with the pack mentality. How can you be creative if you follow the herd?

I don't think you comprehended my last statement.

Which games have you personally found to be the most rewarding for you to play?
  • The ones that follow the main stream trend?
  • Or the ones who did something unique and innovative?
It's the latter that dictates what the new trend is.
 

Neptune

Member
I mean, the topic kind of shifted from "should you listen and make changes for gamers?" to "should you be unique with your ideas?" - Not saying I mind; it's still good discussion.

I think there is a lot of creative room. Maybe that varies depending on the type of game.
My own game's style is a straight up mix of pokemon & *insert any farming sim*... But the core mechanics are unique, there are unique races / characters, ideas, story, things... lol

[edit]
I'm thinking if the game has a small scope, its category or whatever "mainstream genre" it falls into (or whatever you want to call it) can make or break it... Like, if there literally is no room for it to be its own thing in some way mechanically, visually, etc?
 
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Sybok

Member
My apologies for the misunderstanding. I took it as "Should gamers continue to shape how we make games?", which is a verbatim quote on the very first line on your post.

Nintendo as an example doesn't seem to. They always manage to pull out something unique out of their bag of tricks and that becomes the new "what gamers want their games to be like".

So I still stand by my "No, not necessarily", for me anyway. I have no interest in making "The Flappy Minecraft Battlefield Simulator". Someone will though. I can already hear peoples minds ticking over saying "I'm gonna take Sybok's idea, that sounds awesome!!!".

Go for it. "The Flappy Minecraft Battlefield Simulator" is all yours for the taking. 😁
 

Neptune

Member
Uhh, alright I guess. I can see you're trying to make a point, but I'm not really sure how it pertains.

If you were meaning that gamers shouldnt have sway on your decisions, then I just misunderstood - seemed like you were disregarding the whole topic because you personally didn't make games for public appeal...
 

Neptune

Member
Don't take me the wrong way, I don't have to clearly understand. I just figured i'd respond since you quoted me.
 
Obviously if you want your game to reach the masses, you have to listen to gamer input on some level. That being said:

a) A lot of gamers are looking for something, anything that isn't chasing the latest trend and offers up a different experience.
b) As Henry Ford said, if you asked the public what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
c) Most game developers started out as (and remain, time permitting, which it never does) gamers. If you want to know what gamers want, ask yourself what you'd want in a game. Chances are you're not the only one.

Personally, I'm making what I'd want to play. I'd rather have a small group of people that love what I do than a large group that kind of like it.

Of course, I'd take a large group that love it over either any time...
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Tutorials is one of those wicked problems that has no right answer, but many wrong answers.
  • If you don't give the player enough information, they won't figure out how to play the game and consequently won't have very fun.
  • If you deliver the information in a too condensed form, the player will get annoyed at never getting to really start the game, and might get dissuaded from playing again (NG+ runs etc)
  • If you don't force the player to USE what they've learned, they might go through the tutorial just fine but then be missing critical knowledge that makes them get stuck later on.
  • Tutorials that only give you a text dump at the start of the level manages to fail all these points at once, so never use those.
The best tutorials force you to learn new skills by placing you in a safe location where the goal is obvious and the only way to reach it is to utilize that skill, ideally without words (except perhaps a button prompt fading in if you're stuck for long enough), and ideally you should be able to quickly skip through the tutorial on later playthroughs.
 

Neptune

Member
You gotta chill 😂
I'm making edits and changing title to better explore ideas, but also narrow the topic... Old title didn't offer much.
 

pixeltroid

Member
"Sacrifice vision for appeal?"

I guess so. If your vision translates into a confusing game that nobody "gets", then it may be better to sacrifice it, or tone it down to appeal to players.

The reality is that with the exception of VR, game mechanics that players enjoy have been tried, tested and proven to work countless times. The template has been set. It's more feasible to work within and around the template, and making minor adjustments here and there. You can still try to go against the grain but you do so at the risk of confusing players.
 

Neptune

Member
@pixeltroid I agree. I struggle with choosing to allow something to be confusing or not.

I personally LOVE when I get stumped by something in a game, or when a simple task seems impossible at first glance (same reason magic tricks are appealing?)... But, I don't mind thinking, and I've come to find a decent quantity of gamers will just get angry -- 'An obstacle with no tutorial/introduction' translates to 'a bug or bad development'. And I think this mentality just expects every obstacle to be a small series of baby obstacles that increase in difficulty with each progression, which is super annoying if you intended to have a single stand-alone obstacle.

Somehow this keeps coming back to tutorials / hand-holding, even though I dont mean for it xD
 
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pixeltroid

Member
@pixeltroid I agree. I struggle with choosing to allow something to be confusing or not.

I personally LOVE when I get stumped by something in a game, or when a simple task seems impossible at first glance (same reason magic tricks are appealing?)... But, I don't mind thinking, and I've come to find a decent quantity of gamers will just get angry -- 'An obstacle with no tutorial/introduction' translates to 'a bug or bad development'. And I think this mentality just expects every obstacle to be a small series of baby obstacles that increase in difficulty with each progression, which is super annoying if you intended to have a single stand-alone obstacle.

Somehow this keeps coming back to tutorials / hand-holding, even though I dont mean for it xD
IMO, these days players have very short attention spans. If you want to ensure that people play your game, you need to do some hand holding in the forms of tutorials and prompts.
Obstacles can be difficult, but as long as the controls and instructions are clear, the player can be made to feel like he can cross the obstacle or achieve the objective he's supposed to.

I originally followed a "no hand-holding" approach for my project. But I then realized that it's a bad idea because players might just feel too lost and then just give up and play something else. Why not? After all, my game isn't the new Castlevania or Mario. And There are indie games that are far, far better than mine in terms of gameplay, graphics and everything else.
 
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