Open-world games

Hi, all!

I asked my gaming friends about what would open-world game which would be popular and would
not be annoying/butthurtful. That is what I gathered:

  1. The game should be possible to fastrun in under 5 hours. Otherwise the motivation is lost and game left unfinished.
  2. Ingame text reading should not be required to complete game and get good ending; the reading might be rewarded
    by extra content or story depth, though.
  3. The locations should be small enough and should be memorable enough so that additional navigation helpers are not needed. But the tools should still be available. Labyrinths and navugation-based puzzles are the reason to drop game and never come back.
  4. HUD should not contain directions in text form, nobody reads them, and it is annoying to find-out that directions were written on screen, people don’t like feeling stupid.
  5. All puzzles should be tested on various people; most buying audience prefer to skip puzzles. They might be fun as optional gameplay element though. People don’t like feeling stupid. Also youtube will make puzzles useless; randomized puzzles not usable with youtube will make game incompletable for large audience percentage.
  6. Long game hours and replayability is a myth; Best games are completed under 5 hours and never played again,
    with driven and accomplishment feeling; it is too rare to find really replayable game, so why bother.
  7. Player likes predictable gameplay; player is quickly tired of predictable gameplay. Don’t torture players, make games short
  8. While players say they like challenges, they actually don’t. But they should feel the challenge, even though there isn’t. Also they’are to be rewarded for it by even less challenge. Players don’t like and easily notice “balanced” games; The balance should be a part of game design, not added later. But still, everybody likes powerups as indication there is tough fight nearby, but thisone is too cliched; something new in casual shooters/survival horrors would be highly welcome.
  9. If one does some animations good and some half-assed, it is noticeable by player and is annoying; also it is annoying when good model is animated badly. But if you do everything on the same level, people are happy. So
    if you don’t have enough time for animations don’t bother modelling well. Also don’t buy pre-made great looking models
    if you can’t make animations required for game. Just make your ugly models with ugly animations. If your plot is good,
    player will conseder it a part of style, not half-assed job. Especially if you put your soul into it.
  10. Don’t bother making any adventure games; they won’t sell. Also if you’re not huge company with a lot of resources,
    don’t bother with RPGs either. Just do a new casual shooter with new setting, they always sell. Also you save on engine, you don’t need to add new code for a new game.
  11. Don’t make gameplay complicated - too many possibilities will make game too scary for players. There is very little players who like a lot of controls. Also large worlds have the same effect. And people hate walking simulators.

Well, understanding this, I see that if one wants to get $$$ he will make casual shooter
If one wants to have fun he will do whatever he wants. As I understand, the more annoying the gameplay is,
the more fun it is for developers. So if one wants to experiment, he have a great field of possibilities.
But if one have budgets and wants to make money off them they have to obey strict constraints. So high-budget games which are not in casual shooter genre should be considered innovative investment in industry and praised
as the ones which actually move the progress.

Disagree. If game mechanic is deep enough and game have at least co-op, replayability could be almost infinity.
I know few games that I can episodically play (but only Terraria is open-world in this list)

Huh, yes, this is the best item in the list. It took me a lot of time to understand why I can’t just steal nice assets from other games and make my one.

  1. The game should be possible to fastrun in under 5 hours. Otherwise the motivation is lost and game left unfinished.
    –>looks like your friends are not really interested in playing games, just pass an afternoon somewhere/someway (booze?anyone?)
  2. Ingame text reading should not be required to complete game and get good ending; the reading might be rewarded by extra content or story depth, though.
    –>looks like your friends hate late 90’ jrpg retrocade. They have a point, but just for the graphics. Can’t your friends read?
  3. The locations should be small enough and should be memorable enough so that additional navigation helpers are not needed. But the tools should still be available. Labyrinths and navugation-based puzzles are the reason to drop game and never come back.
    –> Never heard of a game called Machinarium? It won many prizes. And yes, I hate puzzles, never had the patience(or the mind), not for me.
  4. HUD should not contain directions in text form, nobody reads them, and it is annoying to find-out that directions were written on screen, people don’t like feeling stupid.
    –>ditto as in 2. How much text can you put into a hud at most?
  5. All puzzles should be tested on various people; most buying audience prefer to skip puzzles. They might be fun as optional gameplay element though. People don’t like feeling stupid. Also youtube will make puzzles useless; randomized puzzles not usable with youtube will make game incompletable for large audience percentage.
    –>randomizing puzzles can be done. Anyway, what’s this puzzles all about? Puzzles are a specific, particular, very precise category of gaming which has a stable and stubborn following. Not the kind of guys playing FPS, I guess…
  6. Long game hours and replayability is a myth; Best games are completed under 5 hours and never played again, with driven and accomplishment feeling; it is too rare to find really replayable game, so why bother.
    –>And what about impossible games? Flappy something, anyone? The developer received death threats for removing the game from the stores…
  7. Player likes predictable gameplay; player is quickly tired of predictable gameplay. Don’t torture players, make games short
    –>looks like your “friends” doesn’t want to play “your” game… My friends and I are playing a lot of games and some in particular since more than 20 years…
  8. While players say they like challenges, they actually don’t. But they should feel the challenge, even though there isn’t. Also they’are to be rewarded for it by even less challenge. Players don’t like and easily notice “balanced” games; The balance should be a part of game design, not added later. But still, everybody likes powerups as indication there is tough fight nearby, but thisone is too cliched;
    –> …?
    something new in casual shooters/survival horrors would be highly welcome.
    –> why? don’t you like killing zombies?
  9. If one does some animations good and some half-assed, it is noticeable by player and is annoying; also it is annoying when good model is animated badly. But if you do everything on the same level, people are happy.
    –> don’t mix and match minecraft and tekken99 styles. Sounds reasonable.
    So if you don’t have enough time for animations don’t bother modelling well. Also don’t buy pre-made great looking models if you can’t make animations required for game. Just make your ugly models with ugly animations. If your plot is good, player will conseder it a part of style, not half-assed job. Especially if you put your soul into it.
    –>Hope you don’t really put your soul into it by signing into some satanic pact…
  10. Don’t bother making any adventure games; they won’t sell. Also if you’re not huge company with a lot of resources, don’t bother with RPGs either. Just do a new casual shooter with new setting, they always sell. Also you save on engine, you don’t need to add new code for a new game.
    –>Right. Leave it to Square Enix. They will sell.
  11. Don’t make gameplay complicated - too many possibilities will make game too scary for players. There is very little players who like a lot of controls.
    –>Looks like your friends are a bit dumb. Me too. All those swipes… up, down… aaghhh gestures!:fearful:
    Also large worlds have the same effect. And people hate walking simulators.
    –>One of preferred occupation of the elder scroll series, as reported by player, is just going around the world, not caring about the main quest at all.

Generally speaking, I’d give your friend some new kind of candy crush. Don’t bother doing car simulators…
Or you could put a hud in the form of a car cockpit with a windscreen with candy crush saga on it in place of the roads… candy crush: driving loving.

Well, I asked 6 people in age from 14 to 21, which is I think 99% of market.
These are casual gamers, not kind of pros, they generally have their lifes except for games
and play games among other entertainments. The list is generalized opinion, not someone’s specific.
For most things I see the same opinions displayed on forums. BTW, for Elder Scrolls -
it looks like most popular of series are Oblivion and Skyrim, though they consider Morrowind "true"
but not really fun to play. Which is contrary to my opinion (I’m fun of first 3 parts of series).
Anyway, these are the ones who buy games and give $$$. You can go hard path and try to give them something new
which is extremely risky, or go via least resistance path and give them another corridor shooter “with RPG elements” they like, and rise some “easy” $$$. If price is right, that will keep you afloat while you develop something which
is you do for yourself, not an audience.

I think, even if you ask 10 000 people, it will not be realistic image of market. So, 6 people is not enough anyways.

Ask yourself, why people should buy your shooter? Why they should choose your shooter from billion another ones? Why they should buy any shooter when they can continue playing their favorite game? In most cases they will choose Overwatch or any other popular shooter which was published by a big company. IMHO, there is no sense to develop new GTA or DOTA because most players won’t go to your new clone.

Some demographics:
10-25 lowest payers, unaffiliated mostly, very casual, difficult market
25-45 best payers, got a job, probably affiliated, best market
45-65 so-so, looks getting old makes you loose interest in gaming
this is it, more or less. catering to a too much young/old audience is not rewarding.

Other demographics:
core player: those who spend money for the kind of game they like, has friends like them, expect quality
casual player: playing sometimes when commuting on mobile, can spend if they feel so, do not expect quality
halfbreed: after mobile revolution, all those people who started from casual and to a passion to some kind of game. candy crush guys, who play all candy crush clones, from time to time. strangely enough, these are the guys who spend most.

Selling to kids is by far the most difficult thing. They don’t have a job, they don’t have money, except when they’re rich kids…

Well, 10-25 get most games, as they have a lot of free time and no family to feed.
25-45 start to (almost) feed themselves, but have more widespread interest than gaming and actually play less.
Also they have higher demands on various genres, they have more widespread tastes and less predictable.
Basically “I buy only AAA” audience belongs to 10-25 range, while 25-45 wants more adult and mature
plots, require better overall quality, they also buy games themselves with hard earned money, not summer work savings.
If targeting, I’d suggest 10-25 audience, as they are biggest market (I’d say 90%).and much more predictable.

You count it all wrong. You make stuff which is the same as anyone else’s stuff. So you should count in probabilities.
In high-concurrency situations you just try to get what you can. Look how mobile app developers do.
They don’t try to innovate at all, they do the same thing again and again and get their share of $$$.
In general, if your game is not heavily half./full assed, you will get sales. And making another GTA or DOTA will
give you your bread and butter. If you aim for millions and innovations you probably in wrong market. Or you’re the one who will be eventually praised by others who will fillow you and succeed where you failed.

btw, people in their 4-s do not differ much than people in 30s. Playing games IS waste of time however you look at it and if you have better use for your time, you wont play games at any age, It is the same kind of entertainment
as TV. So if you’re 30 and playing games 2 hour on Saturdays, that is as normal as being 12 and playing games 80 hours per week. And quality is generally the same.

Man, between 30 and 40 there’s a chasm. How old are you?:wink:

I’m on other side of the chasm :slight_smile:

youngsters! :grin: ahhggh! :grin:

Yeah, at 30s I was feeling much older