Robsim
Guppy
Guppy
165 Posts

The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by Robsim on Mar 24, 17 7:49 AM
Hey fishy friends. Just wanted to say I found an interesting article, in Eipix's site, that they have written that pretty much explains why - to most of us - the games put out by designers seem to be what we call same-ol, same ol 'cookie-cutter' in fashion.

Go to: Eipix.com/challenges of HOPA game design bending the genres restrictions.

There site is VERY professionally done. Eipix - and other game developers - put soooo much work into these games but; unfortunately, due to the limitations in place (?based on the casual gaming platform?), it might help all of us to get a better understanding of why our games seem so run-of-the-mill.

They even talk on the stories and, after reading, I now understand why the storylines end up choppy/broken. Personally, it would seem that they could do something more about that.

Nonetheless, for all who see this 'Discussion', go into the above Eipix site's article and maybe it'll help give some insight to our questions/game grievances of 'why?'.

Robsim

 
HeatherDay
Starfish
Starfish
47 Posts

Re:The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by HeatherDay on Mar 24, 17 7:41 PM
Robsim, thank you for the link! I think many fishies may find it interesting (I know I did).

 
kgustavson
Clownfish
Clownfish
630 Posts

Re:The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by kgustavson on Mar 25, 17 1:09 AM
Interesting, yet I so completely disagree with almost every point they make. And I would love to know how they gathered their research as so many review posts over the last couple years have not only dwindled due to "meh" games but with that the lack of challenge; look how many of us have just trashed their latest offering because it is DULL. Yet their article seems to point to research that us casual gamers want SIMPLE, FINISH IN ONE SITTING games. Who the ruddy hell are they talking to?

If I'm not mistaken, and all please correct or add to my addled historical lore, one huge bunch of fishes supported many a game that took more than one sitting to finish - original MCF games, original Dark Parables, Margrave (unfortunately only 2 of those I think), countless one-hit-wonders like City of Fools and Epistory and the oh-so-funny Royal Trouble; throw classics like Siberia and it's ilk into the mix and we used to have one very lively forum full of members asking and helping and reviewing. Remove so many creative elements as Eipixs' website suggests the "people want" and you end up with the same old stuff, time after time, and often times we play them, but no one really cares.

I have no idea where on Earth they are gathering this data that we all want to be robots performing the same tasks over and over again. And more important than my grumpy attitude is that their marketing theory actually negates the benefits that have proven so beneficial to our senior population. We all need variety for our mental brain stretches folks...ok, I'll stop my rant now

 
didersham
Parrotfish
Parrotfish
409 Posts

Re:The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by didersham on Mar 25, 17 8:17 AM
I agree with you kgustavson!

 
sartasia
Stingray
Stingray
4,581 Posts

Re:The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by sartasia on Mar 25, 17 9:09 AM
I find the whole article merely a justification for their redundant game designing. The reality is with repetition comes speed. More product released in shorter time. The end result...fast profit...cookie cutter games. Sad but true. I personally believe most companies would prefer casual gaming to disappear to focus on the smart phone gaming platform alone. It's a sad commentary on the power of profit margins.

 
burf90
Flounder
Flounder
2,276 Posts

Re:The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by burf90 on Mar 25, 17 10:40 AM
I actually think the real reasons for the cookie cutter games are three things:

1) Cost - the game is only going to sell for $5 to $10, because let's face it, most people won't buy them until they come down to that price. That means the devs' budgets have to be smaller, too. Therefore, less work can go into each game. In the golden days of gaming, $50 to $70 was the standard price for each game.

2) Deadlines - most developers have a company, like BFG, that contracts their games. So they need to have games finished by a certain time, so their partner company can release it on schedule. Never mind what issues may have cropped up in development, the game still needs to be ready when it's supposed to be.

3) Creative constrints - the same company that contracts for the game has input into what features it will have. The developers may have a vision for the game, but they have another company that can put the kibosh on anything they come up with because it's not a "proven" seller.

Add to that the fact that most developers are supposed to release the game on many different platforms (PC, Mac, Android, iOS, etc.), which means some parts have to be interactive with both a mouse and a touch screen and rooms with a lot of detail will be pretty much lost for players using a phone to play.

The result is that, unless they are independently wealthy, the developers can't get too creative. It's not that they don't want to be creative and ground-breaking. They just have a very hard time doing it under those constraints. The games must sell, so they must be what people have already come to expect. It's really a lot for developers to have to juggle. And that doesn't even include dealing with every day things like staff changes or illnesses.

That's why so many developers are going to crowd-funding sites to fund the games they really want to make. They still have deadlines and some constraints, but player-investors are much more reasonable than big companies about game delays and changes in format or plot, if the result is potentially a better game.

 
kgustavson
Clownfish
Clownfish
630 Posts

Re:The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by kgustavson on Mar 26, 17 12:36 AM
Wonderfully pointed my friend Burf, but I think your point about price is really important. As the quality continues to diminish, so does our expectation on what we want to pay. So they have created their own problem. If another "Drawn" was released (not by Eipix nor any other then the original) I would happily plunk down full price because I know I would be entertained for hours. Continually releasing just-ok games drives all the prices down because our expectations are low. To ask $16-$20 per game for the same old stuff is a marketing model bound to fail. Or, as our friend Sartasia points out, that might be exactly what they want.

I'll admit that there is only one developer right now that I will toss full price into the ring on a Thursday just to make a point that I think their games are worth it. We all know that developers (ok, really all the people behind the scenes) work hard to make these games but this particular article really only stands to point out that we're either all a bunch of housewives with nothing else to do or a bunch of seniors too dumb to know that other options exist out there. So they're just putting us all down - at least, that's what I've taken away from this marketing piece. Sad really, considering how we were all so excited about the first Amaranthine and helped to launch this group...

 
lil_chickadee
Minnow
Minnow
248 Posts

Re:The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by lil_chickadee on Mar 26, 17 12:45 AM
Two words: game engine. For those who don't know, a lot of games are built on a game engine. That means a software suite that controls the mechanics behind a game. If you write software, you know what an API is--it's a collection of modules that are already written and tested that you can put together with a bit of your own code to create a program that needs minimal debugging. It saves time and money and streamlines software creation.
So game companies do the same thing. They create a bunch of modules that do different things within a game, then they just fit them together like a jigsaw puzzle et voila! a game. In the past, many companies sold their game engines to others. Now games companies seem to be making their own. Want morphing objects? There's a code for that. Collectibles? Achievements? Fight the bad guy by choosing symbols? Shop for pet accessories or room decorations? There's a code for that, too. You plug it all together, add graphics on top, write a storyline and you're done.
That doesn't mean there's no creativity or work that goes into making a game, but it does explain the cookie-cutter aspect of it. Why re-write working code every time you make a game when you can just re-use pieces of other games that were already tested, debugged and known to be good?
The fact that the gene pool of developers is dwindling from defection to mobile gaming and from developers' concentration on freemium games and from acquisitions doesn't help. Where there used to be probably 100 or more developers putting product into the BFG pond, there are now probably 15-20, if that. Shoot, BFG doesn't even put regular games into the pond any more. You can only read so many books by the same author about the same character in one short time period before you get bored, and the same goes for games. Variety is the spice of life, but variety is suffering from lack of independent input.

 
LarkBea
Herring
Herring
354 Posts

Re:The reason most HOPA games are somewhat the same. . .

[Post New]by LarkBea on Mar 26, 17 5:47 AM
"I find the whole article merely a justification for their redundant game designing. The reality is with repetition comes speed. More product released in shorter time. The end result...fast profit...cookie cutter games." <<<<<This. Agree completely. And I think if people were more selective about what they buy (and BFG more selective in what they would accept to offer) it would cut into profits and perhaps be more of an incentive to produce something innovative. It's a perfect storm...host company promises to offer two CEs a week and "a new game every day". There's nothing in there that says the games have to be good. And I do know that what one person considers a good game is entirely subjective and I'm a little more forgiving than some, but even I have to admit that the truly great 5 star games have been few and far between. It also seems that issue has gotten worse over the past few years.

It's nice actually, that the devs are actually acknowledging the problem and addressing it, however what they're saying does nothing to fix anything. And I also agree with the poster above me who addressed devs pouring their time and resources into mobile gaming and freemium games. That doesn't help either.

Edited on 03/26/2017 at 5:49:56 AM PST


 
 
 
 
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