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Survivor
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 16, 2012

It's great seeing this Forum being used as an advisory committee - any developer reading this will find it beneficial, I'm sure.  The very thoughtful and articulate replies are an example of what Forum members are capable of.

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

superlatives wrote:

Norse:

What an insightful post; I should NOT have been surprised, given your previous posts on Home monthly sales rankings.

Since its unveiling, I believe that Digital Leisure's Casino has seen success NOT SOLELY (and maybe even "not primarily") due to the nature of the games themselves, but due to the devs' ACTIVE participation.

To many of us who used Home in 2009, the EA Sports Complex was THE place to go; if not to play poker or the other games, just to chat. And A LOT OF THAT had to due with how active the devs at EA Sports were AT and WITH the space. EA Sports did not "flick a switch" to turn on the space, then let it operate unattended. EA Sports was active in the forums. They answered questions, problems, and complaints in a timely and open manner. EA Devs VISITED th Complex and interacted with Home users. EA Devs even took time out of their private lives to attend "meetings" held INSIDE Home.

That's a great question, which I've added to the original post. Thanks for bringing that up!

I also agree with HearItWow's point that games should be divided into major games and mini-games; something like TankTop, for instance, really can't be looked at as its big brother, SodiumOne. Which brings up a tangential question: smaller games like TankTop are probably less costly to develop than a monster like Sodium2. So even if the gross returns are lower, is the net profitability potentially higher? Given the number of large-scale games coming to Home this year, this could be a very important question. As Ms. Liza pointed out, Cutthroats is a very enjoyable game, but the flaws in its freemium business model strongly imply it's underperforming commercially. And on a game of that size, that could be a serious blow.

My hope is, the more feedback we can offer as consumers in terms of what works and what doesn't, the more likely we are to see games built more closely to a model that's successful in both ROIC and user satisfaction.

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

Most of the games that are pay to play don't have worthwhile rewards. God forbid we get some decent clothes from a pay to play game. Another damn t-shirt to go amongst my hundreds.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

Your Questions:

1. How long should it take to complete?

Forever. See poker and blackjack.

2. How complicated should it be?

Easy to start, hard to master.

3. How important is in-game currency?

Seeing that the Top Ten is dominated by in-game currency, I say "very".

4. Power-ups: temporary or permanent?

Ones I pay for: permanent. Ones I get in-game while playing: temporary.

5. How important is the social element?

A shared experience that I can discuss with my friends after seems important.

6. How critical are the graphics?

Two words: Angry Birds.

7. What's the sweet spot for pricing?

Free to try. Convince me to buy.

8. What sort of game commodities will you pay a premium for?

Most games I play sell save slots, weapons, armor, basically anything that makes it more fun to play.

My Questions:



1. There seems to be a day 1 ritual of crashing. Will this ever end? Or is this an aspect of Home itself?

2. Why are Home games so small? They are barely the size of a demo outside of Home?

3. Why are there rewards for playing games? It feels like someone buying me lunch after washing my car.

4. If they are going to close games, how can we spend money on games having no idea if/when they will close?

5. Other than bowling, where can I watch people playing games?

6. Why is Home so disconnected? Why isn't there a door that I go through to play a game?


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Fender Bender
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

Back_In_Brown wrote:

Your Questions:

1. How long should it take to complete?

Forever. See poker and blackjack.

2. How complicated should it be?

Easy to start, hard to master.

3. How important is in-game currency?

Seeing that the Top Ten is dominated by in-game currency, I say "very".

4. Power-ups: temporary or permanent?

Ones I pay for: permanent. Ones I get in-game while playing: temporary.

5. How important is the social element?

A shared experience that I can discuss with my friends after seems important.

6. How critical are the graphics?

Two words: Angry Birds.

7. What's the sweet spot for pricing?

Free to try. Convince me to buy.

8. What sort of game commodities will you pay a premium for?

Most games I play sell save slots, weapons, armor, basically anything that makes it more fun to play.

My Questions:



1. There seems to be a day 1 ritual of crashing. Will this ever end? Or is this an aspect of Home itself?

2. Why are Home games so small? They are barely the size of a demo outside of Home?

3. Why are there rewards for playing games? It feels like someone buying me lunch after washing my car.

4. If they are going to close games, how can we spend money on games having no idea if/when they will close?

5. Other than bowling, where can I watch people playing games?

6. Why is Home so disconnected? Why isn't there a door that I go through to play a game?



1. How long should it take to complete?

No more than a year. A few weeks at the most.

2. How complicated should it be?

Has to be easy to start as but it must get more challenging as you progress

3. How important is in-game currency?

Very Important

4. Power-ups: temporary or permanent?

Depends. If you pay for the power-ups, than they should be permanent, If they are rewarded they should be temporary.

5. How important is the social element?

.More Important than any other element.

6. How critical are the graphics?

As long if you don't use 1980s graphics I think we will be fine.

7. What's the sweet spot for pricing?

About 1.99 or 3.99 at the most. Free trials are necessary before buying though.

8. What sort of game commodities will you pay a premium for?

Extra power-ups, additional saving slots, better weapons, etc...



1. There seems to be a day 1 ritual of crashing. Will this ever end? Or is this an aspect of Home itself?

This will most likely never end. Yesterday at Konami I got disconnected 10 times in about 10 minutes. This most likely will be an aspect of Home

2. Why are Home games so small? They are barely the size of a demo outside of Home?

If Home games were to large it would take up most of your hard drive and may cause damage to Home itself

3. Why are there rewards for playing games? It feels like someone buying me lunch after washing my car.

Its something that makes you want to go back and play it for, plus it gives you the feeling you have accomplished something.

4. If they are going to close games, how can we spend money on games having no idea if/when they will close?

Let me come back on this one.

5. Other than bowling, where can I watch people playing games?

The Midway is a great place to watch people play games. I think you can do the same at Novus Prime but im not sure

6. Why is Home so disconnected? Why isn't there a door that I go through to play a game?



Home is still in its Beta stage. Not everyone has been pieced together yet

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http://auroraterra.deviantart.com/
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Fender Bender
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

Great post. We are lucky to have you to bring some economical sense on this forum.

I'm a gamer (lol surprised hey!) Thats why i bought a ps3. So i played and maxed most major game on Home, lvl 30 @ Novus-Prime, lvl 50 @ Salt shooter, lvl 40 @ S2 velocity racer and ...lvl 28 @ Cuthroat, losing money is an efficient deterrent...

I'm not a fan of carnaval "hability" game and dislike casino. So I cant comment on midway and the casino.

1. How long?

Many peoples on home play game just for the rewards and even if you want to play everything, times come in small supply for many of us. So if a dev want to retain player it's imperative the game should last as long as possible. But the objective must also seem reachable.I maxed Novus in two hard days of playing. The top level was 20 (Captain) back then. I was just curious to see what home was and not interrested in chatting/social. I was on my way out of home when i made my 1st friend there, it was a close call!

2. How complicated?

Not everyone on home are hard core gamer. So simplicity to is very important. The basic should be simple to grasp so the wider base can enjoy it. Mastery can be more difficult but should'nt prevent casual gamer to "reach the top". Novus is the best here i think. The base is simple enough for everyone to play. Better player can appreciate that this game offer a little more than what "meet the eyes" The different missions and missions level offer different challenge.

3. In game currency?

A very good incentive. Gives objective and a way to "upgrade" for new player who are not sure if they are willing to pay for the game yet. Lockwood is the best there with cross game currency and "exclusive alternate market" Not sure selling items with a "free" currency is economically sound. But it does offer a good replay value. Now if i could buy sodium credits with my nebulons...

4. Temporary vs permenant power-up.

It can be hard to convince people to buy virtual item with real money. Virtual rent is even harder. I'll go with the in game currency for temporary and hard cash for permenant. That said i think power-up should be limited to in game effect. Buying for extra points is a "two sided knife" as we say in french. Sure you're hardcore fan base fighting for top rank wil buy them. But it give a bad impression to new players. We saw that more and more at Novus. First the 24hrs 50% boost. People quickly lear that it can mean a $150+/yr game...  way more than the market value of such a game. It was (is) a must buy if you want to be among the top, but still low enough (50%) so for those who didnt want to pay it could still find a spot on the board.  With the newer permenent booster it give you a 95% bonus total if you pay the daily boosters. Many feel cheated with this pay-for-points. New players are harder to retain.

5. Social aspect.

I told you i'm a gamer. I first came on home just to see what it looked like and never planned to stay... Then someone came and talk to me, i had a new friend! The social aspect IS what Home is about. Hellfire nailed it at novus with timed coop game. You can talk with your friends between games. If you were not in the same game (i.e. finished at the same time) yo can still see how long they have left.

At Cuthroat you can see the other Avi in game but talking is tedious. The game runs continously so you dont have time off to talk.

S2 hide your chat log or make it hard to see. So if your not in multiplayer mode, social  interaction are harder. Little personal note here.: I know some casual gamer who left S2 because of the taunt feature. Being insulted when you know your not that good and dont use paid power-up is not a good replay value

One thing i would like to see is the possibility to use voice chat in game.

6.Graphic.

Least of my request, unless they are really bad. Sure good graphic add to the pleasure. But i rather play a smooth running game than an awsome looking laggy one.

7. Pricing sweet spot. &

8. Premium i'll pay for.

$5.00  It's the basic price for something that is more than plain clothing or furniture on home. You should be able to acheive the main objective and play with your friend with $5. Free trial/play is important too. I wont pay for a game i cant even try first. There can be other, higher priced, things to buy. But you better give me somthing in return. Not just a power-up but something i can use outside the game. Furniture (Salt shooter gun rack) are the lowest value but i'ts better than nothing (Cuthroat). One strong point with Novus, every upgrade/ship give you something to wear.

9. Dev interraction.

Customer services is the most problematic thing on home. The only way to really know whats going on is to be there. You dont need to be there all the time but Dev should be able to have someone on the floor at least a couples hours per week. It give a better, more human relation/contact with the game. Problems are solves faster when Cooldown is around at novus.

Freedom is not the power to say no.
Real freedom is the power to say yes.


6EQUJ5 Do you copy?


co-founder
The Black Hat Squad/Black Hat Squadron/Novus Black Hats
Novus international elite force
Black Hats website
Black Hats on Facebook
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Fender Bender
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

This little rant may be off-topic in this thread but here goes nothing.

The "How complicated (or difficult) should the game be?" question kind of made me laugh. Especially when taken in combination with the rewards system for games.

People love to receive the rewards for completing games but so many complain when the games are difficult to win. It seems to stem from a coddled notion that everyone's a winner all the time and deserves a prize just for showing up. People have to accept that certain rewards should be seen as badges of honour. Symbols of accomplishment. Others are just promotional gifts for everyone.

I remember feeling frustrated earning the rewards for the Magic:The Gathering card game. I was completely befuddled the first time I tried that game. And probably the second time too. With a little online research and effort on my part, I eventually won the rewards. I still feel that those 5 statues are some of the coolest rewards on Home, possibly because of the effort that went into winning them. Now, I'm seeing the same attitude with the Slay game. I was confused initially but quickly figured out how to beat it. So many people have complained that the game is impossible to beat, it's rigged and it shouldn't be so difficult to earn the companion. Maybe people just don't deserve to have the reward sometimes. If you can't beat the game, why should you get the prize?

The most desirable prizes on Home for me are the ones that were most difficult to attain. The persistence behind earning Gold VICKIE or the Aurora Champion apartment is what it's all about. Same goes for the higher level rewards at Midway, the casino or other spaces. Is the red jacket at Midway such an awesome article of clothing in its own right. Probably not. Does wearing one of those jackets mean something beyond the jacket itself? Indeed. For what's it's worth, I have the gold Midway jacket but there's no way I'll ever get that red one. Even my persistence has its limits.

Alright then....back to our regularly scheduled programming.

castle3
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Fender Bender
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

Here's  a question of my own.

Importance (or lack of) of a board/ranking system?

One thing i liked and kept me playing sometimes at novus is the day/week/month/all-time board feature

Having only a day or week board like some private place game you feel like you lost any past progress

A All-timer only board dont give feel unatainable for new players.

The mix feature at novus let you keep track of your progress on  multiple level. You can go for a day or week score. Or only keep track of a slow steady climb on moths or all-time. I saw numerous casual gamer surprised and pleased to see their name on any of the boards.

One thing i would like to see is past day(s) or week(s) too.

Freedom is not the power to say no.
Real freedom is the power to say yes.


6EQUJ5 Do you copy?


co-founder
The Black Hat Squad/Black Hat Squadron/Novus Black Hats
Novus international elite force
Black Hats website
Black Hats on Facebook
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Fender Bender
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

The leaderboard system at Sodium 2 is set up like that. Very extensive rankings to compare track times with friends, daily scores, all-time records, personal bests etc. It's a great way to give more people a better chance to see their name in lights.

I also appreciated Digital Leisure's approach to the Casino boards. Restarting the boards every "season" and creating Hall of Fame boards with ultra-exclusive rewards is genius. Probably the fairest and most elaborate rewards system on Home.

castle3
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Wastelander
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

HearItWow wrote:

Generally speaking, superlatives, you're right on with this. The one exception to your rule is Granzella, which makes some excellent products but isn't active on our forums because they're a Japanese company. Part of their solution to dealing with Home bugs has been to perfect things in the JP Home before they get released here.

Otherwise, I agree: I'm giving my business to the devs who respond to the community. That's Customer Service 101. Lockwood, Digital Leisure and Hellfire certainly lead the pack in doing it right.

Hear:

You're right about Granzella.

And I also agree that Home devs don't HAVE to be "vocal" on the forums or Home itself to be "responsive."

I think the "main" concept is this: Home spaces are successful when the users FEEL that the devs are responsive. Granzella's solution, as YOU said, is to deliver first-class product ... and fix bugs ASAP if they do occur.

It's when users report bugs -- and MONTHS go by without ANY update on progress, let alone "success", that users find places where the companies ARE responsive and forthcoming.

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