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Wastelander
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

X-MsLiZa-X wrote:


Like superlatives said, community interaction from the developers and space upgrades go a long way towards making games successful.

Liza:

Speaking for MYSELF, I'll even go one step further than that: developer interaction and space upgrades go a long way toward making me WANT to spend more.

At the Casino, yes - buying chips IS buying the entertainment I derive from playing the various casino games, as well as the entertainment in achieving some of the "offbeat" objectives IN the games to get the rewards!

But I also feel that I'm buying the "entertainment" derived from the creative ideas and storylines that DL come up with around the Casino spaces!

And AGAIN: I'm buying the developer communication! Many ESPECIALLY myself are critical of Home staff "selective silence" on bugs, space removals, news, et al. But that's due to a track record of YEARS of that "silence".

EA Sports in the past, and NOW DL, have set a track record of responsiveness and information sharing. A record which makes me as a customer MUCH more likely to plunk down $$$ with them.

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Wastelander
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 17, 2012

NorseGamer wrote:

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.

Norse:

I hate to add more "machinery" into your observation on "major vs. min games" (actually, no I DON'T!) :-) But we now also are confronted with the question "What constitutes a 'major' vs 'mini' game?". Here's why ...

... the concept of the game "season", introduced by EA Sports and followed by Digital Leisure, now most recently Sportswalk Poker, introduces the aspect of "time" to what could be a tiny game.

It takes me less than a minute to play one hand of blackjack. Yet the new Casino season  means that, if I were to go for the leaderboard in blackjack, I'd be playing a one-minute games over a PERIOD of SIX MONTHS.

Is a "game season" a factor? The EA Poker Crown was announced two weeks before the end of the season I won. During those six weeks, I played an average of 3-4 hours a day. But once the next season started, people were LITERALLY playing TWENTY HOURS a day. Bottom line: I would've NEVER won the Crown had I waited.

EA Poker was an AUDIENCE success; obviously it was free so there was no windfall to EA Sports, other than sales of the NFL and NBA jerseys, as well as furniture items.

So here's the "monkey wrench" I'm throwing into the machinery: is "major" defined as one LONG game? or One medium game with dozens of levels of accomplishment? Or a game whose resolution will arrive after weeks or months?

And nother monkey wrench? At what point do "combining" these attributes do more harm than good? Would people play a one hour game with many levels to beat, over a period of three months?

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

Jun 18, 2012

superlatives wrote:

Norse:

I hate to add more "machinery" into your observation on "major vs. min games" (actually, no I DON'T!) :-) But we now also are confronted with the question "What constitutes a 'major' vs 'mini' game?". Here's why ...

So here's the "monkey wrench" I'm throwing into the machinery: is "major" defined as one LONG game? or One medium game with dozens of levels of accomplishment? Or a game whose resolution will arrive after weeks or months?

And nother monkey wrench? At what point do "combining" these attributes do more harm than good? Would people play a one hour game with many levels to beat, over a period of three months?

It's certainly a great question, which bears some serious thought. People talk about how certain games are absolutely monstrous time sinks -- Skyrim, for instance, is officially longer than the collected works of Dostoyevsky -- but it's easy to overlook the fact that a successful Home game has to be enjoyable for years. I mean, not since the golden era of the video arcade does a game have to have that kind of long-term broad appeal. With a traditional MMO, the entire world has to be enjoyable -- but in a social game like Home, it's even harder, because you have to have a stand-alone experience within the larger universe that's so desirable that people will go through all the necessary steps to get to it.

Some very complicated games are coming to Home this year, and I'm really hoping they perform well commercially. Nothing against the more simplistic (albeit challenging), quick-to-reward games from Mass Media or Digital Leisure (who are consistently generating very healthy revenues from their game offerings in Home), but if more complicated games such as No Man's Land, Home Tycoon or Mercia crack the sales lists, it'll create clear incentive for developers to continue to commit time and resources to creating more intricate games for the Home platform. In the long run, that'll go a lot further towards making Home more appealing to the larger PSN audience, in my view.

I've just added two reader questions to the original post. Really good stuff! In particular, the observation that most game spaces in Home don't actually show people playing the game is rather astute; we're used to simply seeing avatars standing around, but is that necessarily the best portrayal to generate excitement and user engagement?

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

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Gaming Beast
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 18, 2012

For the most part I’ve agreed with HeavensLightfire comments.

In addition, games such as the Uncharted(s) and RE5 with co-op functionality and great story lines are always gonna be hits.. Also, to keep games alive in creating additions to these such as DLC’s are becoming more and more mainstream in the gaming industry. Create a base game then add-ons forever. If the user feels the need to continue the quest conquering another add-on and gaining a reward (trophy) that gives purpose or a goal to achieve.. I really think this would be a smart approach to games on Home.


1. How long should it take to complete? No more than a month.


2. How complicated should it be? Has to be easy to start as but it must get more challenging as you progress. Another great option to add would to allow users to choose there level of complexity "Easy/ Medium/ Hard" rewards could also be different base on what you choose.


3. How important is in-game currency? Important in strategics to your game play and goals.


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 until you reach a certain level then permanent.


5. How important is the social element?.Very important as a matter of fact I’d love to see more co-op or team games as an option.


6. How critical are the graphics? The graphics I've seen on Home games is pretty good however movements and actions in characters still seem pretty stiff.


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... However you should not have to pay for these to finish the game. The game should be achievable without buy additional commodities.

I really hope this thread is seriously look at and discussed in great length as I see nothing but very thoughtful responses..



The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear...

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 18, 2012

I'll second what's been said about the leaderboards. I've seen two very successful implementations of this:

1. EA Sports Complex/Paradise Springs: Leaderboards get reset every so often, and the people at the top get a special reward. That's cool, even if superlatives wins them all, because it gives people some real incentive to play. Those will be super-rare items that can only be achieved through merit.

2. Friend leaderboards. I'll point to TankTop 1.0 again, which put the Friends leaderboard right next to the overall leaderboard. Even after the top scores on the main leaderboard reached the stratosphere, there was still the competition among friends. I knew a half dozen people who were all competing to beat each other when the game came out. If a game is good to begin with, that adds to the replay value.

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

Jun 18, 2012

HearItWow wrote:

I'll second what's been said about the leaderboards. I've seen two very successful implementations of this:

1. EA Sports Complex/Paradise Springs: Leaderboards get reset every so often, and the people at the top get a special reward. That's cool, even if superlatives wins them all, because it gives people some real incentive to play. Those will be super-rare items that can only be achieved through merit.

2. Friend leaderboards. I'll point to TankTop 1.0 again, which put the Friends leaderboard right next to the overall leaderboard. Even after the top scores on the main leaderboard reached the stratosphere, there was still the competition among friends. I knew a half dozen people who were all competing to beat each other when the game came out. If a game is good to begin with, that adds to the replay value.

So here's a question: how could developers push the leaderboard aspect even further? If this is a major component that drives the social aspects of a Home game, is a consumer more likely to strive to achieve the top of a leaderboard if the developer offers social rewards in addition to virtual items? Probably the most exceptional example of this I can think of is Grimm's SodiumOne t-shirt, which is autographed by Lockwood's Sodium team. Do small expenses like that translate into greater consumer engagement and sales?

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net


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Sackboy
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 19, 2012

It would be nice if leaderboard champs could win rare rewards.

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

Jun 19, 2012

NorseGamer wrote:

HearItWow wrote:

I'll second what's been said about the leaderboards. I've seen two very successful implementations of this:

1. EA Sports Complex/Paradise Springs: Leaderboards get reset every so often, and the people at the top get a special reward. That's cool, even if superlatives wins them all, because it gives people some real incentive to play. Those will be super-rare items that can only be achieved through merit.

2. Friend leaderboards. I'll point to TankTop 1.0 again, which put the Friends leaderboard right next to the overall leaderboard. Even after the top scores on the main leaderboard reached the stratosphere, there was still the competition among friends. I knew a half dozen people who were all competing to beat each other when the game came out. If a game is good to begin with, that adds to the replay value.

So here's a question: how could developers push the leaderboard aspect even further? If this is a major component that drives the social aspects of a Home game, is a consumer more likely to strive to achieve the top of a leaderboard if the developer offers social rewards in addition to virtual items? Probably the most exceptional example of this I can think of is Grimm's SodiumOne t-shirt, which is autographed by Lockwood's Sodium team. Do small expenses like that translate into greater consumer engagement and sales?

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net


MY answer to your question is maybe they can use the leaderboards to get people to know that what they work for and their accomplsihment is shown..with a reward involved that only a handful or less people get it makes it even better. DEvelopers need to realize that if they add leaderboards with rewards for getting a certain place in the board does equal more happiness to the users

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Wastelander
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 19, 2012

NorseGamer wrote:

So here's a question: how could developers push the leaderboard aspect even further? If this is a major component that drives the social aspects of a Home game, is a consumer more likely to strive to achieve the top of a leaderboard if the developer offers social rewards in addition to virtual items? Probably the most exceptional example of this I can think of is Grimm's SodiumOne t-shirt, which is autographed by Lockwood's Sodium team. Do small expenses like that translate into greater consumer engagement and sales?

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

Norse:

Could you define the term "social rewards"?

Based upon your citation of the Sodium 1 t-shirt, my GUESS is that it has something to do with a "real life" item. But I ask for an explanation since I'm assuming it's more than just a t-shirt.

But using the t-shirt paradigm right now - even that could be prohibitively expensive. Over and above the the shirt itself, the cost to design and "master" the t-shirt costs more than people realize.

If the term "social rewards" refers to "IN Home", then the ONLY example I can think of is the Casino Hall of Fame as described by DL in this thread: http://community.us.playstation.com/thread/4694599?start=0&tstart=0

The Hall of Fame thing isn't a "reward item" as such; but it's still in Home.

Let us all know what you mean and I'd be happy to chime in! :-)


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Wastelander
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Re: Defining Home's "It" Game

Jun 19, 2012

Aasyranth wrote:

It would be nice if leaderboard champs could win rare rewards.

Aasyranth and Lightfire:

In the past, EA Sports did that with the Poker Crown. And currently, Digital Leisure WILL be doing that with their "leaderboard jackets". Here's the thread with the details: http://community.us.playstation.com/thread/4694599?start=0&tstart=0

Those on the top ten of ANY game leaderboard will receive a one of only 70 jackets (top 10 for War, Slots, Keno, Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, and Big Six) ... and they'll be awarded once every six-month season. And of course, #1 on the overall Casino leaderboard will win a unique jacket (details on that in the linked post).

I can tell you that play at EA Poker spiked dramartically AFTER they started awarding the Poker Crown. MANY players were playing 20 hours PLUS a day for that!


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