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Make the game you want to play -- Agree?

User is online   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#1

This is directed towards people who make games. I'm not talking about people who are just cogs in a machine, following orders. I mean people who direct or produce games.

Make a game that you want to play.

If you are not part of your "target audience" then there's a good chance you will make a game that pleases no one. You may think you understand what someone else wants, but you probably don't. You will end up mindlessly copying someone else's game or pandering to no effect.
If you make a game to learn something, that's fine but don't expect people to enjoy playing it. Perhaps what you learn will make your next game better.

Back to the main point -- If you yourself wouldn't want to play the game you are making, why the hell should you expect anyone else to? I feel that this is the number one problem with AAA games these days (as well as many smaller games). Huge amounts of time and effort being expended to produce games that no one really wants. Avengers anyone?

Sometimes the flaws are so fucking obvious and glaring, the only explanation is that the people at the top are completely out of touch. They don't want to play the game, they don't even understand what the appeal is supposed to be, and so they are incapable of making it into something that people would want to play. People who don't play games have no business making games. And people who aren't passionately making the game they want to play should step aside and make room for those who do.
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User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#2

I think it's a general guideline (though not necessarily a rule) of most creative works.

That aside, pardon my assumption but it sounds like this was brought on by something...?
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User is online   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#3

View PostNinety-Six, on 17 October 2020 - 05:07 PM, said:

That aside, pardon my assumption but it sounds like this was brought on by something...?


I'm getting myself hyped up to make Attrition mode for AA. I want it to be the ultimate expression of my gameplay style and something that I myself want to play.
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User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#4

Imma spoiler this for OT's sake.

Spoiler

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User is online   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#5

View PostNinety-Six, on 17 October 2020 - 05:14 PM, said:

Should I assume it's a spiritual/direct successor to War of Attrition?


Yes.
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User is online   OpenMaw 

  • Judge Mental

#6

Absolutely agree. I spent most of late 2019 and early 2020 experimenting in game design before I found and finished Save The Astronaut. I've got a half dozen projects that are experiments. Some of them will never go anywhere, but pieces of them maybe evolve into something else or be used elsewhere, but the only person I'm aiming to please is myself. In the making of it, and in the playing of it. If I don't have fun with it, I'm not going to push it on anyone else.

By that same token I would add, don't, for the love of fudge, be unwilling to listen to feedback, criticism, etc. Play testers worth a salt will find and give it to you, and it can turn an okay game into a great game.
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User is online   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#7

View PostOpenMaw, on 17 October 2020 - 06:16 PM, said:

By that same token I would add, don't, for the love of fudge, be unwilling to listen to feedback, criticism, etc. Play testers worth a salt will find and give it to you, and it can turn an okay game into a great game.


Yes. Interpreting and reacting to feedback can be tricky, though. Usually, when someone reports a problem, there is a problem. However, it may not be the thing they reported. For example, a playtester might report that a boss is too spongey, saying that they take too many shots to kill. In fact, the real problem may be that the fight is just boring. If it was interesting then the player wouldn't mind spending more time shooting the boss. Criticisms and reports are useful information. If it's a straight-up bug then fix it, but in many cases it's a bad idea to simply do what the testers/critics are telling you to do. They may have low expectations of the game or your abilities to improve it, or may assume that you would be unwilling to make certain kinds of changes so they don't suggest them. And then on the other end of the spectrum there are people that want to make their own game out of your game and have their own vision for it.
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User is offline   MC84 

#8

Well I don't really even consider myself a 'true gamer' so take my opinion with a grain of salt.. But would it be fair to say that the need for 'mass appeal' in large game companies is one of the key issues here? In that certain gameplay elements or stylistic choices are diluted so as to have mass market appeal? Perhaps I'm uninformed but it seems to me that the 90s and early 2000s was the end of the 'niche' approach to game development, where game companies often only had small teams that could bounce ideas of one another and maintain a 'pure' artistic vision. I guess games weren't so mainstream then, so many unsavoury or politically incorrect, or even just plain quirky things could fly under the radar.

To be honest I see it as a positive thing, because it leaves the door open for small-time developers to produce things that are truly creative.

But yes, I agree with your premise, and it strikes me as pointless to invest time and energy into a project that you don't really believe in. I think this is one of those paradoxes; by pursuing an individual vision (or at least a vision that is shared by a small, coherent group) and not concerning oneself with mass appeal, you're more likely to create a game that is a memorable experience for others.
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User is online   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#9

View PostMC84, on 17 October 2020 - 10:55 PM, said:

Well I don't really even consider myself a 'true gamer' so take my opinion with a grain of salt.. But would it be fair to say that the need for 'mass appeal' in large game companies is one of the key issues here?


Yes and no. I think games with mass appeal can be great. There's nothing wrong with having mass appeal, the problem lies in pursuing it directly. Both Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing have mass appeal. I think the developers behind them are passionate and believe in them. But personally, I don't get the appeal of Animal Crossing at all. If I were a developer, even if you told me that an Animal Crossing type game could make me more money than a shooter, I would not try to develop the Animal Crossing type game. Because I don't get it. I would only be guessing at what makes it appealing to people and trying to imitate the Nintendo game; I would probably imitate the wrong things and the project would be bereft of passion and most likely suck. Not to mention I would be miserable and hating every minute of it. So it's a loser for me.

If a certain game is what you like personally, it's very likely that millions of other people would like it too (if they ever hear about it, which is a whole other topic). Unless your tastes are very obscure, they will be shared by many.

I'm not saying that companies shouldn't try to make popular games. It's how they go about it. The current process in a lot of companies seems to be completely divorced from the desire to make good games. Avengers popular IP! Looter games addictive, people play lots and pay for cosmetics! This equals profit! Make game! Maybe if someone actually cared about playing the game and having fun, they would think about the fact that the loot is doomed to be boring if it only affects stats and doesn't really change gameplay, especially if enemies simply scale to you. But fixing that would mean actually being creative and having loot that changes Marvels characters....oh no! So just grind out the boring game and assume that players are too dumb to get bored of it.

A better process would be: listen to pitches from designers who are passionate about the projects they want to make and actually know how to make a fun game. Then, amongst those potential projects, invest in the game that seems like it has the most profit potential. So, profit is still important but it comes in only after you know you have a project with creative merit.
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User is online   Jimmy 

  • 1776 World Wide

#10

Every Serious Sam spin off.
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#11

For a moment I thought this was about people who complain that their group either isn't represented at all or is presented incorrectly in someone else's game. I also tell those people to make the game they want to play. I get your point too, though.
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User is online   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#12

View PostCartaphallus, on 18 October 2020 - 01:39 AM, said:

For a moment I thought this was about people who complain that their group either isn't represented at all or is presented incorrectly in someone else's game. I also tell those people to make the game they want to play.


Those people don't want to play the games that they want to make other people make. Even they have better taste than that. The game they want to play -- the game they do play quite successfully --- is not even a video game.

I'm working on my Weider impression.
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#13

View PostDanukem, on 18 October 2020 - 02:23 AM, said:

Those people don't want to play the games that they want to make other people make. Even they have better taste than that. The game they want to play -- the game they do play quite successfully --- is not even a video game.

I'm working on my Weider impression.


Too coherent, sorry.
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User is online   OpenMaw 

  • Judge Mental

#14

View PostCartaphallus, on 18 October 2020 - 01:39 AM, said:

For a moment I thought this was about people who complain that their group either isn't represented at all or is presented incorrectly in someone else's game. I also tell those people to make the game they want to play. I get your point too, though.


Diabetes isn't represented well enough in video games. I should make an FPS where you have to take insulin injections every couple levels. Nay, a whole mechanic based around balancing your blood sugar. You've got to check it constantly, draw up the insulin, eat the right kinds of foods, and there will be Willfurd Brimley ads everywhere.



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#15

I know you're joking, but I guarantee you people would play that.
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User is online   ck3D 

#16

View PostCartaphallus, on 18 October 2020 - 03:45 AM, said:

I know you're joking, but I guarantee you people would play that.


Just from reading the description I was already starting to imagine a Diabetic Duke mod, and from then on the next step was remembering that people actually played Manual Samuel.

Best of luck for your project, Dan - I'm 100% on what you said, sometimes I even catch myself imagining how different the scene would be if all the time people spend (and have ever spent) expressing frustration towards its state was really spent directly learning how to create games or content instead. Now of course criticism is important and especially valuable from a pure player's perspective, but keeping opinions strictly verbal on forums also seems to result in a lot of human energy and direct creative potential going to waste, only for the reality of the situation to never change in consequence (or, in the best cases, only ever so slightly), whereas the creation directly is the change when fueled by a specific vision. I often feel like a lot of the valid points and great ideas people express oftentimes deserve a better display than just words, and in the case of Duke 3D, modding is easy enough that people with full-time jobs and busy lives can learn how to do it (especially conveniently with nowadays' tools, too), so content creating should be second nature at this point. I always wish to see more people creating in general, though.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 18 October 2020 - 04:49 AM

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User is offline   jkas789 

#17

Yeah I pretty much agree. It's actually why I think Nintendo has so much success. The devs of Mario, Zelda and Smash pretty much don't give a shit about what the community continually asks for. :P

Also if you are a modder and your fav game has proper modding tools you can turn your favourite game into the game you want to play cough cough Skyrim cough cough.
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#18

I think there can be a little value in doing a small game in a style you normally wouldn't do. Something that you do over a week or two. Makes you think about things from a perspective you wouldn't normally think about. Not a big project though.

View PostOpenMaw, on 18 October 2020 - 03:38 AM, said:

Diabetes isn't represented well enough in video games. I should make an FPS where you have to take insulin injections every couple levels. Nay, a whole mechanic based around balancing your blood sugar. You've got to check it constantly, draw up the insulin, eat the right kinds of foods, and there will be Willfurd Brimley ads everywhere.

Pretty sure there's a simplistic game like that for the NES or SNES.
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User is offline   wnderer 

#19

If you want to make games, make games. Don't make movies and novels. Some games seem more interested in telling a story than in game play. I like monster and mazes games. You fight monsters to flip switches to get keys to open doors. Every time you flip a switch, get a key or open a door more monsters and goodies appear.

And repetitive sucks, repetitive sucks, repetitive sucks. I don't want to do choreography. I don't want to die a dozen times to figure out I need to; jump to the left to avoid the falling rock; spin around shoot the monster that teleports behind me; switch to the rocket launcher to get the guy on the ledge; then jump in the lake before the whole room explodes. I want to peer into the room, observe the situation and terrain and choose my tactics and weapons and have a chance at succeeding. The only reason I can win is because the game designer makes it possible.

And I want to be able to retreat, otherwise what is the point of telling me my health and ammo. I hate being trapped in a little room with an almost indestructible monster. One of my favorite memories of playing a game was back when Doom was new; fighting a bunch of monsters, running out of ammo, fighting with my fists to get to a ledge and throw myself off. Then running down the halls, with the space marine dripping blood, to find the health and ammo I left behind, then going back to finish the monsters. Maybe I'm not a good gamer, but that was much more fun than quick save, quick load until you get the dance steps right.
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User is online   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#20

View Postwnderer, on 18 October 2020 - 07:25 AM, said:

If you want to make games, make games. Don't make movies and novels. Some games seem more interested in telling a story than in game play.


I agree as a matter of taste but I wouldn't go so far as to tell people not to make interactive movies and novels. If people want to make and play walking simulators or games that are mostly cutscenes, then to each his own. What does make me angry though is when I see a trailer for a game that is just like a movie trailer and has no gameplay footage. Fuck that.
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#21

I agree, but i also think that is a matter of luck and fashion times, i mean, let's pretend that Duke3D came out now, in 2020 and Animal Crossing came out back in the 1996, do you think they would attract the same amount of people?Imagine releasing Animal Crossing in the late '90 when most of the people were so hyped by badass things, characters, movies, Rambo, Terminator etc... then Animal Crossing pop up, reaction: "the hell is this thing? Burn it please!" (and i would say the same)
Imagine releasing Duke3D right now, exception for the "boomers", who would care for a big pixelated retro style game?
With luck i mean that you must be lucky at releasing the game at the right time, day and place, so that can become viral.


One of the games i loved back then was The Guardian Legend for NES (fucking Corridor 4 enigma :P), imho it was forward for his time and has always been so damn underrated and i can't understand why.

If i was a kid, i'll probably play a thing like Fortinite, just because my friends play it, even if i never liked stuff based on luck.


However, i rest my case, old games are more completed because, before the release, they have been tested more times as devs could not count on "online patch and update".

Plus the fact that looks like nowdays people love to watch cutscenes and grapichs details, instead to play the game...

This post has been edited by The Battlelord: 18 October 2020 - 12:56 PM

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#22

View PostThe Battlelord, on 18 October 2020 - 12:52 PM, said:

Plus the fact that looks like nowdays people love to watch cutscenes and grapichs details, instead to play the game...


IQ rates are dropping in many developed countries.
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User is online   Jimmy 

  • 1776 World Wide

#23

Animal Crossing is fine. It's a chill game for casuals. There's nothing wrong with it, in fact it's pretty well made and fun for what it is. I would never play it, but my girlfriend plays it all the time. It's good for her. She can play with her sister who lives far away, one of her best friends who is institutionalized and needs some kind of social life, hell she even plays with my older brother she doesn't know that well. It's good for the people who like it. When I play my shooters she can sit nearby and play Animal Crossing, and we can spend time together playing games and we're both happy. There's not a lot of games we can play together, mostly older console games, because she gets motion sickness from most 3D games. (She's actually better at Star Fox and Donkey Kong Country than I am.) If she watched me play Doom she would throw up. I think Animal Crossing would be just as well received in the 90s because Harvest Moon was a thing. That's a good game too, and I actually played the N64 one a lot when it came out. It was one of the few games my family had because my sister wanted it. Animal Crossing is not for me, there's no challenge in it for me and that is what I'm looking for in a game. Other gamers are looking for experiences, or a social interaction, or even just to waste time. While there are legitimately shitty middle of the road focus group study games out there, I don't think criticizing AC is fair because it does exactly what it sets out to do and it's successful because it's filling a niche some people actually want.

This post has been edited by Jimmy: 18 October 2020 - 05:05 PM

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#24

View PostJimmy, on 18 October 2020 - 04:59 PM, said:

Animal Crossing is fine. It's a chill game for casuals. There's nothing wrong with it, in fact it's pretty well made and fun for what it is. I would never play it, but my girlfriend plays it all the time. It's good for her. She can play with her sister who lives far away, one of her best friends who is institutionalized and needs some kind of social life, hell she even plays with my older brother she doesn't know that well. It's good for the people who like it. When I play my shooters she can sit nearby and play Animal Crossing, and we can spend time together playing games and we're both happy. There's not a lot of games we can play together, mostly older console games, because she gets motion sickness from most 3D games. (She's actually better at Star Fox and Donkey Kong Country than I am.) If she watched me play Doom she would throw up. I think Animal Crossing would be just as well received in the 90s because Harvest Moon was a thing. That's a good game too, and I actually played the N64 one a lot when it came out. It was one of the few games my family had because my sister wanted it. Animal Crossing is not for me, there's no challenge in it for me and that is what I'm looking for in a game. Other gamers are looking for experiences, or a social interaction, or even just to waste time. While there are legitimately shitty middle of the road focus group study games out there, I don't think criticizing AC is fair because it does exactly what it sets out to do and it's successful because it's filling a niche some people actually want.


And i i think you hit nice points, girlfriends! There are some girlfriends that does not play that game? And won't home bat our faces if we talk bad about it? xD

Thinking about this, not so much years before, it sounded just weird that a girl was interestend in videogames.
Slowly the word "nerd" is almost disappeared and we can welcome the era where people will name call "boomers" rofl.


Yeah pretty sure that is not fair comparing AC to a FPS or other oldschool games, aside the fact that it does what is set for, it is just an example to understand why it has so much success for so many people, am so not sure if it would have been that great (maybe decent?) in 90s, at least not the same way/style that has now, i mean i don't think is on the same line as Harvest Moon which has a style closer to The Legend of Zelda.
Oh well, these are just suppositions, am not gonna quarrel for this lol.


Maybe i can't find the right words, but is like new players like to do eveyrthing comfortably, passively, without so much effort, just things that requires more time than skills and efforts, it feel like they think "it is just a game to pass time, is not really needed the curiosity to discover many secrets as possible, to unlock that famous weapon/move/car or whatever".
Obviously not every new game is like that, indeed i like Shovel Knight, Gunvolt and some others that are pretty retro style and quite populars.

And this bring the main question again, why some games have success (even if retro styled like the ones i've said right the line above) and why some others not?

This post has been edited by The Battlelord: 18 October 2020 - 10:46 PM

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User is offline   king karl 

#25

View PostDanukem, on 17 October 2020 - 05:10 PM, said:

I'm getting myself hyped up to make Attrition mode for AA. I want it to be the ultimate expression of my gameplay style and something that I myself want to play.


you mean that one you were thinking of making that's like a boderlandsish game with random loot drops and a folder i can drop usermaps into to enter them into the randomization process?

I'd play the hell out of that
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User is offline   king karl 

#26

View PostCartaphallus, on 18 October 2020 - 02:24 PM, said:



that's just immigration =p
-1

User is online   Jimmy 

  • 1776 World Wide

#27

Not sure how Animal Crossing is less like Harvest Moon and more like Legend of Zelda except for graphically, perhaps.
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#28

View PostJimmy, on 18 October 2020 - 11:20 PM, said:

Not sure how Animal Crossing is less like Harvest Moon and more like Legend of Zelda except for graphically, perhaps.



As far i know (and i'm quite limited here xD) and felt, Harvest Moon first games started with a similar movement (square by square) and graphics right like TLoZ, AC it was already 3D (maybe even remastered now? idk), if we are talking about all the evolutions and the stuff the player can do in these games maybe we can put The Sims in the list too, otherwise i'm so sorry but i don't know them so well to talk about in the deep, pretending that is so important atm :P (sorry for the OT).
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#29

View Postking karl, on 18 October 2020 - 11:19 PM, said:

that's just immigration =p


Naw. You could've read the article: "Even children born to high-IQ parents are slipping down the IQ ladder."
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User is online   ck3D 

#30

View PostThe Battlelord, on 18 October 2020 - 12:52 PM, said:

With luck i mean that you must be lucky at releasing the game at the right time, day and place, so that can become viral.


Going viral is the enemy of quality, most every shit product out there nowadays you can tell has been manufactured to try and go viral but otherwise bears no substantial quality, and is just a shell of looks. People shouldn't try to make games to go viral, they should try to make good games. Also right time and place has nothing to do with luck when one isn't disconnected from their audience, the problem right now is that numbers are the new popular religion and companies would rather sacrifice humble but faithful and authentic niche audiences to instead try and appeal to more and more customers from the anonymous masses (that might or might not even exist, since by trying to please everybody, you please no one - so essentially, that model would only be viable in a world where bots would have buyer power).

This post has been edited by ck3D: 19 October 2020 - 04:28 AM

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