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News & Features Discussion  » General: Farmville Killed Gaming, V-Worlds, Dogs

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157 posts found
  Raph

MMO Designer

Joined: 9/11/06
Posts: 117

3/18/10 2:34:14 PM#121

You beat me to posting about the blog! Oh well. :)

  Xondar123

Gumshoe

Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 2601

3/18/10 2:34:30 PM#122

"The 21st century will be a war of attention," Schell said. "We have to choose sides." The world can either be controlled by the designers who only want to make money -- the "persuaders," as Schell labeled them -- or these games can be controlled by the humanitarians, and the artists, and the fulfillers. The persuaders can be beaten, Schell said, but only "if we wake the hell up."

 

And this is what Cryptic has become. Persuaders. It's so very sad that there are people out there who just can't see this fact.

xondar10 Xfire Miniprofile
  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

3/18/10 2:50:19 PM#123

As a follow up to my previous post. I want to point out something that MAY not be entirely obvious to some readers here. One of the ways that sites have traditionaly converted volume into revenue was through the mechanism of advertisement.... in one form or another.

What some people may not be aware of is that in recent years advertisement/sponsorship revenue has gotten ALOT harder to come by. In part, this is a natural result of the economic down-turn....as big corporations (the primary sources of ad revenue) natural pay alot more attention to how and WHY they spend money...especialy in areas that aren't mission critical to them. There IS and HAS been a growing trend for quite some time to actualy require measurable JUSTIFICATION for spending the dollars that they do.....particularly in advertising.

The reason for this is simple....the people controling the purse springs at those companies realized that just because you put in front of a pay of eye-balls didn't mean that those eye-balls were likely to spend ANY money on your company. CFO's slashed many high profile Ad/Marketing/Sponsorship's programs due to austerity budgets and often saw ZERO effect on thier bottom line. This was an eye opener for many.

Note this not to say that advertising is worthless/is die-ing or won't be around in future. However it is true that it is not NEARLY as easy to cash in on as it was previously...and this trend will continue.  It used to be... "I'll write you a check based upon how many eye-balls saw my logo" ...... increasingly it's becoming "I'll write you a check based upon how many eye-balls bought a hammer from that you can PROVE did so based upon seeing my logo on your site".  Ultimately this is a good thing for all of us (IMO).....but it DOES mean that companies whose business models depend simply on volume of traffic (as many "social" sites do) are going to have to spend some time/effort thinking on how they are going to be able to monetize that traffic....It is not going to be as simple/easy to do so as it has been in the past.

 

  BaronJuJu

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/04
Posts: 1827

"Just because it happens to you doesn''t make it interesting"

3/18/10 3:30:16 PM#124
Originally posted by Raph

You beat me to posting about the blog! Oh well. :)


 

Sorry about that. it was a great read and I wanted to make sure it was injected into the discussion as fast as possible.

 

"If we don't attack them, they will attack us first. So we'd better retaliate before they have a chance to strike"

  Kensan_Oni

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/17/09
Posts: 17

3/18/10 5:10:13 PM#125

I played Farmvile for about a month or two before I just completely ignored it all together. For me, it isn't really an entertainment option, just a toy that I played with a little bit because I got Spammed with it a lot on that site.

Farmville has some Pros and Cons over more traditional MMO platform games.

a) Farmville requires no time commitment.

Unlike Most MMO's where you need at least half a hour even to do something meaningful, Farmville requires about 5 to 10 minutes a day. Log in, click all your crops, lay down your tractor and seeder, walk away for two days. Come back. It rewards by inaction. You can set it up to do things in a quicker fashion, but there is no 'credit' reward for doing so. You're return on your crops is marginally the same no matter if you plant long term or short term. Set up an animal farm/tree farm, and you can change your commitment time to once a week.

This short commitment time allows players to log in from Work and resolve their turn during a coffee break, and then get back to work. This is the major factor of why the game is popular.

b) Farmvile Depends On Networking To Succeed

Farmville, for the most part, is a Solo game. You never need to see another player, and other players direct interaction never happens. The best that a friend can do for you is to enhance your level gaining ability, and to give you junk.

It's the Junk that becomes desirable. Due to Facebook's interface (And that is the key to it's success), it is constantly bombarding friends and strangers with items, and begging that you give everyone on your list one back. It completely floods your inbox with messages over and over again, and because it demands so much attention, if you don't block it, you'll end up playing it.

c) Farmville offers neat stuff for those that Pay

Farmville works of the Vanity Model of F2P games. The Vanity Model simpy is "If you want stuff that looks good, you pay for it". Unfortunatly, most of the items in Vanity line aren't very attractive, or not more so then what you can get for free, anyway. Zynga probably makes more money using Farmville as a Gateway to their Texas Poker game, then on the actual products in Farmville. However, like most Vanity F2P games, most people will not consider dropping 10 dollars every few months into a game a huge investment.

d) Farmville Offers no ties to players.

Farmville is a great time waster. It will sit there and eat your time if you want it to, but it will not allow you to build friendships. It won't let you really contact with people. It will encorage you to create fake friend networks so you can take advantage of items being exchanged, but it won't actually turn those into anything. It is a 'social-less' social game, and in that way, it's horribly disappointing. Puzzle Pirates offers more to the casual player then Farmville does.

e) Farmville is a poor Economic Simulator

Farmville offers very little in way of Game. It is a busy body activity set, where you go in, set up your farm, and then wait. The return for crops will always yeild enough money to buy new crops. You can't trade crops with other players, the market never changes, and the money, ultimately, becomes even LESS meaningful then your typical trade coin in more traditional MMO's, as it can't be used to buy 'rare' goods from other players. With the removal of any economics, there is very little to do in Farmville outside of sim management, and there just is no point to that. Animals will be happy no matter where they are, nothing needs watering, and trees will happily sprout fruit given time.

f) The Kawaii wears off

Farmville is a cute game, that has an appeal to players who do not like conflicts, do not like direct interaction, and like to manipulate images into 'pretty' enviroments. The game succeeds because it allows this all to take place with no time commitment. The longer one plays the game, however, the more the graphics tire, and once players realize that there is no real game play to be had, the desire to play lessens.

 

Personal Conclusion

Farmville will have it's die hard fans, but the play style is doomed to self-termination. Farmville will exist only as long as they can keep adding new features to it, and to invent new mini-collection games to it, which is dangerous because with the bloat of the engine, the more likely it will start taking too long to load, and the longer the load time, the less of the advantage it is to people to play. When it takes longer to load the game then it does to play, that is when you will see the end of Farmville, and the rise of the next "Casual Spam Game".

Zynga has invented an interesting model, but like many management games on Facebook, they are doomed to lose their players.

  User Deleted
3/18/10 5:44:46 PM#126

My take for the gaming industry as a whole is make games that work as relliably as Farmville and others like it do, I am a gamer first and an mmo vet second so I hold reliability in a much higher place than most mmo players seem to and maybe the devs need to think about this as opposed to all this abstract drivel.

The bottom line is WOW outside of it's vast popularity worked as reliably as most console games did but the rest of the industry doesn't have this to fall back on I don't know if it's due to laziness or incompitence but either way this is the one factor I don't see these devs discuss, why is it that they constantly release games with advertised features that don't work at the time of release and more importantly why is it they think that an excuse like "well we ordered the box art before the game was finished" makes any kind of difference?  Gaming is business like music movies etc. and I don't see how so many devs expect us to believe when they have so many examples of how to address this part of there business that they can't get this part right, hell many of these same companies have been releasing offline/console games for years and aren't forced to lie to the player base.

Put it like this AOC,DF,WAR are all games that we are expected to PAY money for then pay a monthly fee on top of that and every one of those games arguably released missing features that some will say had no reason to not be included or should not have been talked about if they aren't in and Farmville, Mafia wars are free and guess what?  They may not do much but what they are supposed to do they actually do.

  azmundai

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/18/10
Posts: 1424

3/18/10 6:11:38 PM#127

Farmville didn't kill gaming, the industries reaction to the success of WoW killed gaming in the MMO sense of the word. All of these damn wow clones which take no risks, and change nothing but skin colors are the problem. If you want to skip over the whole farmville era before it even starts ... INNOVATE.

For example, why hasn't a game been released with voice chat? Imagine a world where you could hear everything people say up to 5 feet from you. Sure .. there are times that would suck, and maybe that isn't the best idea overall, but something that truly innovates beyond having slightly different class names instead of priest and warrior, or slightly different combat mechanics are never going to change much and if things remain as stale as they have since wow .. something else is bound to come along and give people something more compelling to do.

We haven't even had a proper sandbox mmo since UO. Every time a new game pops up around here I go take a look at the classes, and generally I'm done reading after that because all of them are warrior, priest, mage, rogue. This genre above all others has the ability to really take the idea of sandbox style gaming to another level, but the closest we have come are hacked up multi class systems which basically just end up extending the total classes from 6 to 18 or something. I want to develop my character into a mage that also does awesome melee dps.

Anyway, the point is don't blame farmville. Blame Lucas/Bioware for only being able to come up with "full voice-over" as an innovation.

LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  vistakah

Novice Member

Joined: 9/12/04
Posts: 118

3/18/10 6:42:02 PM#128

The simple reality is that almost my entire family plays FARMVILLE. This includes my mom and her senior citizen friends. Most of my Facebook friends play it. It's a simplified level and grind game. It's a market open to anybody. Games like WoW or WAR, etc etc only attract certain types. Farmville as lame as a game as it is attracts just about anybody. It's competitive. They have simple ongoing events all the time.. Best part is people play it for free. People actually socialize on FB in game and out. After all who would pay to play a Flash based laggy game.

 

I challenge game developers to give me an interesting gaming experience. Until then i'm mindlessly waste time on simplistic games like FV and others.

  ghstwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

3/18/10 6:46:31 PM#129
Originally posted by jaxsundane

My take for the gaming industry as a whole is make games that work as relliably as Farmville and others like it do, I am a gamer first and an mmo vet second so I hold reliability in a much higher place than most mmo players seem to and maybe the devs need to think about this as opposed to all this abstract drivel.


 

True enough, and yet the lesson hasn't been learned.  How many PS3/Xbox games are working out of the box?

Why did people avoid these consoles (ignoring that the PS3 was built mostly to win a format war- BluRay)?  Because you bought a box that contained a game you had to install, patch and deal with the same DRM as the PC world.  IIRC the average production costs have tripled since 2003 with no comparable increase in unit price or units sold.  (Abort rant about graphics)

Something has to give.  We're either going to have to pay more or expect less.  Developers will have to build or embrace technology/methodology to drive their costs down.  (Damn it I want to rant about graphics again) To me the focus has for too long been about pushing prettier pixels, to the point that they have far surpassed the point of diminishing returns on the current tools (ie it's why production costs skyrocket even as game shrink in playtime/content).  I look to the "gimmicks", new control/input types and at the old concepts used before the graphic capacity of the machines was virtually "unlimited".

Make no mistake, I don't like thinking about games as business models or in terms of economics.  But to understand where we are and to divine the future you have to. 

  Kookas

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/08
Posts: 40

3/18/10 8:22:39 PM#130
Originally posted by ghstwolf

Recently there was an article here about making MMOs more accessible.  My big question is: why can't a single virtual world cast it's net into the various markets?

Is it so hard to visualize a virtual world with more than a single entry point?  Why not offer a free browser based "factoryville", where those players produce consumables and some of the raw materials for an MMO?  This would be your free w/cash shop for various upgrades element.

OK, that covers the crappy "social" game part.  Now we can talk about the "real" MMO.  The only difference would be the economy would affect both the MMO and the "social" game.  The MMO player would gain access to the larger world along with the "factoryville" portion, a very large advantage.  The factory upgrades would be available in the world, along with markets not available to the "social" gamers.

This offers huge advantages to "traditional" models.  For "real" gamers, we could play with our non-gaming friends.  At the same time, our non-gaming friends would have a little taste of the MMO life.  It's similar to the Warcraft effect on WoW subs, but stronger since the 2 games would be tightly tied together.  The "social" game is both advertising and a pre-purchase time investment.  Think of the crappy communities we tolerate because we are so time invested into a game before we realize how bad they really are.

 

Koster was saying that social games will not become hardcore but a game with a combined offering would be interesting.  A P2P mmo where there would be a F2P interface for NPC activities.  When the farm/restrauntville players produce things they can sell at in an auction house to players in the P2P game interface.  All those gray items you find, instead of selling them to an NPC, you sell them to a player in the other interface who is playing recycleville or something.  

You could set it up to where either interface could function on its own but there would be bonus for players in each interface to interact.  The best weapons in the P2P interface could created by grandma playing factoryville in the F2P interface, and the ville player could receive auction prices for their stuff instead of a set amount.

Maybe the idea is overly complicated but you could even use the dual interfaces to create meaningful RvR in the P2P interface.  A faction controlling an area has access to F2P players producing different things needed in the P2P interface.    

 

* I read most of what Jon Wood writes
* He needs more bullet points though

  kostoslav

Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 467

3/19/10 2:54:46 AM#131

A lot of players did not ever play any other game beside Farmville. ( Almost all of my friends that play Farmville are girls and do not like any other games)

  dealaka

Novice Member

Joined: 11/13/05
Posts: 21

3/19/10 3:00:19 AM#132

As I write this post, I am a bit torn, but I have understanding as I speak. As someone who has played Zynga's Vampires and many mmos I can see what works and what doesn't work in both aspects. I thought I'd clarify the pros and cons of it, something like guild wars, and the new game I've been playing Mabinogi.

~Vampires~

Pros

  • I can be lazy and click my way to fame and fortune.
  • I can request help from friends, who do not have to be online to help.
  • I can be lazy and click my way to having thumbs of steel.

Cons

  • You thought Free to Play Item malls were bad? You are required to spend lots of money to succeed. No option.
  • Energy/Time/Whatever, if my bar is empty, I have to wait 4 hours to do something significant.
  • If you don't buy stuff, you're often going to be made fun of by people who do.

Sum Up - Vampires, Restaurant City, Farmville, and many others seem like they might be the next possible future. Honestly though they don't hold people's attention. It's fun to click when you're bored in the morning and before bed but it quickly loses it's appeal. Not only that, but given that people don't really 'play' it means succeeding is left to those with money to burn.

~Guild Wars~

Pros

  • Persistent World that looks pretty and ofters traditional content most gamers expect.
  • Lack of long (5+ hour) raid type events for 1 piece of loot.
  • Skill based rather then profession based for interesting combinations.
  • Wide varieties of items/mods to make unique weaponry.

Cons

  • I hope you like grinding. Some items are so expensive, if you work for a year, you still won't be able to afford them.
  • Lack of player interaction material/locations/fun.
  • Lack of resources to fix/upgrade most game elements, even ones horribly bugged/broken.
  • Loot system is an utter joke. You're either lucky or poor.
  • Some professions and profession combinations are downright useless.
  • Horrible horrible title grinding/Hall of monument grinding for zero impact on the world around you. (10,000 minutes drunk) yes that's minutes in game you must click an item to get 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Lack of an epic feel/Armor modifications.

Sum Up - Guild Wars is your traditional MMO. They do some things right but honestly they're too pre-occupied  with Aion and GW2 to give it the attention in needs. That could be said for many MMO companies though. They really don't care about the players, just grinding to buy time till the next expansion. I don't blame the developers, but it's hard to play when things are bad and they'd rather work on something else. Especially if you're not lucky.

~Mabinogi~

Pros

  • Many of the things traditional gamers expect and more (houses, mounts, customization, you pick what skills you're good at, and crafting).
  • Cut scenes that set the mood.
  • Music making ability to play songs for your friends, share food around a campfire, and make silly faces.
  • Non-combat skills like throwing paper airplanes.
  • HUGE world to explore. I couldn't believe I was still running and barely touched the surface.
  • No running to retrieve your corpse, no major exp penalties, no paying for deeds on death. You drop items when you are knocked unconcious, but it's understandable.
  • Wide variety of pets, clothing, magic, items, skills, food, and more to make you get lost in options.

Cons

  • The camera takes some getting used to with click to move and interact with.
  • Skills need to be trained rather hard to be effective in the world.
  • Better utility of the game requires money.
  • You can feel a bit like a bot, doing the same tasks/schedule for several days.

Sum Up: When I first started playing this I was overwhelmed. Not just from learning a new game, but because many of the things I've been asking for in MMOs were here. Granted they don't have dungeon creation, dancing, or lots of mini-games but the sheer amount of options in staggering.  I sat there and said to myself, that if half the features in Mabinogi were in any other MMO it'd be considered an ubergame.  World of Warcraft has many of them, but it's not user friendly in my opinion.

~Conclusion~

The difference between the games really? It all comes down to the care and attention, the number of options that developers give their players. I don't care if a game developer is the Pulitzer prize winner, I want to be able to create as much of the world that is important to me. This I believe is the future of gaming. Customization and options. Developers honestly though are lazy and don't care about players (well for the most part).

So game developers that came along and cared even less got lots of money and current game developers are calling Foul? Hmmm, I don't think it works that way. If the game developers were to start hiring, and actually doing real significant work for the products that they currently have rather then new projects, I believe it'd be the MMO glory days again. They aren't going to though, so yeah it's probably going to mostly die.

  ghstwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

3/19/10 4:18:28 AM#133
Originally posted by Kookas
Maybe the idea is overly complicated but you could even use the dual interfaces to create meaningful RvR in the P2P interface.  A faction controlling an area has access to F2P players producing different things needed in the P2P interface.    

 

I'm not sure that it would be too complicated, but I doubt it would work.

Part of the appeal in "social" games is knowing/associating with the people you know in real life.  An RvR system for "contact" control would be a massive detriment for the F2P players. Cool as it might be as a mechanic for P2P, it would IMO sabotage the F2P side considerably.  Really I'd rather the P2P game respect what works in F2P space, treating it more as viral marketing +potential revenue stream.

That is you'd have first pick of your F2P only friend's stuff.  Pretty much messaging them with buy orders, and sending them various equipment upgrades/supplies (either as gifts or as payment).  They would still have an NPC broker for stuff if you are dramatically undercutting the market (the broker would pay some % less so you would have some room for profit) or for stuff you aren't interested in.

In a way, I very much disagree with Mr Koster.  Not in a disrespectful way, but I do think he's a bit trapped into the "all or nothing" thinking that permeates the web.  I'd have to look back to see if he has addressed the two pronged approach I'm advocating, which is a very limited version of the crazy idea I have for a "grand unification" within a virtual world.  Instead of a single game, make many but connect them all to and within a single virtual world.  Imagine an MMOFPS played in Simcity with Factoryville.  3 different games working together, from 3 different clients creating a game world we've never seen. 

  Arthineas

Novice Member

Joined: 6/01/08
Posts: 232

3/19/10 9:12:07 AM#134

 All the sudden Richard Garriot's Portalarium thing that he is doing with some other ex-Origin people does not seem like a bad idea at all.  If he could make a social game with the accessibility of Farmville  but have the fantasy trappings plus some of the cool features of UO, he could have a huge hit.

  Valkyrie

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/11/05
Posts: 149

3/19/10 9:48:40 AM#135

Haha, thanks Scott for this writeup, before your own conclusion I started to believe that this time you'd heavily disappoint me by following this pithy  and shallow drama queen thing. (Sorry no I found Scheels talk to be just that and nothing else.)

Just as a side note: I'm playing farmville since a looong time, pretty much since it came out - and fishville, the aquarium style clone too. It did not draw me from EQ2, it did not make me pay money, I just play the free stuff every so often. And I realize how annoying (and clever) it is to offer a stables frame for free, the pieces to make it whole you can only get from friends as free gifts ... but one type at least is only showing up one day as one or you need to pay cash for it ...

Basically it is nothing else then a new spin to the old f2p games with item shop. You don't need it or it will take long time to get it (you recieve one farmville cash coin per level you make) - or you pay real world money. I like the creativity people develop when it comes to money revenue, would be nice to see that applied to game functions instead of screaming WAR! (pun intended)

Something else I missed in Scheels apocalypse talk: I know people who generate second facebook profiles with fake names to play the games with thousands of "friends" who are just players for the give-me-a-free-gift machinery they base on. And another "real" FB profile for real life friends, topics etc. Talk about truth of metrics ...

Edit: By the way a lot of FV player I know are a) not active but got dragged in by friends who play and need higher neighbour counts. My list of those is long too, they just create a farm, accept neighbourhood and never enter again. And quite some never play computer games ever except FV. 

 

Played: Pretty much any fantasy MMO, some did not even make it to release ...
Favorites: UO, EQ2, Vanguard, Wurm Online
Playing: Wildstar, Landmark
Anticipating: EQ Next

  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 684

3/19/10 10:14:53 AM#136
Originally posted by Nethermancer

I have no problem with gaming like farmville. The people i want to play with in MMO's are not the farmville type. Therefore it wont affect my fun in the least. As a player who loves EVE i have not a single bit of desire to play anything even remotely like farmville. I would like to think that other players who love games like  EVE feel the same way. So what the hell do i care?


 

When game publishers decide that several cheap & short cycle social network games (that any 2 year old can master) are a better financial bet than the next up and comming sandbox MMO.....then you should care.

MMOs are expensive, HIGHLY competitive, VERY unpredictable, and have a long development cycle.  "Cheap"ville games are incredibly cheap to make, HIGHLY accessable via social networking sites,  and have very short development cycles.  So what if Farmville burns out in 6 months....they have the next one queued and ready to go.

I'm not suggesting that those games will take all the current MMO player base away.......I'm just suggesting that the pool of dollars thats available to fund new MMOs might get considerably smaller due to the success of these new HYPER casual games that reach out to non traditional gamers.

There are a lot of parallels you can draw from what WOW did to the MMO industry to what these social games are doing to the gaming industry.

 

 

  mszv

Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/06
Posts: 41

3/19/10 12:36:42 PM#137

I think this divide in gamers is artificial.  It's a continuum.  You may be a "core" gamer, who would never touch Farmville, but I know core gamers who play core games and also play Facebook games.  I also know people who only play Facebook games, and people who don't generally play any games.  I know a few people who work for game companies (the big ones), and some independent game developers.  Some of the people I knwo also play social games through facebook.  I know someone who worked for several "traditional" game publishers, and now they are working for a social game publisher.  And, as I said before, a cousin of mine, after having played facebook games, is now playing a RTS.  It's a continuum.  

This reminds me of the old debate about The Sims.  For years, there were people who said that The Sims wasn't a real game -- no combat, I guess.   Thankfully, that's over.  I figure this "tempest in a teapot" will be next.   More people will end up playing all kinds of games.  I think it's great for the industry, and for personal choice.  I'm not worried about MMORPGs going away -- looking at the numbers (however imperfect) of people playing -- doesn't seem likely. 

On a different topic, I think it's funny people will try to "cheat" Farmville -- have a fake account. I find farmville  to be relaxing -- meditative even -- I can't imaging trying to rush it along, it's not that kind of game.   I also think it's weird if people try to bug their friends to play it.  On my facebook friends, most don't play, some do.   Just like in any social situation,  it's not good to bug your friends. 

I'm still hoping this initiates more crossover games, Ralph Koster not withstanding.  I think all the different game genres can learn from each other.

-----

The WoW thing is interesting.  I read that all the time, in game forums, that after WoW, MMORPGs aren't as interesting.  I always wonder -- to who?  I'd think the people who play WoW enjoy it, and the people who play other MMORPGs -- I'm assuming they  enjoy they too, or they wouldn't play.   Are there not MMOs out there with your preferred playing style, even it if it's not the most popular?    

 

 

 

 

 

Regards,
mszv

  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 684

3/19/10 1:53:48 PM#138
Originally posted by mszv

I think this divide in gamers is artificial.  It's a continuum.  You may be a "core" gamer, who would never touch Farmville, but I know core gamers who play core games and also play Facebook games.  I also know people who only play Facebook games, and people who don't generally play any games.  I know a few people who work for game companies (the big ones), and some independent game developers.  Some of the people I knwo also play social games through facebook.  I know someone who worked for several "traditional" game publishers, and now they are working for a social game publisher.  And, as I said before, a cousin of mine, after having played facebook games, is now playing a RTS.  It's a continuum.  

This reminds me of the old debate about The Sims.  For years, there were people who said that The Sims wasn't a real game -- no combat, I guess.   Thankfully, that's over.  I figure this "tempest in a teapot" will be next.   More people will end up playing all kinds of games.  I think it's great for the industry, and for personal choice.  I'm not worried about MMORPGs going away -- looking at the numbers (however imperfect) of people playing -- doesn't seem likely. 

On a different topic, I think it's funny people will try to "cheat" Farmville -- have a fake account. I find farmville  to be relaxing -- meditative even -- I can't imaging trying to rush it along, it's not that kind of game.   I also think it's weird if people try to bug their friends to play it.  On my facebook friends, most don't play, some do.   Just like in any social situation,  it's not good to bug your friends. 

I'm still hoping this initiates more crossover games, Ralph Koster not withstanding.  I think all the different game genres can learn from each other.

-----

The WoW thing is interesting.  I read that all the time, in game forums, that after WoW, MMORPGs aren't as interesting.  I always wonder -- to who?  I'd think the people who play WoW enjoy it, and the people who play other MMORPGs -- I'm assuming they  enjoy they too, or they wouldn't play.   Are there not MMOs out there with your preferred playing style, even it if it's not the most popular?    

 

 

 

 

 


 

Couple of things....

One of the key characteristics of MMORPGs that seperates itself apart from other game types is that it requires much more time and investment to actualize "fun" and experience the content on a pace that the developers deem reasonable. 

Time is the nature of the beast when offering very deep and meaningful content. (One of the primary reasons I jumped from console gaming to MMORPGs back in 2000)  Prior to WOW, the equation for customer retention was to create content that gave benefit from spending more time in game.  The more time and effort you have invested in the game, presumably, the harder it will be to abandon it.  You become "pot commited" so to speak.

If the current expectation is that people will be giving up MORE of their MMO time to sample the many social networking gaming alternatives hitting the scene.......wont game developers have to start designing experiences within MMORPGs based on a much shorter time scale?

Instead of it requiring the typical gamer 4-5 months to reach level cap, it will now only have to take 2-3 months to retain the customers attention?

Instead of it requiring the typical dungeon run 40 minutes, will it now be shortened to 10-20?

I think thats what some of the industry guys are concerned about.  If the intention of the publishers is to start marketing games to audiences that previously had little interest in video games, how many consessions will the "core" games have to make to compete in this new expanded market?

Where are the core gamers left to go?

Ask Darkfall how hard it is to get funding for a niche game.  What will happen when MMOs (even a casual WOW type) become a niche market among the huge groups of non-traditional gamers that the industry now considers part of the "gameing market".

--------------------------------------

Edit:  It wasn't that long ago when the MMO market was only 500,000 - 1,000,000 (Ultima Online, EverQuest). 

 

Blizzard had WOW in mind to market to gamers outside of the traditional MMO market and made concessions to the MMO experience to cater to casual gamers (FPSers, Console gamers)......which Blizzard now claims to have 8,000,000 - 11,000,000 subscribers. 

Anything resembling Ultima or EQ is now considered "niche" and is near impossible to get funding for (ask Darkfall).

 

If the developers are now aiming at an even MORE casual market (people who aren't gamers at all), will the casual WOW standard then become a niche market among the 100s of millions playing all types of games?  Will WOW standard MMOs have a hard time getting funding the, considering the HUGE costs and maintenance associated with MMORPGs?

 

  fiontar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3711

3/19/10 2:08:50 PM#139

Maybe all this will cause MMO developers to just wake the hell up! I don't mean find ways to copy elements of these Facebook games into their designs, either. I mean, get out of the frakin rut they all seem to be in and make fun games people want to play!

 

It's funny that from the article you can take away that the thing that the MMO developers despise the most about this new breed of games is that they are "metric driven". IMO, the almost universal arrogance of MMO developers, in which they want you to "play their game, their way", even if the design shows all the signs of going right down the tubes, is the biggest problem in the genre.

I don't want my MMOs morphing in form and function from day to day, but it wouldn't hurt if they were designed in ways that made some responsiveness to the wants/needs of the player base quick, cheap and easy to address.

Too many MMO developers have this God Complex that prevents them from ever acknowledging that their design could have flaws, or that their view of what makes a great MMORPG isn't something that can universally be applied to the tastes of the player base. Once an MMORPG is "out in the wild", it's a given that all the flaws, big and small, will quickly be uncovered as the players play. The need to make adjustments efficiently and effectively should be addressed as part of the design of the project.

(Don't even get me started on Raph Koster, that guy can turn MMO Gold into bricks of dried cow manure just by looking at it)!

Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 684

3/19/10 3:26:33 PM#140
Originally posted by fiontar

Maybe all this will cause MMO developers to just wake the hell up! I don't mean find ways to copy elements of these Facebook games into their designs, either. I mean, get out of the frakin rut they all seem to be in and make fun games people want to play!

 

It's funny that from the article you can take away that the thing that the MMO developers despise the most about this new breed of games is that they are "metric driven". IMO, the almost universal arrogance of MMO developers, in which they want you to "play their game, their way", even if the design shows all the signs of going right down the tubes, is the biggest problem in the genre.

I don't want my MMOs morphing in form and function from day to day, but it wouldn't hurt if they were designed in ways that made some responsiveness to the wants/needs of the player base quick, cheap and easy to address.

Too many MMO developers have this God Complex that prevents them from ever acknowledging that their design could have flaws, or that their view of what makes a great MMORPG isn't something that can universally be applied to the tastes of the player base. Once an MMORPG is "out in the wild", it's a given that all the flaws, big and small, will quickly be uncovered as the players play. The need to make adjustments efficiently and effectively should be addressed as part of the design of the project.

(Don't even get me started on Raph Koster, that guy can turn MMO Gold into bricks of dried cow manure just by looking at it)!


 

Good post....

 

To add to the "metric driven" topic.......I think the developers are worried about the publishers using metrics to kill what creative liberties the developers still have.

 

Metrics are just statistics.....which many of us know can either be a good or bad thing (depending on the interpreter) 

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