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Old 09-28-2011, 08:11 PM
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Default Possibly the most important game article EVAR!

http://insertcredit.com/2011/09/22/w...a-ghost-story/

I wanted to give this some attention because I think it is a very important article for those concerned with some of the more insidious and exploitative trends creeping into modern gaming. It is important for you as players to understand these schemes for what they are because only you have the power to prevent these sort of practices from creeping into more traditional games. Game studios, however altruistic they may try to be, are still businesses and need money to operate. When sources of funding such as investors or publishers see the incredible profits generated by these shady monetization practices in the social gaming realm, they want part of that action. Consequently, more traditional game makers are forced to adapt to that model in pursuit of funding.

Just to be clear, I'm not necessarily condemning all free-to-play models or anything like that. There are some free-to-play games that seem to have reasonable monetization schemes and, done right, I think they can even work to the benefit of players. I'm not sure any "social games" fit into that category though. We all want to make some money at the end of the day but I think there is a fine line between creating addictive gameplay, that the developers genuinely believe is good entertainment vs. deliberately engineering something with the sole purpose of goading people into spending as much money as possible through shameless psychological exploitation.

Ultimately, it is for you, the player audience to decide where that line is and what you're willing to accept.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:30 PM
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Chapter 1 broke my brain.

Just tell me who to give my money to for my free-to-play game and I'm good. lol
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default Facebook Social Games

When I first joined facebook, they had all these weird wait a turn games and interact with friends games that were a bit cool, but for me the novelty wore of quickly. Within a month it went from novelty to tedium to flat-out aggression on my part with these games. I kept deleting those posts and telling people (my close personal friends) to stop bugging me. I was really happy when Facebook allowed us to opt out of actually getting game notifications. It was the single most valuable update that they did. Now I still enjoy facebook and use it for what it's really worth. To keep in contact with my friends from that aren't local and to share pictures of myself and my family with them.

With the current trend to socialize gaming, I've found myself drawn closer and closer to the more traditional board-gaming and PnP gaming than anything currently being offered. I'm still waiting patiently for a couple of video games, but most of the purchases now are in the $5 to $20 range where I know I'll be buying a product without having to shell-out a constant stream of payments. Even free to play games I'm leery of these days since I know that the payment method is hidden somewhere in the system and I just won't enjoy the game if I have to worry about 'paying' to level.

Ultimately I believe it's a fad. It'll die slowly when people realize they're getting gyped. It's a lot like clogs... they were cool, but people moved on to the next cool shoe. Yet a lot of people still wear tennis shoes and dress shoes still.


Dejnov.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medierra View Post
...but I think there is a fine line between creating addictive gameplay, that the developers genuinely believe is good entertainment vs. deliberately engineering something with the sole purpose of goading people into spending as much money as possible through shameless psychological exploitation.
Totally agree there...intent (good or bad) is reflective in any product. Like you said, it's up to us (the consumer) to decide what's acceptable and what crosses that boundary. I think the issue is when you say it's up to "you" well "you" is so broad that we really don't have all that much power over what happens in the industry.

I'd imagine most people who frequent the Grim Dawn forums comprise mostly of your more traditional gaming player base...and that probably holds true even for your typical PC gamer and console player. As the article pointed out, where these games are really succeeding is with middle aged women and kids with their parent's iTunes account.

I guess my point is I do agree with a lot of what the article is talking about...but I don't think it's necessarily killing gaming. In my opinion it's merely bringing in a whole new subset of people that weren't playing games prior (social aspect). Sure there's probably a lot of bleed over in both directions...but in large I would say that traditional gamers still expect a certain kind of game experience and therefore that market will still exist and prosper. If you look at other game trends (not just social gaming)...gaming is pretty much growing across the board!

At least that's what I hope LOL!

On a side note, that article was painful to read. I REALLY hate his writing style...way too much imagery and I was thinking to myself the whole time "just get the the f'n point!"
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Last edited by Renevent; 09-28-2011 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:12 AM
GrizzlyAdam GrizzlyAdam is offline
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That was a very insightful article, and certainly one every gamer should read. Whether social games are good or bad, it's important to be aware of what is happening in the industry.

I rather enjoyed his writing personality, but I can see how one could see otherwise. I'm a fan the slow-paced, drink-it-all-in literary style.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renevent View Post
As the article pointed out, where these games are really succeeding is with middle aged women and kids with their parent's iTunes account.
Yeah, the problem though is that the people who finance games are looking at that success and thinking "how can we carry this over to PC and console games?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renevent View Post
I guess my point is I do agree with a lot of what the article is talking about...but I don't think it's necessarily killing gaming.
No, not yet and hopefully it won't as long as people vote with their wallets. And really, I'm not talking about any particular monetization model but more about the motivation behind it. I think the game industry in general is starting to become a lot more corporate and increasingly is acting contrary to the benefit of their audience in pursuit of higher profit margins.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:14 AM
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I'd agree a lot of the 'big boys' in gaming certainly appear to be looking out for their share holders more than the people their products are for these days.

I'm not exactly ignorant to how corporate america is either...in fact after spending the last 5 years at an awesome company I'm probably going to end up leaving it due to the company being purchased by one of the largest corporations on earth. Really pisses me off actually, but that's a different topic (maybe I'll make a rant thread later).

Anyways the market is definitely changing, and maybe for the worse in some cases. On the other side of the token indie games are booming and even a-little-bigger-than indie studios are pushing out some very impressive games.

As long as gamers like ourselves represent a large enough market someone is bound to cater to our tastes. It doesn't have to be EA, Ubisoft, Blizzard, or whichever giant of the industry we are familiar with. That's the beauty of capitalism! Perhaps we are a dying breed though...geeze...what a thought!

As you can see, I'm probably a little more optimistic than most...maybe to my own detriment heh.
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Last edited by Renevent; 09-29-2011 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medierra View Post
It is important for you as players to understand these schemes for what they are because only you have the power to prevent these sort of practices from creeping into more traditional games. Game studios, however altruistic they may try to be, are still businesses and need money to operate. When sources of funding such as investors or publishers see the incredible profits generated by these shady monetization practices in the social gaming realm, they want part of that action. Consequently, more traditional game makers are forced to adapt to that model in pursuit of funding.
I think these will fizzle, their novelty wears off quickly and just like with any trend you eventually have too many companies for all to survive, just see MMOs. Of course these 'games' are way cheaper to create, so maybe I am wrong there after all.

In any case, I never was the least bit interested in these social 'games', they never sounded like fun to me and I am certainly not interested in getting involved for a minute or two every hour or two, I certainly have better things to do with my time (just about anything sounds better actually...). I do not actually consider them games at all, but I guess there is not really a better term for them, other than 'waste'.

I for one am and will continue to fight this trend by ignoring it (i.e. never play, certainly never actually buy anything)

Last edited by mamba; 09-29-2011 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:01 AM
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Anyways the market is definitely changing, and maybe for the worse in some cases. On the other side of the token indie games are booming and even a-little-bigger-than indie studios are pushing out some very impressive games.

As long as gamers like ourselves represent a large enough market someone is bound to cater to our tastes. It doesn't have to be EA, Ubisoft, Blizzard, or whichever giant of the industry we are familiar with. That's the beauty of capitalism!
That is certainly the trajectory I am on. I will get GD, TL2, but not D3
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:58 AM
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I find myself mostly agreeing with Renevent. Videogaming hasn't been the same stigmatized hobby it was 20 years ago. It has become a mainstream hobby and with that, has drawn the attention of the corporate market and their psychological and economical schemes.

Although to call social "gaming" gaming, that's a step too far for me. I'd rather call it interactive pseudo social media or something.
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