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#Actualsunandshadow

Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:29 PM


I generally prefer goals. Games like The Sims seem great in concept, but I always end up quitting them before I have seen all the content because I don't get any feedback or recognition on my self-chosen goals, or I discover I have self-chosen a goal which is actually impossible within the program, and I just don't have ant reason to care about exploring the remaining content, nor any efficient path to see what I haven't seen yet.

I've been thinking a lot lately about this idea of consuming content and what it means to game developers. Is a game not "finished" until the player has consumed all its content? Is a game "finished" as soon as the player has consumed it all? To what degree does content consumption equate to finishing? Is it when the player completes the game's primary goal?

I'll use my own experience as an example of what these questions mean. I played WoW during its closed beta and continued to play for a few years after its release. I took a break for a couple years, then I eventually came back and played through the first expansion. But then an interesting thing happened. I felt done. I had completed the game, consumed all its content. I knew there was still fun to be had and progress to be made through PvP, battlegrounds, raids, etc. But I had no drive to do those things. I had completed my goal for the game, which I only then realized I had set for myself: to see the Warcraft world and explore it. When I recognized that goal and that I had achieved it, I left the game and never went back. Since then, no MMO has been able to hold my attention for more than a few months.

Well, there are different ways to define finished. Is it when the player stops playing, even if they don't feel satisfied? Is it when the player feels satisfied, even if they keep playing? Is a game necessarily one big piece of entertainment, or might some games more usefully be compared to a series of novels or something like the Marvel or DC comicverse which maintains several parallel comic series? Possibly the player could "finish" something several times over the course of playing a game, but then start something new or have already started something new. Some players don't care about experiencing all the content, or care about some kinds of content and not others. Some games make it impossible for the player to experience all the content in a single play-through. Some games have a set amount of official content but encourage players to create additional content and assist the players in distributing this content to each other. Different players may have a different idea of what the game's main goal is too: can't tell you how many breeding sim/monster capturing type games I've started with the goal of collecting one of every creature, only to find that the game doesn't allow this or acknowledge that players might want to do it. And I think I've twice stopped playing an MMO after getting an awesome mount because that became my main goal, and once I had achieved it I didn't find something new to pursue.

#1sunandshadow

Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:44 PM


I generally prefer goals. Games like The Sims seem great in concept, but I always end up quitting them before I have seen all the content because I don't get any feedback or recognition on my self-chosen goals, or I discover I have self-chosen a goal which is actually impossible within the program, and I just don't have ant reason to care about exploring the remaining content, nor any efficient path to see what I haven't seen yet.

I've been thinking a lot lately about this idea of consuming content and what it means to game developers. Is a game not "finished" until the player has consumed all its content? Is a game "finished" as soon as the player has consumed it all? To what degree does content consumption equate to finishing? Is it when the player completes the game's primary goal?

I'll use my own experience as an example of what these questions mean. I played WoW during its closed beta and continued to play for a few years after its release. I took a break for a couple years, then I eventually came back and played through the first expansion. But then an interesting thing happened. I felt done. I had completed the game, consumed all its content. I knew there was still fun to be had and progress to be made through PvP, battlegrounds, raids, etc. But I had no drive to do those things. I had completed my goal for the game, which I only then realized I had set for myself: to see the Warcraft world and explore it. When I recognized that goal and that I had achieved it, I left the game and never went back. Since then, no MMO has been able to hold my attention for more than a few months.

Well, there are different ways to define finished. Is it when the player stops playing, even if they don't feel satisfied? Is it when the player feels satisfied, even if they keep playing? Is a game necessarily one big piece of entertainment, or might some games more usefully be compared to a series of novels or something like the Marvel or DC comicverse which maintains several parallel comic series? Possibly the player could "finish" something several times over the course of playing a game, but then start something new or have already started something new. Some players don't care about experiencing all the content, or care about some kinds of content and not others. Some games make it impossible for the player to experience all the content in a single play-through. Some games have a set amount of official content but encourage players to create additional content and assist the players in distributing this content to each other. Different player's may have a different idea of what the game's main goal is too: can't tell you how many breeding sim/monster capturing type games I've started with the goal of collecting one of every creature, only to find that the game doesn't allow this or acknowledge that players might want to do it. And I think I've twice stopped playing an MMO after getting an awesome mount because that became my main goal, and once I had achieved it I didn't find something new to pursue.

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