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why complex games?

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I''ve noticed that there are many hugely complex and ambitious game designs being discussed here...boardering on life simulators...what is the draw to developing such games? (can "game" even apply?) what happened to game focus? Why is "realisam" so highly in demand (not by the players but by the designers)? When Tetris was released, gamers were already playing some fairly complex games in those days...gamers were used to Ultima, Street Fighter, even Mario and Link games...and all market research showed gamers wanted "more of the same only better"...but here comes Tetris...a game that could be playied on virtualy any gameing platform then made...and gamers were hooked on it''s pure gameplay....which pretty much negates any idea that a "simple game" wouldn''t sell today. Yet, today, that sort of game is "looked down on" from a designer standpoint..."it''s too simple", "not ''realistic'' enough"....yeah, Tetris is a puzzle type game (and there were a lot of imitators)...but I''m MUCH more concerned with the "raw gameplay" then the genre it fits into...it didn''t add lots of graphical effects...or try to present a simple "face" that hid some uber-complex understructure...it didn''t even try to come off as being more complex then it really was....there was nothing remotely "realistic" about it...the game simply existed on it''s own terms... Not trying to say developers should be working on "puzzle games"...or any such thing...this has nothing to do with Tetris other then how straitforward it presented itself Just wondering why games have to be "realistic" and/or complex these days...and why something ''simple'' is looked down upon?

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I used to be more concerned with just the gameplay of my games, but people now expect more. You might say that the audience is maturing, demanding more of an experience than just good gameplay. "Fun" just isn''t enough anymore. Since the players think that way, designers must too to make games for them.

A lot of little webgames get very popular being so simple, but they tend to get used by a different audience. Most games I hear about target the hardcore gamer, who just won''t spend money on something that silly or simple.

At least that is what my very limited experience has taught me, I kinda hope I''m wrong.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Maybe you are so happy with tetris
that you''d gladly pay $40 for a copy?

Hmmmm....

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Because simple has already been done. Many designers are like fine artists. They want to push the envelope and do new things. They want to be the next Warren Spector, Peter Molyneux, Sid Meier.

But it isn''t as if simple games _aren''t_ being made. Take a look at GBA sales, indie/shareware sales, the success of Yahoo Games and RealArcade games. Look at how Bejeweled has captured the hearts of both casual and hardcore gamers.

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I do both, right now "big" games are a huge financial risk, so small games provide bread and butter.. plus, they are fun to design, and quick to implement...
Big games are intriguing because they are our sandboxes.... to do things which haven´t been done before. If I want a game that´s easy to make then I´m probably making it already... the complex ideas are food for discussion.

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quote:
why complex games?

Because only the simple-minded want simple games ALL of the time. Because complex games offer plenty of varety in one package. Because I said so.

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I wonder just how popular and well sold Tetris would be if it wasn''t included with a Gameboy?
I can''t see spending $40 for a simple game like that.

And if gamers didn''t want realism, then "realistic" games wouldn''t sell so well. They do, so they make them.

Same argument for the reason why so much of the same is put out. Gamers pay for it. It is clear that it is lucrative for a game developer to make FPS and RTS since no matter how many people complain about the staleness, those same people seem to have no problem buying into the staleness.

Of course, a game like Snood, is amazingly popular. Why? I don''t know, but it isn''t because it is refreshingly new. Bust a Move and other names have been given to the same game. Snood just seems to have caught on more, especially in dorms on college campuses where the computers are probably sub 200MHz. New and realistic games can''t compete since they can''t even exist on such computers.
In any case, every game seems to be a knock off of something, and gamers will pay for knock offs and other "inspired" titles.

So it is kind of unfair to say that simplistic games can do so much better than the "realistic" titles would. Frogger 3D? The original Frogger fairs better. The new Pacman titles? Not as popular as the original. They are all the same game, just some have advanced technology.

Gameplay is the main selling point. Pacman was incredibly fun. No name titles are usually not.
No One Lives Forever has come out with a sequel, even though the first did not do well in sales...It wasn''t a popular title, but it did have good gameplay that made it different from other games.

Tetris had simple and amazing gameplay value. Follow ups, like Tetris Attack and such just didn''t have the same following because they couldn''t find the right formula. Dr Mario was decent, and Tetris 2 was similar. Both had some following.

Solitaire somehow has this amazing following, if you look at Download.com for any indication. Simple gameplay.

Monopoly sells well to the point that it has multiple custom versions of the same game (New York, Chicago, NFL, all editions of Monopoly).

Diablo was simple.

Quake 3 was simple.

Is it the simple gameplay that wins out?

It is hard to say. Rogue Spear and its like are still selling well. James Bond games do well it seems.
Flight simulators do well somehow, even though they require you to use the entire keyboard rather than a few special keys.

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Think about a simple game: 8x8 board black/white cells, 6 kind of pieces, 1 unique type of movement each one. It''s a pretty simple concept isn''t?

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I actually greatly respect whoever created Tetris, I think he must have been some sort of super-genius!
''cuz for the life of me, no matter how hard I try to come up with a simple idea I can implement on my lunch hour and sell millions of copies of..., I just can''t think that way!!
Personally, I gravitate towards ''complex'' ideas becuase those are closer to stuff I can identify with in everyday life.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Maybe you are so happy with tetris
that you''d gladly pay $40 for a copy?


I think that bring up a very different point. If a game is developed from scratch to finished product, by a single coder in his lunch hour, should he sell it for $40.

There are a lot of spin off machines that were made to play only Tetris (That''s right no catridges, no multiple game selection) and people who didn''t have gameboys were buying them by the ton (For a long time I didn''t want to touch that game becuase I feared it induced some kind of chemical addiction in the brains of those who did ).
They didn''t cost $40 though

quote:

Think about a simple game: 8x8 board black/white cells, 6 kind of pieces, 1 unique type of movement each one. It''s a pretty simple concept isn''t?





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quote:
Original post by GBGames
I wonder just how popular and well sold Tetris would be if it wasn''t included with a Gameboy?
I can''t see spending $40 for a simple game like that.


Remember how there used to be entire consoles that just played Pong? And people paid large amounts of money for them?

BTW, Tetris started off as a good-selling PC game.

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