Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Wavinator

The Greatest Barrier To Hardcore Games Is?

This topic is 3744 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Assuming a prior interest, what do you think the greatest barrier is to introducing new gamers to games that are considered "hardcore?" Is it A. Overly complicated user interfaces (including high hand-eye coordination demands in many cases)? B. Concepts and subject matter that tends to be too esoteric? C. A natural resistance people have to trying new things? D. An Us vs. Them attitude among hardcore game designers (manifested as an unwillingness to simplify)? E. Lack of good, in depth tutorials? F. Too much of a "sink or swim" mentality when it comes to exposing complexity upfront? G. ???? In the last few months I've introduced two gamers to Civilization IV, a game that's probably on the extreme end of "complexity in games" scale. In both cases it helped to be able to walk them through it step by step and start out with just the basics. But both have told me they would have never picked the game from the shelf on their own. Despite its complexity, Civ is now notable for having a completely mouse driven interface. It's a game with a slow pace where you can take your time learning, and it's also chock full of lots of hints and advice (if not always useful). If you assume a prior interest, say for instance a casual games player who is now wanting games with more substance and durability, what factors do you think stand in the way of making more hardcore games accessible to non-hardcore gamers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I would add:

1) Time needed to complete a simple task and save your progress. Non-hardcore gamers run away from games that needs to sit like 2 hours in front of the PC to enjoy it. They may not want to spend that ammount of time.
Plus, seeing a hardcore gamer (IMHO) playing like 6hs a single game, can create the illusion that the game indeed requieres 6hs a day to be played (or that it's just not suited for them).

2) Simplicity. Some gamers want something simple from the very start. If it looks complicated, they prejudge it is complicated.

2b)This sometimes include the installer. I remember hearing people around 30-50 years old complaining that they need to install the game (compatibility issues, it won't run in a slow PC, "you need driver xx.yy", etc, etc) They prefer something quick and easy, like plugging a cartridge/CD on the console and play. Not having to worry because they need 13GB of HDD (currently having 12GB free), or they lack a dedicated GPU.

These are just my opinions (well, the 2b thing is what I saw from experience).

Dark Sylinc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"i don't want to lose."
"i want to be able to save/quit/resume anytime (cauze i don't have the time to play)."
"i don't want to think (or micro)."
"i want to see the rewards of my actions now (think FPS) not 259 turns from now."
could also be read as "i only want to plan so far ahead."

Though I would note that some games that are "hardcore" do have horific interfaces.
Though most don't have bad interfaces, they just have a lot more information than people are used to having to dig through.
I'd say the biggest turnoff is that people like to lose by "whoops, guess I won't do that next time" mentality.
And in many "hardcore" games it is hard to tell exactly what cauzed you to lose, or it is something obvious, but hard to hone (like reflex speed).

Case example, starcraft. Not a hardcore game to most people, BUT at the competition level it is very much a hardcore game.
At the regular level of play, people can second by second change their strat and still feel like they have control over why they are losing.
ie, "whoops, guess i need more firebats in my next wave". But at the hardcore level, it is "whoops, guess i needed more carriers, gg." and the fix
to this is a total reevaluation of your strat from second 1 so that you can squeze out more units.
It means memorizing maps and build orders. It means knowing every strength and weekness and all the breakeven points. This stresses most people out
since they don't feel they should be expected to know all this
going into the game (and thusly say the other guy speeds too much time at this game)

Case example, civ. Not a hardcore game to most people, BUT to twitch gamers it is. There is a tonne of information given to the player
and very little in the way of direction on how to best use all that information. The perfect game that the computer plays will kick your ass on easy if you don't actually learn the game.
And this level of, well i dont want to spend 5hrs in a game to lose, then have to revise a 5hr strategy, hoping i do things better next time is what throws many people off this type of game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think anything can become treated as hardcore, but can the same be said for "softcore"?

Well I think games that have a lot of micromanagement in it, such as in the number of buttons, attributes, statistics, controls, parts, displayed information, etc, is the primary distinguishing factor of what makes them labeled hardcore, in that you can't really play such a game casually, or that you have to spend much of your time at the controls and management aspect of the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Civ 4 is hardcore these days? Yeesh...

From what I've seen of the few non-hardcore gamers (and even hardcore gamers that don't like what I'd consider more hardcore games) is that they lack attention spans. If your game doesn't reward them quickly (due to learning curve/tutorials) or often (because the game just isn't action oriented) they move on to other things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, what a collection of "asshole hardcore gamer" answers! [smile] I find it illuminating that there is a lot of faulting of the "non-hardcore" gamer, and not much examination of the hardcore games. It speaks volumes.

I definitely think there is an elitism factor that ostracizes people who just want to have a good time. This is mostly in the community, if you can even call it that, of hardcore gamers, but it gets reflected in the taunt-based, schoolyard machismo mentality that often pervades hardcore game presentation - the "are you tough enough" aliases for difficulty levels and such.

I also think that hardcore games appeal to a narrow audience of individuals who have played previous, highly similar hardcore games. Consequently, they don't need to educate the gamer on how to play from scratch, merely highlight the new "innovations" or core differences from the reigning king of the hill.

Lastly, I think that hardcore games - and hardcore gamers - are ultimately entirely about aggressive competition, or who can "pwn" who more. While this is certainly an aspect that non-hardcore gamers may enjoy from time to time, it doesn't constitute the core of their play experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I play games I don't mind complexity but I don't like steep learning curves. I don't see why its so hard to make a game that not "dumbed down" but not like net hack and kill the player 50 time before they have the slightest idea how to play either.
Also in most games that do have a steep learning curve its not even real complexity but trial and error game play.

EDIT:
The prime example of what I don't like are the rpg's that start off with a character builder that has 500 skills and option but no real information on what they all do. Usually because doing so would make it clear how badly the system is balanced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
"i don't want to think (or micro)."
"i want to see the rewards of my actions now (think FPS) not 259 turns from now."
By this definition, games such as chess and many puzzle games that is enjoyed by what many casual gamers would be hardcore games. In short, I don't think the instant gratification audience is the same as the casual players, although it's likely that they overlap.

I think you need to find out what it is that distinguishes a casual game from a hardcore game. I believe that the biggest differance between casual and hardcode games is the amount of time required to play (and enjoy them). So any game that is instantly enjoyable without previous knowledge and successively introduces advanced concepts would be more accessible to a more casual audience.

Games such as Tetris (simple mechanic, short game sessions), Theme Hospital (tutorial levels) and Diablo (simple game mechanic) comes to mind as games that would be easy for a casual gamer to pick up. In contrast, games such as Dwarf Fortress (obscure interface) and most MMO's (requires high time investment to play) would be hardcore games.

Then there's games such as FPS shooters, strategical boardgames etc. that are easily accessible for casual players but where hardcore gamers spend a lot of time practicing to compete at a higher level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember when Sins of a Solar Empire first came out (real-time 4X game), it was considered a hardcore game. That sort of got me asking what exactly is considered a hardcore game?

I think in addition to competition, hardcore games are also about control, or the amount of fine-tuning micromanagement to which in casual games are abstracted to give a more general feeling of control. So I guess there are two types of hardcore games then, one to which cater more to competitive gamers (with popular titles played competitively) and the other catering to those who like to play around with interfaces as well as being able to control specific parts of the game (these games which are more niche).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Assuming a prior interest, what do you think the greatest barrier is to introducing new gamers to games that are considered "hardcore?"

Is it
A. Overly complicated user interfaces (including high hand-eye coordination demands in many cases)?
I wouldn't say overly complicated, usually it is just poor, or not well documented.
Quote:


B. Concepts and subject matter that tends to be too esoteric?
I would call ninja gaiden a hardcore game. Ninjas and killing not esoteric stuff really
Quote:


C. A natural resistance people have to trying new things?
you already said there was prior interest so not being interested is an odd answer.
Quote:

D. An Us vs. Them attitude among hardcore game designers (manifested as an unwillingness to simplify)?
?? Are you saying the game designers go around and beat up anyone who tries to play their game if they aren't hardcore enough?
Quote:

E. Lack of good, in depth tutorials?
some do some don't usually the games are just hard.
Quote:

F. Too much of a "sink or swim" mentality when it comes to exposing complexity upfront?
Some times
Quote:

G. ????

In the last few months I've introduced two gamers to Civilization IV, a game that's probably on the extreme end of "complexity in games" scale. In both cases it helped to be able to walk them through it step by step and start out with just the basics. But both have told me they would have never picked the game from the shelf on their own.

Despite its complexity, Civ is now notable for having a completely mouse driven interface. It's a game with a slow pace where you can take your time learning, and it's also chock full of lots of hints and advice (if not always useful).

If you assume a prior interest, say for instance a casual games player who is now wanting games with more substance and durability, what factors do you think stand in the way of making more hardcore games accessible to non-hardcore gamers?


Did they give any reason to not picking up civ or they just don't like strategy games. Mostly hardcore games are just hard. Most people don't like the smackdown they get from games like that so they choose not to play. If you could never beat the third level of a ten level game would you go out and buy the sequel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!