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Statistics on successful game designs?

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Doing some research in my spare time, and I'm curious as to whether anyone has already done an analysis of successful game designs?

I'd like to see, if possible, break downs of things such as...

Most popular genre;
Most popular view point (first person, top down, etc.);
Most popular locations (space, real world, fantasy, etc.);
Most poopular story twists;
Most popular main character attributes;
...

Stuff like that; breaking down the most successful games into their commonly shared attributes and traits.

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[quote name='Brobot9k' timestamp='1335978499' post='4936819']
...I'm curious as to whether anyone has already done an analysis of successful game designs?

I'd like to see, if possible, break downs of things such as...

Most popular genre;
Most popular view point (first person, top down, etc.);
Most popular locations (space, real world, fantasy, etc.);
Most poopular story twists;
Most popular main character attributes;
...

Stuff like that; breaking down the most successful games into their commonly shared attributes and traits.
[/quote]

It's unlikely that anyone has done such an analysis. Most likely, you would have to do your own analysis. And I assure you that the industry would love to see your results.
Of course, you'll have to define "successful" (since the term is open to interpretation) and your analysis should cite your reasoning and your sources of information, etc.

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Well you can at least guarantee that the first two is shooter, and first person unless if Apps on the iPhones count. As for the rest, it seems tougher to decide. I like this idea for research though, but how are you going to classify most successful? Will you go by most profits, most bought, or most games from them?

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[quote name='Aeroga' timestamp='1335980826' post='4936839']
Well you can at least guarantee that the first two is shooter, and first person unless if Apps on the iPhones count. As for the rest, it seems tougher to decide. I like this idea for research though, but how are you going to classify most successful? Will you go by most profits, most bought, or most games from them?
[/quote]

The best selling PC games: [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_PC_video_games"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_PC_video_games[/url]

If we're ranking using "best selling" as the criteria, then no, the first two is not "shooter" and "first person". :)

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Ah well, I thought it would be too good to be true, but I am quite surprised, as I'd expect it to be a pretty important aspect to consider in such a competetive market.

I guess I'd classify most successful as being those who sold most copies and/or have the biggest userbase.

Since nothing is coming up in my limited searching, I'll look some more and perhaps have a crack at doing an essay on it; the subject sounds intriguing.

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We are gonna get rich by making the average successful game! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
So basically we once shoot in front of the rabbit, then once behind it and claim to have hit it in average... Edited by japro

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[quote name='japro' timestamp='1335993103' post='4936888']
We are gonna get rich by making the average successful game! Posted Image
So basically we once shoot in front of the rabbit, then once behind it and claim to have hit it in average...
[/quote]
There are many design principles built up over the years for developing good software; there are books on HCI which cite studies done into human short term memory which lead to things such as the principle that a user should never have to remember more than 7 items of information from one screen to another (7 items is apparently the average limit of short term memory for most people).

Stuff like that helps to build better, and generally more successful, software.

It's like Comparative Analysis, you compare and contrast and see what works well and what doesn't and try to uncover the "why?". Why does this sell and this doesn't?

Ever wonder why the music industry is so big now yet they all seem so similar (or Hollywood blockbusters for that matter)? Averageness sells :)

As much as we hate to think it, the things we like and don't like can be calculated with the right data to hand. Architects use programs to work out how people might flow through a building, because guess what, we all behave pretty much the same, we're all pretty average :)

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I was not trying to say analyzing such data is useless, but the OP reads somewhat like "lets make a game that combines the most popular genre with the most popular setting... etc.". Even tough FPS are very popular amongst "hardcore gamers" and farming simulations are popular on facebook, a First Person Farming game probably isn't the greatest of ideas.

Also I wasn't very serious to begin with ;) Edited by japro

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[quote name='japro' timestamp='1335995678' post='4936896']
snip
[/quote]

Ok; I was just stating some reasoning behind the idea of using averages as an intelligent approach to game design.

Of course a first person farm sim "might" not be a great idea (I wouldn't know for sure because I have not played one), but any analysis of successful game designs would have to take into consideration the target audience, the reason for the design choice, and attempt to create some sort of reasoning for coupling design choices.

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[quote name='Brobot9k' timestamp='1335978499' post='4936819']
Most popular genre;
Most popular view point (first person, top down, etc.);
Most popular locations (space, real world, fantasy, etc.);
Most poopular story twists;
Most popular main character attributes;
[/quote]
I think this kind of thing changes from time to time; genre preferences change, main character styles come into popularity and then shift to something else, themes change. At least, this is how it appears (to me) with books and movies. Westerns come into popularity, then spy thrillers, then depression-era, etc... Innocent heroes become popular, then tough-guy heros, then anti-hero, etc... One specific category might stay popular for two or three years, then slowly fade out as another comes in. Hey, the same thing even happens with colors and materials in design. One color is popular, then another, then another. Good fashion designers can predict what trends will come in next, or what will be popular in five years.

If such statistics exist as your asking for, it'd be better as a timeline of what was popular during what year (and what season of each year), then just "MOST POPULAR OF ALL TIME!!!", otherwise you'd just get "Wii Sports" as an answer in terms of sales and be overlooking many important details of how and why that sold best ([size=2]bundled with the Wii console for starters, marketed as fitness during a health craze in America, and Wii was the cheapest console during an ongoing financial crisis, Wii console marketed as friendly and easy just as a bunch of older generation was introduced to gaming through Facebook and other social media, etc... etc.... and who knows what else effected its sales[/size]). Edited by Servant of the Lord

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[i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Sports"]Wii Sports[/url][/i][color=#000000][font=sans-serif][size=3] (76.76 million) [/size][/font][/color]
[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#Wii"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#Wii[/url]

[i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sims"]The Sims[/url][/i][color=#000000][font=sans-serif][size=3] (16 million shipped)[/size][/font][/color]
[i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemmings_(video_game)"]Lemmings[/url][/i][color=#000000][font=sans-serif][size=3] (15 million)[/size][/font][/color]
[i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sims_2"]The Sims 2[/url][/i][color=#000000][font=sans-serif][size=3] (13 million)[/size][/font][/color]
[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#PC"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#PC[/url]

I am rather surprised that wii sports alone sold more than the sum of the top 3 best selling PC titles. Time to develop "Sims Sports - With Lemmings" I guess. :D

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[quote name='Legendre' timestamp='1335981865' post='4936843']
[quote name='Aeroga' timestamp='1335980826' post='4936839']
Well you can at least guarantee that the first two is shooter, and first person unless if Apps on the iPhones count. As for the rest, it seems tougher to decide. I like this idea for research though, but how are you going to classify most successful? Will you go by most profits, most bought, or most games from them?
[/quote]

The best selling PC games: [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_PC_video_games"]http://en.wikipedia...._PC_video_games[/url]

If we're ranking using "best selling" as the criteria, then no, the first two is not "shooter" and "first person". [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]That's really interesting. I'm glad that shooters haven't taken the twenty top spots. I was beginning to think that every new game would be a shooter because of its popularity.

For Xbox and PS3 however, there are a lot more shooters.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games

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[quote name='Brobot9k' timestamp='1335994254' post='4936891']
Ever wonder why the music industry is so big now yet they all seem so similar (or Hollywood blockbusters for that matter)? Averageness sells [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

As much as we hate to think it, the things we like and don't like can be calculated with the right data to hand. Architects use programs to work out how people might flow through a building, because guess what, we all behave pretty much the same, we're all pretty average [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]Your information is outdated, it was true in the old era, not now. Music industry is dead since a decade I guess (who sane would buy a CD if you can't listen to it on your PC or iPod or any other normal device?) TV advertisement is reporting to be less and less efficient each year. As for average games that sell... well, release a game and then you might change your mind :D

We are not living in the mass market era anymore. These days are behind us. It's XXI century, not XX century.

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[quote name='Legendre' timestamp='1336029777' post='4937000']
I am rather surprised that wii sports alone sold more than the sum of the top 3 best selling PC titles. Time to develop "Sims Sports - With Lemmings" I guess. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
[/quote]

Incase you missed it (or maybe I'm missing your humour?), Wii Sports (And later, Wii Sports Resort) were [i]bundled with the console [/i](at least in the US). Anyone who buys the console gets the game for free whether they want it or not. Wii Sports didn't 'sell more' than the other games, the Wii console sold more, and you got Wii Sports for free - well, it probably added to the cost, but the point is it itself (and it's sequel) was not what was sold 60+ million times, but the console is what was sold.

I mean, it's certainly successful, standalone sales for Wii Sports Resort was over a million in the first two weeks, but:
"[i][color=#000000][font=sans-serif][size=3]Activision reported sales figures for [/size][/font][/color][/i][u][i]Modern Warfare 3[/i][/u][color=#000000][font=sans-serif][size=3][i] in the U.S. and UK being more than 6.5 million copies sold [u]on launch day[/u][/i]"[/size][/font][/color]

I don't at all mind Wii Sports being bundled with the console - that's fine, it's a decent-ish multiplayer minigame collection. But it really isn't the best selling game of all time, because the vast majority of those 'sales' it wasn't actually the object being sold. How successful it would have been without being bundled, we can't know. A possible (but still inaccurate) comparison would be Wii Fit, which sold [color=#000000][font=sans-serif][size=3]22 million - still a very nice number.[/size][/font][/color] Edited by Servant of the Lord

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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1336063733' post='4937142']
Incase you missed it (or maybe I'm missing your humour?), Wii Sports (And later, Wii Sports Resort) were [i]bundled with the console [/i](at least in the US). Anyone who buys the console gets the game for free whether they want it or not. Wii Sports didn't 'sell more' than the other games, the Wii console sold more, and you got Wii Sports for free - well, it probably added to the cost, but the point is it itself (and it's sequel) was not what was sold 60+ million times, but the console is what was sold.
[/quote]

Oops I totally missed it. Sorry. :P

Well, at least we have the next two:

[list]
[*][i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Kart_Wii"]Mario Kart Wii[/url][/i] (31.91 million)[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#cite_note-nintendo_dec11-82"][83][/url][/sup][sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#cite_note-110729e-83"][84][/url][/sup]
[*][i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Sports_Resort"]Wii Sports Resort[/url][/i] (29.87 million)[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#cite_note-nintendo_dec11-82"][83][/url][/sup]
[/list]
[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#Wii"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_selling_games#Wii[/url]

Which sold more than the top 5 PC games combined. O_o

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[quote name='Brobot9k' timestamp='1335978499' post='4936819']
Doing some research in my spare time, and I'm curious as to whether anyone has already done an analysis of successful game designs?

I'd like to see, if possible, break downs of things such as...

Most popular genre;
Most popular view point (first person, top down, etc.);
Most popular locations (space, real world, fantasy, etc.);
Most poopular story twists;
Most popular main character attributes;
[/quote]
You'll probably easily find the most popular genre. Besides that... What's the point? It's not like it'll help you design the next blockbuster title.

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[quote name='eugene2k' timestamp='1336108626' post='4937285']
[quote name='Brobot9k' timestamp='1335978499' post='4936819']
snip
[/quote]
You'll probably easily find the most popular genre. Besides that... What's the point? It's not like it'll help you design the next blockbuster title.
[/quote]

You could analyze the design of the most successful games to gain some of that insight, but you would also want to examine the marketing behind the games.

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