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Lionel Pixel

The right game category for a console

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There are some platforms which are "suitable" for games for kids and families (Nintendo home consoles) and other ones that "work better" for hardgamers or adult people like racing simulators, FPS, etc. (PS4/XBOX).

 

Technically all consoles can run all categories of games, it's just a matter of perception from the audience which think that Sony&Microsoft have serious games and Nintendo is for children/families.

 

If you are thinking about a game design you have to choose the target platform(s) as well, taking into account the potential sales you would generate on that platform.

 

If you want to follow the common rule of choosing the "most suitable" platform for your game , though, you will likely face more competition.

More gamers which like your type of game, but more competitor developers.

 

Conversely, if you are the only one going to ship a Tekken or Gran Turismo - like game on the WiiU... you have to ask yourself if there are enough children who like it.

And if the game has even little violence in it, children may like it but some family association probably will  throw a monkey wrench in your works if the game is for WiiU but it won't if it is for PS4! That's strange uh? It happened in the past to Carmageddon 64 for N64, they had to change the blood color in that version of the game, but not on PC/PSX...

 

So what is the right choice, face the competition and possibly the saturation, or be the only one with that genre for that platform?

I remember World Driver Championship for N64 , it was the *only* decent GT game on the 64 and had very good sales for that reason... can't tell if the developer broke even at least though.... there is a reason why nobody else took that risk

Edited by PixelFun

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There's no real "right choice" that you can figure out 100% accurately through analysis. Most of whether or not you fail comes down to a bit of luck and a lot of execution. 

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There are some platforms which are "suitable" for games for kids and families (Nintendo home consoles) and other ones that "work better" for hardgamers or adult people like racing simulators, FPS, etc. (PS4/XBOX).
 ...
 
So what is the right choice,


This isn't a Job Advice question. Surprisingly, many people post questions that are not strictly about "game design" in the Game Design forum - and most people never even find the Game Industry Job Advice forum. But YOU have managed to post an actual "game design" question in the Game Industry Job Advice forum! Moving this to Game Design.

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So what is the right choice, face the competition and possibly the saturation, or be the only one with that genre for that platform?


Pix, it all comes down to matching the game to its audience. Certain audiences favor certain platforms. Figure out where your audience is, and head there. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! - David Farragut

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Running a business (instead of an expensive hobby) requires a lot of analysis and planning (hence the common job title of "business analyst") :lol:

 

Yes, when planning a game, you should identify target demographics, do a competitor analysis, devise a marketing plan, etc... e.g. how you're going to sell the product and make money. Then you start making the product.

Aside from demographic differences between the consoles (and potential gatekeeper/compliance differences), there's also the cost-to-develop. Making a PS4+Xbone+PC game is a lot easier (cheaper) than making a PS4+Xbone+PC+WiiU game. Making a WiiU-exclusive game might be cheaper than making a PS4-exclusive game, but then it comes down to competitors, demographics, marketing, etc...

 

This is why publishers and independent developers have non-technical staff :)

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And if the game has even little violence in it, children may like it but some family association probably will  throw a monkey wrench in your works if the game is for WiiU but it won't if it is for PS4! That's strange uh? It happened in the past to Carmageddon 64 for N64, they had to change the blood color in that version of the game, but not on PC/PSX...

 

We have an industry rating system for games now, so if the game is rated correctly, they have less grounds for complaining. Further, people have complained about games released on the PC, PlayStations, and Xboxes as well - Manhunt and GTA come to mind.

 

Nintendo themselves have to some extent fought against the "kiddie console" perceptions in the consoles after N64, which is why horror games have been released for GameCube and Wii, and why some of Nintendo's own games tried out a more darker theme to them (like Zelda: Twilight Princess).

 

As for me, my current favorite non-PC console (not having much time for gaming presently) is the Nintendo 3DS handheld, where I play "hardcore" RPGs and turn-based strategies. Meanwhile, Playstation has embraced games like Jak and Dexter and Ratchet and Clank to try to win that portion of the Nintendo audience, and Microsoft has released Kinectimals, and (through 3rd parties) games like Zumba Fitness and Just Dance.

 

 

I think the right choice of consoles to target is, "every one that it makes sense for this game to be on" (based off of the cost of porting it, whether the game works well control-wise on that target, and so on).

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It isn't just down to what platform you choose is most suitable it is also down to which platform publishers are willing to stump up the cash to publish for.  

 

I worked on a game for the Wii that fit perfectly with its target demographic.  We showed the game around at GDC, Leipzig and all the trade shows.  Every single publisher thought it was the best game in that genre they had ever seen and they all wanted to publish it.  The highest offer that we got was from Activision and they said sorry guys the most we pay for Wii games is 300k.  We'd already spent more than that just creating the demo.

We ended up releasing it as a download game on PC with a profit sharing arrangement.  The designers were upset about this because they had designed the game specifically with the Wii in mind and it made perfect use of the motion controls and in the end because of "business" it had to be played on a PC with a mouse.

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I apologize for posting in the wrong section smile.png

 

I understand this can be a *non* trivial business analysis activity , but i'd like to learn just the basics.

Is there any article/guide on game business analysis ?

 

----------------------------

Example analysis:

 

I remember Powerstone 1 & 2, renowed and original fighting games from 15 years ago. A similar game has never been made after then. So i was thinking about making a similar one with little changes to the gameplay and technical/graphical updates of course.

I think in that way i have defined a gameplay which is both fun (since it is almost copied from a good game that "worked") and perceived as original as well (most gamers can't remember Powerstone since they're too young and there is no similar game ).

 

So i will definitely make that game, it should work.

Target platform: it is suitable to most consoles but not for PC since it is a fighting game  which is not a popular category on PC.

But if i release it for PC as well, it may easily be one of the best PC fighting games because i have little competition there.

As someone told me here in this thread, if the execution is good you may have economical success even if there is not much audience matching that category on that platform  ( Jak&Dexter is a good example ).

 
So i will port it to PC as well ( maybe i'll warn the users to get a gamepad because a mouse+keyboard is not comfortable for fighting games).

 

Was the analysis correct in you opinion?

I've no experience on this, i appreciate if you point me to some resource or book

 

Thanks

Edited by PixelFun

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It isn't just down to what platform you choose is most suitable it is also down to which platform publishers are willing to stump up the cash to publish for.  

 

I worked on a game for the Wii that fit perfectly with its target demographic.  We showed the game around at GDC, Leipzig and all the trade shows.  Every single publisher thought it was the best game in that genre they had ever seen and they all wanted to publish it.  The highest offer that we got was from Activision and they said sorry guys the most we pay for Wii games is 300k.  We'd already spent more than that just creating the demo.

We ended up releasing it as a download game on PC with a profit sharing arrangement.  The designers were upset about this because they had designed the game specifically with the Wii in mind and it made perfect use of the motion controls and in the end because of "business" it had to be played on a PC with a mouse.

 

At least .. Did the publisher offer a sufficient amount for the PC version?

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I understand this can be a *non* trivial business analysis activity , but i'd like to learn just the basics.
Is there any article/guide on game business analysis ?


So, you weren't posting from a Game Design perspective after all. Moving it to Business.

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