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What would make a game better for the arcade?

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Handheld devices are best for time wasting games.  I.e. Casual games.  

 

PC's/Consoles are best for more intense/indepth video games.  

 

Arcade games allows the entire box to be devoted to one game, which means there is more "aptmosphere" for the game.

 

I'm creating an arcade cabinet, with a custom game for a local arcade, and looking for areas and ideas that can make a game more fitting in the arcade, or what features play best in an arcade, or just make it better here.

 

I know the games need to be fast to play.  I.e. No long level loading, no long intros, get to the game play quick.  

I know they games should be fast to end.  I.e. Playing a 30-60 minute RTS, like Star Craft would take too long.

What else?  What can I add to make a game better?  what would make an arcade game worse?

 

 - Thanks!

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Reasons to pump more quarters in the machine to continue playing.  At least as a metric to make money off of the game.  Games that have the player dying/failing and need to put in more quarters to play.  

 

Disregard of course if your arcade cabinet is going to be free to play.

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You named two characteristics that are important. The player needs a feeling of making progress (so you need to allow for skill progression). The game needs to celebrate achievement appropriately. The game should hint at even more interesting stuff to come with deeper play. The goal being to get the player to keep on inserting quarters.

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One recent cabinet style game that I have heard people jealously wishing they could play (since there isn't one near them) is that VR "you are a bird" game where your arms are on hinged panels and you flap them.

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I've always felt beat'em up/hack 'n slash coop games (double dragon, xmen, gauntlet legends/dark legacy, golden axe) where the player plays for the sense of adventure and exploring different worlds (fairly low learning curb, easy to get in, have fun and get out) make for great arcade games. While phone games tend to be entirely too casual, console/pc games entirely toi complex, the arcade provides that happy medium (and the ability to enjoy the experience with a friend!).

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+1 for co-op multiplayer.  A good thing for arcades is the ability for players to jump in quickly, where only one player needs to be playing but there's no barrier to other players joining in.  You see a friend (or stranger) playing and it looks fun, or they're having trouble and need help, and you can pay and press start and be right in the action.  There's also a social aspect that can keep people paying in -- it's not just "I've got to keep playing or else I lose my progress", it's "I've got to keep playing or else I lose OUR progress".

 

One of my favorite co-op multiplayer tropes is "All players are cooperating to control something big and unwieldy", like the bobsleds in the Mario/Sonic Olympic games.  I made a four-player arcade game for an art & tech festival using that trope, where all four players are controlling a trampoline (like in the old games Bouncing Babies and Game & Watch Fire).  The twist was that getting hit causes a player's controls to reverse (and therefore pull *against* your teammates unless you compensate for it).

 

As a general rule, though, it's good if people can help each other out without getting in each other's way too much.  Like you don't want to be in the middle of a great run and then some stranger comes in and messes it all up.  Anything where player interaction can cause another player to fail should be sufficiently funny to make up for it.  (Like Mario Bros. is semi-competitive, semi-cooperative, but when players are actively messing with each other it's some great physical comedy.)

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@SunAndShadow, I like that concept.  I'm imagining moving your arms in different ways and flying/swooping through a canyon and various obstacles.  I'm considering other potential VR ideas as well.  If I were to do VR, do you think I should also have a screen for onlookers, or keep the game isolated so they have to try it to understand?  if I don't have onlookers, I suppose it loses any social appeal.  

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"I've got to keep playing or else I lose OUR progress"
 

 

I really like that mentality.  "Our progress".  That brings up the social appeal quite well.  

 

it's good if people can help each other out without getting in each other's way

 

 

Also a great point.  Promoting team work.  I just had ideas popping into my head to use the notion of their interference with each other.  For instance, I'm imagining Mario and Luigi running through a level.  Normally they would run by each other without interaction, but what if Mario Jumped on Luiji, and if they press jump again, it smushes luigi, Mario goes flying up higher than a normal jump, but they are tethered together then.  As soon as mario lands on the higher platform, Luigi is quickly tugged behind, and lands next to mario in his original health.  I'm liking this notion of interactions, but only positive.  Of course there is the idea that if mare misses the platform, he could pull Luigi into the pit.  So it would need mechanics/fun considerations. 

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@SunAndShadow, I like that concept.  I'm imagining moving your arms in different ways and flying/swooping through a canyon and various obstacles.  I'm considering other potential VR ideas as well.  If I were to do VR, do you think I should also have a screen for onlookers, or keep the game isolated so they have to try it to understand?  if I don't have onlookers, I suppose it loses any social appeal.  

Yeah screen for onlookers, this is what motivates people to try the game, it's better than still screenshots or something.

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I just thought of putting on a Kinnect, and getting a count of how many people are watching.  The more people start showing up, the more it adds effects.  if people start walking away, add some boost to sound effects to draw them back.   I never really thought of crowd manipulation before.  

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