iPad Iphone gaming - casual or hardcore?

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by ianlow32, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. ianlow32

    ianlow32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
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    was thinking about the above as i been playing over 100 iphone games so far, both free and paid.

    the thing that gets me is that the hardware is fantastic on the iphone, and yes, the tilt and touch controls may not be as perfect for hardcore gaming like what you have on psp and ds, but when they are done right, they can be really good, and passable for heavy action-oriented games.

    which comes to my real question here, with the majority of games here utilising puzzle and match-3 concepts, is iphone gaming more mobile-like in capturing its gaming audience ie. casual gamers for a 2-3 min session on the subway?

    how serious can iphone be used to compete against psp? we know the hardware is there ... we know dev like gameloft can churn out high quality psp-like games like hero sparta and Brothers in arms. and EA has been ramping out with simcity and upcoming NFS.

    on the other end of the spectrum, i enjoy championing games like trism and alphabetic for the simple reason we champion indie music, its always good to root for the underdog, and the toll on the iphone is not deep. heck, those games can run on most java mobile platforms.

    all this talk bout a premium store is obvioulsy good from the hardcore gamers' perspective, and if it happens, i know there will be very cool games on the horizon. but just like the battle between the home consoles, ps3/xbox is being trumped by wii for the reason that wii appeals to non-hardcore gamers.

    maybe i am over speculating, but i am wary that premium games (should it come about) will remain a minority and will never sell like an ishoot or bejeweled game, which has a much larger audience. and this is where i see a large proliferation of web based flash games making the transition to iphone.

    we have already seen snail mail and westward making very successful ports, and rightly so. some of these flash games are even free on the web, but iphone users expect to pay a fee, though small, but i feel is justifiable. and it is this small barrier of entry that will attract a large pool of non-gamers to gaming on the iphone.

    in the end, i tihnk iphone gaming will fork into 2 groups, one hardcore gamers who see iphone as a replacement for handheld consoles that can offer the richest and deepest in gaming experience with its hardware and OS, and the other, a more wii like phenomenon that will provoke interest in the least likeliest of audience into mobile gaming and electronic gaming in general.

    what do you think?
     
  2. Kamazar

    Kamazar Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    too lazy to read all that right now, sorry :rolleyes: just posted to point out we had a poll around a month ago with these very same options ;)
     
  3. MetaNick

    MetaNick Well-Known Member

    As a developer I assume that while the more hard core gamer is the more vocal of the two categories, the casual gamer is likely the much larger audience. I would presume that most people gaming on an iPhone are doing so in short bursts and just want something simple, fun, and attractive to take their mind away from whatever is going on. That's why simple match 3 games and things like that are so common.

    I know that the roadmap for my company does include some more casual titles, but we're also working on honing in skills that will let us make more ambitious games that target more of the traditional gamer. Perhaps there are others in that boat as well, using casual games as the stepping stones (both for learning and possibly to build a financial backing) to making more traditional "hardcore" games.
     
  4. ianlow32

    ianlow32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
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    metanick,

    i see where u r coming from, and for the avg causal game developer, the resources are not huge and production values generally low. thats why only the big boys can do hardcore gaming with polish and high production values. but gaming franchises like simcity started small with an indie developer 20 yrs ago, so why not something similar on the iphone platform?
     
  5. MetaNick

    MetaNick Well-Known Member

    Well it's a decision of time and energy. Metacreature Games consists of me and an artist. For the two of us to make something on the scale of even the original SimCity would likely take months of work. That's all time where we would not be getting paid. So what we're trying to do is create some new, fun games that we can use to make ourselves more skilled and efficient, as well as gain some funding, so that we can take some time and make a really great game in the future.
     
  6. RM imagery

    RM imagery Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2009
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    Photographer (interiors, architecture, abstract ar
    Long Island, NY
    i hope the rumor of an "iTablet" coming out is true. the same thing as an iTouch but with a 6" or 7" screen. i would so pay $599 for it.

    idea: to have it play/run all current apps but have the capability for more complex programs. there could be an exclusive category of apps in the store for it.

    this makes perfect sense and would be a mega success. superhardcore.

    make it happen Apple.
     
  7. PeterM11

    PeterM11 Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
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    I think that at the moment there are mostly just casual games out but that eventually itll get up there and start having Hardcore games.
     
  8. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts and CEO of Digital Chocolate said it best when he came up with DC's slogan:

    SIEZE THE MINUTE

    There's a use pattern with mobile phones, including the iPhone, that means you often just want to play something when you have a few minutes to spare. Hence the "I know you play games in the bathroom" thread.

    I'm not saying there shouldn't be hard core games, there should. It's just that the pattern of use favors the casual game.
     
  9. s0mah

    s0mah Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2008
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    failing PHY tests
    little town of bethlehem
    #9 s0mah, Feb 9, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
    I agree with the above poster almost entirely.

    The apps that seem to be thriving the most on these forums are games that would be rejected instantly upon submission to Live Arcade Community Games. imo, Laughed at, rejected, and then laughed at again, if submitted to Live Arcade itself.

    I don't think this is a bad thing. I definitely want more iSlotz, Blue Attack, Space Ninja, and Sneezies. I definitely need more Drop7, Wordsworth, Imangi, and Monospace type games to play while my professor stares directly at me.

    I don't want the app store to be crammed full of garbage ports, and I don't want big name producers developing trends that inevitably ruin our store and squash our indie devs. Would I like to see a fresh and new Bethesda game, designed completely around my device? Yah, of course. Will I be shocked when they announce that iOblivion will be a port of the mobile phone version, all dressed up in Unity type clothes? Not at all.

    Regardless of quality, companies like Bethesda, EA, 2k, whoever, will turn bajillions of downloads based upon brand name alone. How long before the real sharks of the software world catch on and discover that iDevice users will buy anything branded Star Wars, despite the junk reviews?

    I really hope that we don't head in this direction.

    Bioshock is on track to look like Rise of the Triad, and we are all hungry for it. NFS will launch to a mediocre review, and EA will continue to ignore IP's that would survive porting, all limbs intact.

    srsly gais @ EA, thx for the Archon but wtf, where is mai Populous and Bard's Tale?
     
  10. jwesty5

    jwesty5 Active Member

    Dec 22, 2008
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    I think the bathroom part sums up the iphone perfectly. I cant carry around a DS in my pocket and go to the bathroom and play with it. But the iphone is the perfect device for casual games. Need a break. Just head to the bathroom lock the door and play games on the iphone. Perfect.
     
  11. MetaNick

    MetaNick Well-Known Member

    I don't see how one is any more appropriate/inappropriate than the other, but that's just me I guess.
     
  12. iKoda

    iKoda Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    Yeah. The iPhone is for casual gaming. Kinda like the Wii. Both have great new controls. But there aren't any hardcore wii games out there.
     
  13. wh00kah

    wh00kah Member

    Feb 8, 2009
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    Then there are the games (or entertainments?) where you say, "just one more go" and you've turned a bathroom break that should've taken all of 5-10 minutes into a 20 minute deal where, like someone said in the toilet thread, my legs went numb.

    I know my wife always says "lemme play Distant Shore real quick" in bed and then spends an hour or more on the thing :D
     
  14. s0mah

    s0mah Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2008
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    failing PHY tests
    little town of bethlehem
    omg this way it is still possible to txt mai bff jill.
     
  15. iKoda

    iKoda Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    All iPhone games are scaled down to save memory since there isn't any memory cards or game cartridges.
     
  16. Spartan12103

    Spartan12103 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2009
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    #16 Spartan12103, Feb 9, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
    I'd prefer for iDevice games to stay casual. I have a 360 for my more "serious" gaming. It's not like I sit there playing games on my Touch either. It's usually for like 10 min sessions, and I like them to be more relaxing and entertaining, not necessarily "balls to the walls" gameplay you'd see on the consoles.

    And really, there's no way I will pay over ten bucks for an app. Just compare the titles from XBLA and those on the app store worth the same price and tell me which ones have more replay value. I'm going to buy those games on XBLA instead.
     
  17. ianlow32

    ianlow32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
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    as someone mentioned here oredi, there is a market for both hardcore and casual gamers on the iphone, which is my point.

    but i think apple should have a clear strategy on keeping both markets and both set of developers the 2 markets happy and motivated.

    and i think over time, even the indie will improve in production values from the hardcore games that will obviously take more out of the hardware
     
  18. havchr

    havchr Active Member

    Jan 12, 2009
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    Casual for the most, but I could also enjoy a deep and complex game that has a lot of hours and depth in content. The most important part is however if it feels good to play, if it doesn't, if it's clunky, then I wont like it.
     
  19. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    iTouch/Phone gaming (how I dislike the focus solely on iPhone, btw, as if the platform is only iPhone) generally does tend to err more toward the mobile gaming segment than the portable game system segment. A lot of that has to do with the platform itself (battery life, initially not focused on games - and still not focused on games completely, etc.).

    I don't think it competes with PSP or DS for that matter (and why everyone always seems so focused on PSP is beyond me. Powerful portable, yes...but business-wise Sony is not the one to follow). But it doesn't need to compete with those products. It's in a different segment of the video game market. It's not a portable game system. Gaming is not only not the sole focus of the platform, but not even the primary focus of the platform as a whole.

    That said, it is a legit platform for games (as all mobile devices capable of gaming are, and as is the PC market. The games on iTouch/Phone have to be designed not around what it isn't but rather what it is. And that means shorter burst/pick up and play games are more appropriate than releasing "console" experiences (which, btw, don't really even work in the portable market if one just takes a look at PSP sales).

    Does that mean that graphical tour de forces and "deep" games simply cannot be done on this device? Nonsense. Of course they can. But there's no need to spend over $1.5 or so million on a game in the mobile segment of the market (if indeed iTouch/Phone just caters to that segment...iPhone is directly in said market, being a mobile phone...but iTouch makes classification a bit difficult). Hell, there's really no reason to spend over that amount in the dedicated portable game system market, which is a big reason why most developers wound up going with DS over PSP. It seems the portable and mobile markets both trend toward lower cost development all around. One just has to temper the graphical showcases and "deep" offerings with the appropriate budget for the segment of the market in which the platform lies.

    As to whether such lower cost development trends toward "casual" gamers over "core" gamers...I somewhat disagree if that's the assessment one is trying to argue. The fact is, to me, "casual" and "core" have very little to do with what types of games one buys but rather how many games one buys. "Core" gamers have higher attach rates than "casuals". That's the basic difference between the two. There are "casuals" in that regard who buy Madden yearly, who buy the new GTAs, and who buy a Final Fantasy or two, and, y'know...that's it. Yet we keep reading about analysts stating how a Final Fantasy or GTA pulls in the "core" audience. No it doesn't. It pulls both audiences in. Just about any game does, tbqh.

    [On a side note, I will agree that certain types of games do try to pull in a wider audience than others. Sure, there are "core" gamers out there who are puzzle game maniacs, but the fact is that most puzzle games cast a wide net, and thus some take these games to be geared toward those they feel are "casual" gamers. Fighting games cast a smaller net, and thus some feel they cater to "core" gamers. Again, some genres are more open to grabbing a new audience than others are (fighting games had been notorious for closing themselves off to newcomers, for instance]

    Of course, a "deep" action/adventure costs more to develop than a "deep" puzzle game. That said, "production value" does little in the way of grabbing "core" gamers if one were to look at that as the deciding factor in assigning of the "core" and "casual" label. Most shmups have very low dev costs, yet would we call shmup fans "casuals" if just looking at dev costs as deciding factor? If so, then those Madden games are pretty "hardcore" due to production costs alone.

    The fact is that games grab "core" gamers. They have the highest attach rate of game consumer groups. And the types of games they go for are varied not only in type but in production value as well. So game type and dev costs have little to do with what grabs such game consumers. Many of the games on the market that they buy cross them over with the "casual" consumer market to varying degrees. But, again, it's all down to how much they buy. And looking just on this board, there are "core" iTouch/Phone gamers.

    However, there is one other big difference between "core" and "casual" game consumer market (at least IMHO): the "core" audience has more discerning tastes. They will not likely buy bad games. "Casual" consumers, being what they are, are more likely to buy games on a whim than the "core" audience who tries to make more educated purchasing decisions (they buy so many games they have to budget themselves accordingly). So as long as there are good games on this platform there will be a "core" audience to serve as part of the overall consumer audience.
     
  20. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    Which is why being able to quit with the home button and then being able to get back to the game, particularly with the strategy stuff, is so important.

    Bag Bigfoot has this and it is great, because you will be frustrated by that game.
     

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