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Happy Together: Hardcores and Casuals Living in Harmony

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Old 11-13-2008, 10:23 AM   #9
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I think games like the Nascar series and Fifa handle the "casual gamer" really well. They offer aids. Be it for shifting the gears or braking help or passing and shooting assitance in Fifa, they help overcome the casual gamers lack of abilities, be it stick skills or reflexes. You can have a fully functional game that faithfully recreates the sport and it helps you play it and makes it enjoyable. Then as you become better you can turn them off. Best way to do it....
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: Happy Together: Hardcores and Casuals Living in Harmony

I think the possibility of symbiosis is there, but sliders are not the cure-all that many seem to think. The game engine itself represents a fundamental and non-alterable choice to cater to one kind of gamer or the other. Because I play football games, I will use the two I have played in this generation as examples, not to suggest that one is better and one is worse, but to demonstrate that each has made a choice in the design of their engine to cater to one or the other type of gamer. I'm not sure a compromise can be made here.

Madden NFL 2009 has a distinctive player movement system characterized by the ability to change direction and string together moves very rapidly. Some have called the feeling generated by this system "skating," but whatever the term, it is clear that the players in the game are designed to move according to the absolute whim of the gamer--a move that caters to the casual crowd who might not want to be limited in their movements to things real-life players could actually do or not do.

APF 2K8 also had a distinctive player movement system, much "heavier" than the Madden system. In this system player size and momentum have a significant impact on how players can move while traveling at different speeds. Only certain players are capable of extra-quick cuts, and all players are forced to slow down if they want to make quicker, sharper moves. This choice clearly caters to an audience that wants their players' movements to be restricted by physics, and players of Madden frequently don't like the decisions APF's game engine makes for them. The reverse is also true.

Now both games make different communities of gamers happy, but designers have to either choose to make things like physics matter a lot, or have them matter a little or not at all. There isn't really a middle ground on these types of issues.

I'm sure more examples are out there, but these are the ones that come most quickly to mind. Thoughts?
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:24 PM   #11
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Re: Happy Together: Hardcores and Casuals Living in Harmony

I somewhat touched upon this in my Arena Blogs.

I think it's just time for the "hardcore" to be a little more forgiving. Think of things that happen in the sports we watch that are incredible. Yet, if it ever happened in one of our games, the game is "too easy" or "broken."

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Old 11-19-2008, 07:16 AM   #12
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Re: Happy Together: Hardcores and Casuals Living in Harmony

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Originally Posted by MMChrisS
In this west coast lunch hour update, Ryan Spencer takes a look at how hardcore fans and casual fans can live in harmony. Spencer takes a look at how developers can bridge the gap between both and make both crowds happy in his article, Happy Together: Hardcores and Casuals Should be Able to Live in Harmony.
Its good that such a situation has finally arrived....
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