Casual games vs. hardcore games

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Post: #1
I'm wondering what people's thoughts on this are, and which sort of games you prefer. I've been seeing a trend lately toward more casual games. The arguments I usually hear are A: They appeal more to female gamers (supposedly), and B: A lot of people just want to play a game for a few minutes during their coffee break. I've always been more of a hardcore gamer, myself; if I'm playing a game, I want it to be a completely immersive experience that I can play for hours on end. The repitition and lack of depth of most casual games really starts to bother me after playing for a little while.

Of course, the difference between casual and hardcore games is not black and white... My own Water Tower would probably be a in gray area. Does this kind of game appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers? Does it belong in a category of its own? Just wondering what other people's thoughts on this are...

Alex Diener
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Post: #2
Water Tower is casual.

While we're talking about it, it really annoys me that I have to go back and replay every level when I lose. Could we have a "start at level" please?

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Rainer Deyke
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Post: #3
I'm definitely no casual gamer. When I play a game, I play it for hours. I want games with depth.

However, I'm no typical hardcore gamer either. I don't spend a lot of money on games. I find 3D graphics ugly, regardless of how many polygons the engine is able to push. I am easily frustrated when a game is too difficult. My favorite games - Sorcerian, Quest for Glory, King of Dragon Pass, Planescape: Torment - were all rpgs that broke the mold of traditional hardcore rpgs, with more focus on story than on stats and leveling up.

Therefore I voted "other".
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Post: #4
Water tower is casual. If you had 150 levels, it played in full screen, etc., then it would be in a gray area because I still wouldn't call it hardcore, but it would no longer be casual. Though it wouldn't *really* be a gray area, because it would just fit into a third category of mass market or something. BTW, I kind of agree that I'd like to start Water Tower at any level (maybe no high score for this?) though it isn't really really bad because at least the levels are interesting Smile

Casual games do have a growing audience, especially internet games people play at work when they shouldn't. Also, they are quick to develop and you can make a lot of money with a small amount of work if you get a little lucky as a developer.
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Post: #5
diordna Wrote:Water Tower is casual.

While we're talking about it, it really annoys me that I have to go back and replay every level when I lose. Could we have a "start at level" please?

A "start at level" feature was originally planned. Actually, there was going to be a level selection screen. Whenever you'd unlocked a level (by getting to it in normal gameplay), you could go to the level selection screen and start from that level. With the deadline and all, I never got around to it, but it's certainly a feature I'm planning to do for the sequel.

Alex Diener
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Post: #6
I voted both.

I love hardcore games, but I have a job now, and relationships to maintain. I just don't have time anymore to spend 8 hours a day unlocking every hidden feature.

And I know I'm not alone here. There's a whole demographic sitting in cubicles now that would rather be playing videogames.

I want a game that offers rewards the more I play it, but doesn't require me to spend hours at a time doing so. I don't know how many times I've had to lose progress in Final Fantasy whatever-we're-up-to-now because I had to run and was nowhere near a save point. And forget MMORPG's. I simply can't keep up now.

I'm digging the save feature in the more recent Zeldas- you can save anytime by going to the subscreen, but it makes you navigate dungeons in one sitting. I'm also digging Super Smash Bros Melee- I can play through it completely in about 10-15 minutes, and I can still take time if I have it to unlock all the cool hidden characters and stages.

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borges
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Post: #7
JustinFic Wrote:I love hardcore games, but I have a job now, and relationships to maintain.

I voted both as well. That is, I like hardcore games (i.e. immersive story-driven fantasy like the Final Fantasy series, Legend of Dragoon and such) but because of time constraints like work and baby I prefer to play them casually.

I should say we, since my wife and I play these games together and take turns at the controls. We think of them more as interactive television than games proper.

Which, incidentally, makes me wish aloud that developers would build in a quest log into games like this. After a six month hiatus it's hard to remember exactly where we are in the story and what exactly our next goal was supposed to be. We either have to waste a lot of time running around or we have to start over again (not much fun if we're on disk three) Smile
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Post: #8
borges Wrote:Which, incidentally, makes me wish aloud that developers would build in a quest log into games like this. After a six month hiatus it's hard to remember exactly where we are in the story and what exactly our next goal was supposed to be. We either have to waste a lot of time running around or we have to start over again (not much fun if we're on disk three) Smile

I second this. I've lost count of the number of games I've started over because I have to put it down for a long time (work, vacation, cooler games.) Not fun at all.

This can be as simple as a sentence somewhere on a subscreen. That's it. "Go here and do this." In Metroid Fusion, visiting any Navigation Room repeats your last orders. Simple. Final Fantasy Tactics lets you replay any or all previous cinematics. Perfect. Too bad the battles last like 45 minutes each.

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Post: #9
Hmmmm... I was a hard core gamer once... I reached the top when I started playing the rogue-like game Zangband... that must have been the game I managed to play most in a week... that was really great... but now I'm starting to like only shoot'em'up's... I'm playing OIDS recently...


What surprises me is that a game with zero depth, zero graphics, 1 MB download, by one free lance developer can actually be as much fun or more than a 4 CD game programmed by a host of professionals.

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Post: #10
Najdorf Wrote:What surprises me is that a game with zero depth, zero graphics, 1 MB download, by one free lance developer can actually be as much fun or more than a 4 CD game programmed by a host of professionals.

You should not be surprised as it is a tried and tested formula that worked during the 80's and early 90's.

All the modern stuff is just eye candy that in no way enhances the thrill of game play.
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srcleaves
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Post: #11
I selected both. I wouldn't consider myself a hardcore gamer. For starters I've only got my TiBook 867 so most of the "hard-core" games won't play very well. UT 2004 for example. But at the same time I'm in the WoW beta and I play at least 2 hours a day. Many of the games I am drawn to are not traditional hard-core games. I used to play lots of FPS games but really got out of that when I switched to the Mac 4 years ago. I think I really fall in between hard-core and casual since I will play hard-core games when I have the opportunity and casual games a fair amount as well.
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CubeFusion
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Post: #12
borges Wrote:Which, incidentally, makes me wish aloud that developers would build in a quest log into games like this. After a six month hiatus it's hard to remember exactly where we are in the story and what exactly our next goal was supposed to be. We either have to waste a lot of time running around or we have to start over again (not much fun if we're on disk three) Smile

Something tells me you would LOVE Tales of Symphonia. You just described the "Synopsis" menu in that game. Not to mention two players can play through virtually the whole game at the same time (Actually, it can go up to four players). Anyway if anyone is interested in the least, I suggest you Click Here to learn some more about this game. I have been playing this nonstop for the past two weeks or so and anyone that likes RPGs should at least give it a rental. By the way, it doesn't have any turn based combat, so all of you who are turned off by "Menu" based games should check it out too.
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Vanamir
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Post: #13
I think the difference between "casual" and "Hardcore" games has been effectively reduced to technology. The games industry has always catered to the gamer with the best video-card and the fastest processor, while a host of other potential customers out there would play games that do not require them to upgrade their PC every year. That is why casual games are more popular now. I dont think it refers just to puzzle games and such. It also includes Ultima style RPG's, novel side-scroller action titles, etc. Games that were cutting edge when we were all children, but have been replaced by the next great FPS today. Not everyone wants to play Doom 3, because not everyone wants to buy a geforce fx5200 card when there old Voodoo works just fine for the games of Yore we all know and love.
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Post: #14
Vanamir Wrote:The games industry has always catered to the gamer with the best video-card and the fastest processor
I really beg to differ. I see slews of new games that can run on old machines, but the problem is, most of the ones that get the most attention, are the ones making leaps and bounds in AI, Physics, and Graphics. But there are plenty of hardcore games that run on a wide range of machines.
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Vanamir
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Post: #15
Well thats sort of my point. I dont think a casual game is just a cheesy solitaire mix anymore. I think its the games that appeal to the players without the fanciest hardware. The keyword in your retort is "New". This is a fairly recent phenomenon, at least in any truly relevant magnitude. Of course, exceptions could be found over the lifetime of computer games, but are these meaningful exceptions that show a clear difference in viability of less hardware intensive game development? Today is certainly the greatest day we have ever had to develop "casual" game as I have defined it. Sorry to wax philosophically.
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