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Are There Too Many Games?

This topic has become of interest too me lately and has caused me to reevaluate my game design goals. My research leads me to suspect that there are too many games, that are too long. So, I’m scaling back my designs for 1hr or less non-linear gameplay, with infinite replay. Curious if anyone else has been pondering over this question Are There Too Many Games?

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I’ve been making games ^this^ way for a while (been thinking about this topic even longer). Basically making games with a one-line story and no cut-scenes or dialog whatsoever. There’s no save-game or progress / state-system needed. Its 5-15 mins of re-playable gameplay with the option to play a longer form: 15/20/30 mins.

There’s so many challenges to game dev for surviving in the long term. How many people can actually survive by doing what this guy did below? If that’s the price, its a huge personal sacrifice. Game dev rocks, but not by that much. I’ve come to the realization I can’t get anything done if it means making Match-3 games, or working on someone else’s game, or games that sell well but I’ve no interest in (bored by).

The whole game industry is super-competitive. While compromise is essential to survive, too much compromise is just too much. You have to be motivated to stay motivated. And that is only possible if your own expectations are reasonable. Or more bluntly, if you can afford to survive no matter what (low expectations: LBYM).

In general, I’m Interested in focusing on a specific sub-market for a particular type of game that is aimed at a particular age-group with a limited amount of free time. As its not possible to be all things to every type of gamer anyway. I also want to avoid selling on platforms like Steam or have to rely on or pay for influencers.

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The problem is not the amount but how games are generally distributed through the internet. Just look at Twitter or Steam and notice that the usual games dominate, unless you have a huge marketing through various channels.

There are exceptions, but those are usually indie games with a robust organization, for example Path of Exile.

Bottom line, even though today a single developer can theoretically produce a hit like Minecraft, it remains a rare exception, since the Internet distribution reinforces the leading games.

This fundamental systemic favoring is in human nature, 10.000 play this, so I have to look this up too. In the same way search engines or sites like YouTube usually aggregate titles, by listing the most played / views / bought at the top.

However, in the early days of the internet it was different, since many companies / titles became famous through warez distribution, ie. Photoshop, and later dominated by continuing rolling out new versions - noticed by a huge following - the fame, while more eventually bought their software.

Today, you either need an excellent idea ( usually something new and different) or you require longevity - dedication including investments until your title has enough uniqueness, features, overall impression similar to the top titles produced by big studios.

A great example is the Battle Royal game mode, which was initially not the focus of Fortnite.

As a solo developer I recommend to start a project which does not require designing an entire static world., thus avoid the typical RPG theme, unless it is generic.

Even though game development goals can be optimized, the Internet not so easily anymore, hence why the goal should be to develop the game world, make it attractive, and then to use forms of advertising to make it known.

TLDR
For success a game requires unique features, which could involve the game mode, overall design impression, the story, and on top you have the general replayability score, how much fun it can be, which will become the dominant factor once a game enters the mainstream.

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last update hid the games then i checked off the hidden thing it went to spanish language so i rebooted launcher and now all my games are “unavailable”

I just watched “Eleven years without a hit.” Very informative and entertaining.

The thing that jumped out at me about his games is that none of them looked like the kind of games that I would expect to be a hit. They’re fine, but they look like the dime-a-dozen games you see everywhere. I think there are an awful lot of mediocre games out there, and not so many amazing games. So, do like the man says – Make Something Unreal. :wink:

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I think there is plenty of untapped potential in games still. There is niches to be filled. I think expectations have to be realistic though. My last game (which was also my first) earned equivalent of minimum wage.

I think that is not bad considering the circumstances and I expect next game to do better but I definitely never expect to make it “big” either. If I can earn about $50,000 a year from games that is more than enough to keep me happy. Sure beats working for other people!

But I have financial security most people don’t. I don’t see how a person could work like I do full time making games with a full time job as well. That doesn’t sound like fun at all. Game dev can already be frustrating as hell even if you have all the time in the world.

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I honestly think it’s all poppycock.

Games can do Really really well, and be totally sh*t.
Leading examples?
Call of Duty (in all its sauces).
ARK: survival for idiots.
Elite Dangerous - possibly word’s worst game ever made.
Assassins Creed (the first, yep. It was ■■■■. plot holes, silly story… AAA game-play, sure. but it should have never really gained the momentum it did).

Meanwhile there’s the opposite. Small teams who didn’t get paid nearly enough for what they started:
Thief: The dark project - Spyglass basically closed shop right after it. very sad.
Lucas Arts team - from any and all of their adventure games - grim wunderflop included

Then you also have the other side of the medal:
Great games, which were slaughtered by eggheads releasing them too early or development teams literally dropping a duce on screen for everyone to see.
Leading examples of late are
Cyberpunk 20whateverthehell
Kingdom Come Deliverance

You also have games that shouldn’t even exist (not necessarily sh*t, but they lower the whole world’s IQ by just existing):
Fortnite
SCUM
Dark Souls
ARK goes in this category too.

You really never know until release.
And also Who cares?
As seen by the list above, Flop or Success is no means of defining what a GOOD game actually is.

Also:
Develop because YOU can do better than the idiots who made whatever the last game you hated was.
That way you’ll never be disappointed in your end result :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m intrigued, why do you hate Elite so much? I could think of worse games. Star Wars Squadrons being one of them.

Or pretty much anything made by EA in the past 20+ years.

Dark Souls is alright.

The rest I cant argue with :slight_smile:

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First game I have ever played where the whole point of the game is to literally let your computer idle out without any requirement of user input for prolongued periods of time.
Since this is basically a “core” mechanic of the whole game, which you cannot skip or lessen in any way, it earnes it the reputation of worse game ever made.

I’m actually surprised there isn’t some sort of bit coin mining attached to it (as far as I can detect anyway).
Something that would net the morons behind it a pretty penny instead of it just being made for them to laugh at the idiots how play without their dev cheats…

On top of it, you have their latest releases - which I cannot comment on as I would never consider purchasing a dlc for this trash - but of which you can read the steam reviews, And/or watch YouTube commentary for some laughs.

To be honest though, it’s not like the rest of the frontier games are much better.
Fun for like a day - then boring and repetitive is what they seem to focus on best.

That can work, but not when you then try to change that game from a casual thing to a long lasting title.

Acrually, come to think of it, elite dangerous
is exactly the world’s best example of what developers, game companies, and Players should never do…
It legitimately should be a case study…

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Saying that “call of duty” is “sht" sounds to me like you’re not keeping apart the question of “what do I value in a game?” and “what do other people value in a game?”
There are tons of games I don’t like, which have great critical reviews, and lots of players. Those games are not for me, but they are not "sh
t.”
“Call of duty” is extremely good at delivering an experience that many people want. That’s the inverse of “sh*t” in the overall sense.

When it comes to the question: “Are there too many games?” then that’s the same question as “are there too many moveis?” or “are there too many kinds of sausage?”

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I don’t think you are looking at call of duty as a developer.
How long will it take for you to replicate the system the whole game uses and do a better job? A day to a week?
That’s why it’s total sh*t.

As I (may not have directly but did so now) said, It doesn’t matter what you like or don’t like - notice how Dark Souls is in the sh*t list? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Aha defo not an Elite fan :slight_smile:

It’s a perfect example to me of how age changes your perception of games. When I used to play Elite:Frontier on my Amiga 500 when I was young I loved it. It came with a massive universe map poater to stick on your wall, a book of short stories on the frontier. Really immeraed you into the game. Most importantly of all, I had a childs imagination to fill in the gaps. It didnt matter seeing the same npc face a million times I lived that universe, had conversations in my head with emotionless npcs that wernt even animated. Even flying autopilot for 10 minutes to get to a station was fun.

Now I’m old…it just bores me I have to admit. I dont have the imagination to fill in the gaps anymore, it all feels a bit boring, pointless amd repetive.

But I wouldnt call it sht, just not for me I havmt the time or patience for it.

On the other hand I would call something like Squadrons ■■■■. Because its poorly made, the VR was a disgrace locked at 60fps. It’s blasphemy compared to the old xwing games, rubbish controls, rubbish mission design, rubbish everything. Such a waste.

But on topic…I’d say there’s to many games…that are all the same. First person and third person games seem to be the unoriginal big company go to for all their big titles. Every so often someone adds a mechanic not done before…a gears of war cover system…a half life physics gun…then every game has to do the same. I’d like to see some more variety of games from the big studios instead of leaving it to the indies.

I was going to say there was more variety when I was a kid back in the old 16 bit and earlier era…but then I remembered every movie that came out thad to have a rubbish 2D side scrolling platformer game to go with it.

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COD marketing costs half the game’s budget (same for GTA and so on). So its hard to make any useful comments about COD’s value as a game. Whereas the COD2 / COD4 modding communities were amazing for creativity. Once IW talent left the building so did a lot of COD’s originality arguably. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Anyone got YouTube links to good takedowns of Elite-D? :wink:

Haven’t watched this particular vid.

Yamiks seems to mostly be on point when reviewing the game, even if he is addicted to the game.
Objectivity is hard to come by when you make money being a “YouTuber”, so check it out.

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Thanks for sharing. Nice rofl moments to balance the rant. It highlights how toxic grind has become the norm or simply ‘just the game’. :yawning_face: Imagine if action movies started out with 27 hours of telenovela scenes. How many people would walk out of the cinema ffs?! So why do game designers think this is ok? Is it a lack of imagination? Thankfully its streamers who get to struggle with this everyday to save us from having to treadmill leveling up, training-levels and unskippable cut-scenes, just to figure out if the game is worth it or not. :stuck_out_tongue:

It prompts the question though, why don’t more games offer a quick taster option? For example: ‘this is a videogame so I want to drive a Ferrari!’? Same as watching a movie, throw players right into the action and make them feel a part of it, instead of being a bot!

It’d be interesting to find gamers who’ve turned their backs on following the herd. A niche market who’ve soured on COD, same as shunning marvel comics reboots. The problem is marketing is so pervasive, its hard to find hollywood types that even call that sht out. :grimacing:

Part of doing away with games that are too long is also doing away with social-apps / leaderboards / formal scores, and seeing that for what it is mostly a snorefest. While we all play games like that, it doesn’t mean we should make games in the same way. Sure it may lead to thinner sales, but it may also lead to higher job satisfaction and more loyal fans. :wink:

IDK.
First of, I think Black Widow was under contract and could NOT refuse the movie.

It’s just one more of those things that Disney will ruin, or keep the license for hidden away in it’s secret vault (Monkey Island ffs! and let’s keep that on the DL before they reboot and definitely ruin the whole thing.)

It’s terribly OFF topic, but let’s also touch on the fact that all of hollywood is poison.
The Guild (and yes I was a member for a nanosecond, still have friends who are) wants to just spoon-feed their agenda unto people who watch.
The script says the opposite? No problem. Rewrite it or you aren’t making a movie.

FORTUNATELY - we don’t have that kind of nonsense in video game creation. You can literally be whoever you are, and you can still make a game, Publish, Market, and earn some profit (or flop terribly.)
Getting back on track.

Personally, I find that the Good games are indeed those that keep me busy and interested.
That does not translate to “sit here looking at this screen that does stuff on it’s own without you doing much of anything”.

For me, it also doesn’t translate to “hahaha you’ll never beat this boss because my controls are so clunck that when you roll left I roll right and you die because the whole point of this game is that you just die” - dark souls.

Would definitely never make a game that’s just a grind.
Note - if it’s a game jam, and the UE4 people HAVE to play it. I might just rope them in and then invert their controls just because they have upset us all so much in the past year.
It’s unlikely I’ll partake on a game jam, given the “quality” of their subject of the last 3 or 4 jams. (seriously FFS does it take more than an IQ of 50 to pick out a DECENT theme!?)

Anyway. That’s my 2c.

I think maybe… you just need to ‘git gud’ :wink:

Dont worry…I will punch myself in the face for those words

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Notice the announcement literally coming in right after what I said…
Everyone disappointed with Epic should team up (send a message)
Even if it will probably just be to literally hackle the stream when they “announce” yet another theme that someone with an IQ of 15 came up with.

What was the announcement?

The one for the game jam…