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Need Help With a Term.

10-14-2015, 06:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 199
Need Help With a Term.

Hey, folks. Got a kinda weird question, maybe. I'm trying to find a good way to describe what we're doing in one sentence. The long version is that we're making something I'd consider a "real game" - not just a time-killer, monetizing skinner box - but something that appeals to folks who love *games*. Stuff with strategy. With mastery. With competition. With genuine social interaction.

If you're in the sort of 18-40ish bracket, and you grew up playing console & PC games - the kinds of games you grew up with. Stuff like old school Command & Conquer, or RPGs or shooters. Some folks describe them as "core" games, but as a term, that's a bit too jargony for most people to understand. I keep thinking of these as "real" games, but that's also not a distinction the general population is going to understand. Stuff that's like "awesome" or "quality" or "amazing" - these things are too general & don't really mean anything.

Can you think of a specific term for this kind of experience? How it's different than the worst parts of modern mobile gaming? Looking for either a single word or a very short turn of phrase.

What I've got now is, "Real games for busy people". The idea is that we're trying to deliver the things that you care about from old-school *style* games, but in a way that is super accessible and really short, so that anyone can jump in and make meaningful progress in really short bursts of time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
10-14-2015, 06:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,617
Here's a few ideas:
Hardcore games
Old school games
Games with depth
Challenging game

Follow me at @bitGamerX for video game news and reviews.

My favorite video game genres include adventure, board, 4X, roguelike, space sims, and strategy games.

10-14-2015, 06:55 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 199
Thanks, klink - I think the one that strikes me is "games with depth" - because that's what we're trying to build. Something that isn't just total surface fluff, or a mindless time-waster. Something that starts simple but hopefully reveals some complexity, depth of strategy, long-term potential over time. "Games with depth" is the right sentiment. Deep games for busy people? Could work.
10-15-2015, 02:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 199
klink - working through this, I'm still a bit stuck. Here's the problem - "Deep games" or "Games with depth" doesn't quite communicate the right idea. Old school is *closer*. What we're trying to do is make a game that captures the things you loved about games growing up. BUT if you say "Old school games" the first thing that comes to mind is Doom, and stuff like that. Which is pretty far from what we're doing. It's a game that *captures* the things that made those games great, but it's not "old school". It's a pretty modernized asychnronous card-battle game, and pitching it as "old school" creates the wrong impression.

Challenging & hardcore are also both significant turn-offs to a big part of the audience, and they're also not exactly correct. Challenging, sort of, in that it's not like Wii Sports where everyone just wins all the time, but it's also not Super Meat Boy. Hardcore has a similar problem - it's not Dark Souls. We're doing our best to make it accessible and easy-to-play. In some sense, it's a "hardcore casual game", but obviously, without a shit-ton of context, that's a completely meaningless statement. And it doesn't even really fit the traditional (awful) "midcore" definition. It's really more like, "Hey, you love something like Hearthstone but don't have 10 uninterrupted minutes, ever? We're trying to do something very similar you can play in 30 seconds or less."
10-15-2015, 02:45 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 651
Classic sensibility, modern depth
10-15-2015, 04:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 199
Originally Posted by ashmike3 View Post
Classic sensibility, modern depth
Ooh. That's nice. For some reason, with "sensibility" attached, it doesn't feel like a call back to Mario, or other 8-bit games. "Classic games" = old games, but "classic sensibility" feels elegant. That's awesome.

I spent a bit of time thinking about it, and I think the thing that I keep coming back to is "love". I want games that I *love*. Not games that I feel like I *have* to play, or that I'm "addicted" to.

Basically, I've been trying to work on a quick way to describe what we're doing - and it's tricky because as a developer, you get sucked into nuance, and nuance is difficult to communicate in just a few seconds. But you've gotta get a pitch that is really clear and *really* short if you want to get someone's attention. And to be clear, this isn't a pitch to an investor, it's a pitch to our potential audience. Curious to hear what you think. I'll describe the game in a followup post, but if you're able to, let me know what kind of game you *think* we'd be making based on this:


Remember when you fell in love with games? When they were about playing with friends. When the best moments were the clutch wins and crazy victories youíd talk about for hours afterwards. When youíd spend hours through the night fighting, racing, laughing and screaming.

Now, your friends live far away. You spend the night trying to get your kid to sleep. The games you play now arenít what made you love gaming, and the ones that do require time you just donít have.

Itís time for something different.

At Wonderspark, our games have one goal: Everything you love about games in less than a minute.

Itís time to fall in love with games again.


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
10-15-2015, 04:49 PM
Short play sessions with a nastalgic, old school feel. I think you just need to make up a word. Something like....Quickstalgic?....Shortstalgic? ....Fastalgic?

I'm terrible at marketing.
10-16-2015, 08:44 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,098
"Full experience games"
"Complete games"
"Content-rich games"
"Non-casual games"
10-16-2015, 12:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 193
I'm editing this post as I think.

"Quick-fix for serious gamers"
"Intense gaming in five minutes"
"Instantaneously Intense"
"Hardcore gaming on your break time"
"High-level gaming on the go"

Last edited by bhoylhogro; 10-16-2015 at 01:30 PM.
10-16-2015, 06:01 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 199
It's a little bit vague, but at the moment, I'm thinking rather than "Everything you love about games in less than a minute," we're going to try "Real games for busy people."

The thing is, we're not committed to "less than a minute". The idea is that we're making a game that you can play any time. You don't need to commit 10 minutes to a session to make progress. You can make progress in like, 30 seconds. But if it ends up evolving to say, a minute and ten seconds, but it's more satisfying, that's not a problem for us. Five minutes is stretching it, and 10 minutes is much too long.

Our goal is to make a game that feels like a "real" game and not just a time-waster, and structure it so you can play any time. Even if you only have a minute free. I've got two kids - I can't even regularly get in a game of Hearthstone, because I can't ever guarantee 10 uninterruptible minutes. :P So "Real games for busy people." If I'm frustrated with things like Candy Crush, or other games that feel like Skinner boxes, maybe I'm looking for something I'd consider a "real" game. And I'm busy. So busy that I don't have time for most games. Maybe this is for me?

I dunno - that's the hope. So, "Wonderspark: Real games for busy people."

Sounds better.