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iPhone: Iphone gaming - casual or hardcore?

02-08-2009, 10:42 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 161
Iphone gaming - casual or hardcore?

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?
02-08-2009, 10:44 PM
#2
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
too lazy to read all that right now, sorry just posted to point out we had a poll around a month ago with these very same options

02-08-2009, 10:46 PM
#3
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 105
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.

Nick Gravelyn
twitter.com/nickgravelyn - twitter.com/metacreature
Metacreature Games: Juggler - Juggler Free - Flip 3
Metacreature Apps: PhotoTalk
02-08-2009, 10:50 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetaNick View Post
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.
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?
02-08-2009, 11:10 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianlow32 View Post
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?
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.

Nick Gravelyn
twitter.com/nickgravelyn - twitter.com/metacreature
Metacreature Games: Juggler - Juggler Free - Flip 3
Metacreature Apps: PhotoTalk
02-08-2009, 11:29 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 550
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.

Gravity is my game :: Top Slingshot Player and working to get my #1 spot in Orbital back...
02-08-2009, 11:51 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: East Coast, USA
Posts: 916
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.
02-08-2009, 11:57 PM
#8
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 881
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.

A late game is only late until it ships. A bad game is bad until the end of time.

- Shigeru Miyamoto
02-09-2009, 12:59 AM
#9
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: little town of bethlehem
Posts: 431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayScreen View Post
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.
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?

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Last edited by s0mah; 02-09-2009 at 01:01 AM. Reason: sentence structure
02-09-2009, 01:07 AM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayScreen View Post
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.
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.