What do they give to players? Are they just meant to make money?
Hello my friends! In this blog post I would like to take the time to make a consideration on the today’s game market and design: how are they designed and what is purpose of most of them?
The immediate answer to this is probably: “To make money”. But is it really just this? Or is there more? This is question I ask myself many times as a game developer and designer since as an answer it always seemed very flat and meaningless in the end. Surely this kind of discourse can take a deep social/philosofical turn, but I think there could be simpler answers.
Game companies’ goal in general is surely just to sell more copies of their game in order to sustain themselves and make profit.
Their goal is to get bigger and bigger, making “bigger games” in order to make more money to make even more bigger games. But does it make sense in the end? Or is it just a dog chasing its own tail? Companies that have passed their size limit (of profit) tend to expand into other fields since they have so much surplus budget that they don’t even know what to do with it (an example is Google expanding in the gaming market with Stadia).
But taking the example of Google, in the case they squash all the competition in the gaming field with their product and ideas what’s left? Just more money?
I think it doesn’t make much sense in the long run. Competition is something that I personally think can also be positive and lead companies to give their best (but also additional stress) as long as they don’t annihilate the opposing companies. This surely can push the technology, leading the market to produce visually stunning products that would never have seen the light otherwise.
Visually (and audibly) surely progress has been made, but is this the right path? Do games nowadays are so much different from the games of the past? Personally I think today’s games don’t convey or teach something really meaningful and do not yet fully exploit the potential of the medium.
Most of triple A games tend to be linear stories with cutscenes getting closer and closer to the world of cinema without really being able to find its own language, nor even approaching remotely to the great cinematographic masterpieces such as Sergio Leone or Fellini’s movies to name a few.
Probably indie games having less costs and being able to risk more, tend to explore this medium much more deeply.
With this sentence I don’t mean to despise triple A games (I still like to play them), but I really would like to see more experimentation and not just games that tend to copy each other.
With real moral choices that finally make the player think, these are probably the games that can lead to the path of pure game design.
I think that in order to create truly exceptional games, developers need to look at other fields: not only Cinematography, but even Art, Music, Photography, Philosophy and all aspects of life that can be studied.
This is because gamers tend to take inspiration from other games they played rather than from their other life experiences, and this is something that we try to achieve too as a small game development company.
Even recent Nintendo bestsellers such as “Super Mario Odyssey” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” have been lauded for being examples of the company’s willingness to take risks with even its most important franchises.
Of course there are many other examples to study, for example cash grabs games like Fortnite or Candy Crush are designed by armies of psychologists in order to study the better way to keep the players glued to the game.
This brings the question I made at the beginning of the post: even if these games made 10x more money then Breath of the Wild, does it really make these games more successful? or do we have to consider other factors to measure the success of a game?
here some links that I took the inspiration by to write this blog post! I hope you liked it :)
Woodle Deluxe is today available on Steam, you can grab it here!
Woodle Deluxe new edition is an old school 3D platformer game set in a super colorful world! You will find all the classical elements from the 90’s, venturing alone or in co-op with a friend. Travel across the Woodle Lands in a total of 8 wonderful worlds and save everyone bringing back peace and balance!
8 immersive different worlds to explore
Local Co-op Main Adventure — Play as Woodle Beaver!
New items and clothing to unlock for Woodle
Vast 3D environments presented in smooth 60 fps
Jump, Run and special Attacks are your abilities during the adventure
Hello my friends! Since is the start of a new year, we would like to take the time to write about all the things that happened during the last year and what’s next to come.
Despite the Covid situation we were able to continue all our projects remotely and were able to release our games :)
Moreover the large number of players this year resulted in an increase of over 200% in sales of our games compared to the previous year. This allowed us to increase the team size and work on even bigger projects!
This new edition of the game is highly optimized and enhanced for the next gen consoles.
Regarding the new games for 2021, we’re releasing our first Mobile game for iOS and Android on January 20th: “Suicide Guy”. Is our first Mobile game, so we’re excited since many of you asked for it!
Regarding our next Untitled game: we’re working hard on it and expect to release next year for all next gen consoles. Here a glimpse of it running on Nintendo Switch!
Since our Dev Kit for PlayStation 5 has finally arrived, We’re working to make it run on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X too, so stay tuned for an update for those!
One last update is regarding Woodle: a new game is coming in this series, so stay tuned! To follow the development of the game, you can join our Discord: https://discord.com/invite/chubbypixel
Today Suicide Guy VR has 68 reviews with mixed reviews, but this is manly due to problems on certain VR hardware that we found out after the release (we didn’t know there were so many devices that gamers actually use, for example the Cosmos and the Microsoft Mixed Reality)
The game has been developed with the Valve Index and the Oculus Rift devices in mind, and we didn’t know so many gamers actually have many kinds of VR devices. Moreover these devices have all some different controls scheme and hardware characteristics that makes difficult to adjust! So a suggestion I would like to make if you’re approaching to VR development is to have all the necessary hardware development kits.
We’re still working hard on the game in order to make it perfectly compatible for all hardware (Cosmos and Mixed Reality included), so stay tuned for further updates!
Despite these problems, the game has been played by many Youtubers, here some examples!
An interesting thing I noticed is that many of them never played the first non-VR game, so this new edition indeed was a great incentive to try it out and get to know the game.
After all this feedback we’re planning to release the game on Oculus Quest Store and PlayStation VR since we found out that there is a very high interest in VR games, but the problem is that the market is pretty fragmented (check out how many active users has this subreddit for example: https://www.reddit.com/r/PSVR/ )
A problem we already found during the PSVR port is that in order to play VR at its best you need 2 PS Moves (for hands control), but those are not included in the VR headset. This probably makes a lot VR gamers to not have the possibility to play the game at its best with the PS Moves.
November is here and I would like to take the time to let you know which are the new projects we’re working on!
Our latest game release (in July) with Suicide Guy VR (link) performed really well with over 10.000 copies sold on Steam in the first few months! This pushed us to port the game for PlayStation VR and Oculus Store.
The PSVR port is taking us more time than expected, but we’re trying to deliver the game to our fans for December/January, so stay tuned!
Regarding our new game in development, here a video update where you can see a glimpse of gameplay!
We’ll soon share more details, so stay tuned!
The full game will be released for the next Gen Consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X) + Nintendo Switch and Steam!
Another news for our Nintendo Switch releases: next month (in December), we’ll relese a new game! Stay tuned to find out what it is :)
Analysis of our game Woodle Tree Adventures and its sequel Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe+
Hello my friends! In this blog post I would like to analyze our first game, since I think could be an interesting read for the new game developers who are approaching to this world.
We developed our first full game “Woodle Tree Adventures” in 2013 (using the engine Unity3D), even though we were totally beginners we decided to try anyway and see what kind of game we would be able to develop. The game is now available on all platforms (Nintendo Switch, Steam, Xbox One and PS4)
Even though we were pretty satisfied of our game, the critics judged us very negatively, and this image is surely enough to show you what I mean:
A 28 on Metacritic is a score that could destroy your career (and can knock you down), but overall even if not perfect, the game sold hundreds of thousands of copies and a lot of gamers appreciated playing it. As an example here are some few images that can show you the appreciation of our fans:
That said, I’m not insinuating that you have to ignore the critics and reviewers. You surely have to listen to them, and this is what we did for the sequel of the game Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe; We took as lesson every little feedback that we gained from reviewers and tried to make something unique, this helped us infact to reach a 71 on Metacritic:https://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-one/woodle-tree-2-deluxe+
During this time anyway I always wondered why the first game was so much appreciated by players but not by critics (I still receive messages everyday from fans saying that they loved Woodle Tree Adventures).
Probably the fact is that the game is very simple and many players likesimplicity and even though has bugs here and there, many players ignored them after a while.
Or could be the fact that being our first game and having many defects, many gamers were able to understand this while playing and even have fun thanks to thisfact.
Anyway what I wanted to tell you if you’re starting just now developing games is to not take critics to your game as something personal: try to take them for what they are (just opinions about your game and not about you) and learn from these. It’s not easy for developers to be able to judge their own game objectively after years of work, but it’s surely something that I think needs to be done.
Thankfully there are many gamers like these that surely will cheer you up and make you understand that your work was worth it:
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