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Butterscotch Shenanigans Forums • View topic - Episode 1: And so it begins

Episode 1: And so it begins

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Which view? We'd be happy to discuss!

I personally have nothing against mobile gaming in principle. It's a wonderful fact that people no longer need to buy expensive devices just so that they can play games -- now everyone has an expensive device intended for other things that can also play games!

On the technical/development side, mobile gaming is difficult to deal with (which doesn't mean mobile gaming itself is bad) because we are so used to having access to a controller or keyboard/mouse when thinking about video games. Literally zero of the games we grew up with had control schemes where you touch the screen! So touch screens bring a new challenge to game design that, for us, is not fun to work around. This is especially true when we want to make games that can work on mobile and desktop (like Crashlands) since it is difficult to make control schemes that work equally well on both. Because we grew up with consoles and PCs, it's hard to break the preference for non-touch game design.

But our biggest frustration with mobile has nothing to do with games (in theory) and everything to do with the absurdity of the marketplace. The market is ENORMOUS, there are plenty of players to go around, and yet the vast majority of games (and apps) make less money than they cost to develop. The strange idea that games should be free has been normalized so effectively that the vast majority of players are completely unwilling to actually purchase games, and in fact many players sabotage our games with 1-star reviews because they aren't completely free. This sort of behavior, too, has been normalized on mobile.

The mobile distribution platforms have complete control to decide which games are successful (and just HOW successful) and which are not, and this is somewhat independent of the quality of the game. This means that every single game is a huge financial risk on mobile (unless you are EA or another huge publisher), so that developers are much better off making multiple games that are just okay versus a single game that is amazing. We are actually terrified that Crashlands will struggle to succeed, because though it is already an amazing game (and will be even more so at launch) its success on mobile is out of our hands.

While breaking into the other platform markets (like Steam for desktop) is much more difficult, once there players actually believe that games have value and are willing to buy them. Sadly, PC and console are both joining the free-to-play frenzy and will soon suffer the same sad influx off advertising paired with pretty-dang-medium games.

On the one hand, mobile gaming has made gaming mainstream and much more widely accessible, which is wonderful. On the other hand, the push towards free to play on mobile has completely fucked up player expectations about what games are worth (literally nothing) and forced developers to DESIGN GAMES AROUND PAYMENT/ADVERTISING SCHEMES!!! Just think about how screwed up that is. The game ITSELF has to sell things to players, whether in the form of IAPs or advertisements. This always, at minimum, breaks game immersion. It usually also breaks the core game balance and mechanics.

And now that same model is bleeding into desktop and console gaming, which makes us sad for the future of gaming on all platforms.

So, anyway, that's a long way of saying that there is nothing inherently wrong with mobile gaming, but in practice we are hugely frustrated with the mobile gaming markets and how those have affected games themselves.

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Posts: 1722
Location: Dallas, TX USA

I hate EA. Expensive buggy half-done games. Indie developers on the other hand care about it, because they know that one step wrong direction means their death.

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Posts: 465
Location: Brno, Czech Republic

The problem with the democratization of gaming through mobile gaming is that people see it as a way to waste their time (Candy Crush and games like that are played to spend time, not to have fun or whatever. People just play them to spend their time).

This also leads to a completely biased vision of the gaming industry.
Passionate ("real") players are still considered as aliens.
Play CoD, BF, AC, you're considered as a no-life, play Candy Crush "OMG you play it too! Awesome".
Play anything else, people don't even listen or try to understand what you're talking about. It's just "Meh, sush already we don't care"

It is somewhat like the Hollywood movies compared to every single other movies. There is THE big thing that just completely erases everything else. So does a big part of mobile gaming (the games that sell like hell) and Activision/EA/Ubisoft.
Everyone hears about their games but no one imagine there are a whole lot of other games to play.

I'm confronted to this everyday. I'm studying in something in which we have to be open-minded, but in fact, people (there are mostly girls in my class) are absolutely not open to gaming. I'm trying to open their horizons and some are interested but... Some pf them are so close-minded...

So basically, that's people who despise "real" gaming and gamers who are probably the root of the gaming industry going to hell. One root at least.

By the way, there are two thing I like with EA: Origin and Bioware :)

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Posts: 1831
Location: Bordeaux, France

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Posts: 2

The average player spends 2-3 minutes playing mobiles games at a time.

We know this from our analytics in Roid Rage, Quadropus, Flop Rocket, and Towelfight. Across all four games, the average gameplay session is about 2 minutes 45 seconds.

We would never say that "nobody" spends more than 3 minutes. But the average player spends about that much time.

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Posts: 1371
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

I believe most of the active users of this forum are way above the average, so, @spartan...ninja, welcome home :)

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Posts: 570
Location: Cracow, Poland

How could anyone play a bscotch game for less than 3 minutes? Roid Rage ... well maybe but in the other games you can't get anything done at all.Can't see how this kind of gaming habit is any fun but like you said in your podcast... those people only play to pass time

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Posts: 340


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