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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: Jul 26th 2011 5:17PM SnarlingWolf said

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You mean the mobility market which copied all of the pre-existing games and put them onto mobility platforms?

Angry Birds was a rip off of every crush the castle game that was round for years ahead of time. All of the other good selling games have been a rip off of something.

So I guess my question is, if the mobility market has nothing new to rip off than can this even happen?

Btw stuff like Mafia Wars existed long before facebook. They were run on websites and I played many of them all the way back to 1999/2000 time frame. So Mafia Wars was far from something new.

Posted: Jul 26th 2011 5:47PM Beau Hindman said

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@SnarlingWolf I'd have to re-read my column, but I didn't call it new. It was new to the mobile or social space at one point, though. Where it came from before that is beyond the scope of this column.

Beau
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Posted: Jul 27th 2011 11:07AM SnarlingWolf said

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@Beau Hindman

You whole article is based off of the concept that when a game type does well, like Farmville, a bunch of copycats come in and dilute the gaming world.

I was simply pointing out how that technically isn't possible with mobile gaming due to the fact that currently everything in mobile gaming is a complete and utter rip off of a game from another format.
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Posted: Jul 26th 2011 5:21PM Averice said

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Magic is nothing like cribbage or rumi. I don't even think it was based off of card games, I think it was probably envisioned as a mobile (lol mobile gaming old school) way to play fantasy games without needing all the dice and paper and planning, as you could literally shuffle the deck and be ready to go. Anyway though.

I'd go with Yes, it is happening in mobile gaming. Why? Because it happens everywhere when there is a large base following. I don't think it happens in books much, there's just no media outlet that reaches a wide enough spectrum to create "imagined demand/anticipation". You won't ever have this happen with table top gaming because it just isn't that popular and doesn't have a media backing its existence.

I agree though with your premise that "geek" culture is a bit off putting. I don't really understand the point of the movement beyond the basic point of any movement. But I can understand the frustrations of someone who has always seen themselves as a geek, only to now have that culture turned back around on them and becoming everything that they feel geek is not.

I think you'll just have to trust in gamers making games. Gamers will make games when they want to play a game on a platform that doesn't have any good games. And while it may not be a runaway success like Angry Birds WAS (major past tense) it should make some money, keep the studio afloat, allow you to enjoy a "real" game, and increase potential of a new good game coming out. So, in other words, while there may be millions of clones, you shouldn't care, because you know some gamer out there, will make a game, for gamers.

Posted: Jul 26th 2011 9:19PM Fire Walk With Me said

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@Averice maybe he was think of the card game War? The bigger card eats the smaller card?

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Posted: Jul 26th 2011 9:48PM Beau Hindman said

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@Fire Walk With Me Nah, I was speaking generally. If you take almost any card game where the point is to conquer your opponent, there are going to elements in it that remind us of Magic or other CCGs. I mean, tapping a card for mana isn't that different from other techniques used in other games.

In some games, you can steal your opponents card, similar to taking away life. Point being that Magic is still original and wonderful, but it isn't *that* much different than many card games that have existed forever.

Beau
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Posted: Jul 26th 2011 5:46PM hereafter said

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When fans defend a game saying that developers "didn't promise anything revolutionary," they're not always defending bad games; they're often clarifying the discourse. Starcraft 2 doesn't reinvent any RTS wheels, but it's still a great game. I've seen movies that were fun and extremely well made, yet didn't push any envelopes. I've driven cars that look like the same old sedans we've seen for years, yet have significant improvements in performance or gadgetry. I just wanted to clarify that not all defense of the familiar is the bleating or blind sheep. Innovation and quality don't always go hand in hand (though far be it from me to squash any new ideas).

As for mobile games, i think they're a bit more susceptible to this problem because of their lower costs and development times. Someone looking for a quick cash in in can more easily justify a Facebook game than they can a AAA MMO. As such you get more blatantly derivative and low-quality work. At a certain point, it's like dealing with user-made content; you have to try harder to find the gems, but they're still there.

Posted: Jul 26th 2011 6:21PM wfseg said

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Yeah.. but mobile games are so cheap, you can just see if it's rated 4 or 5 stars, put in 99 cents (or a little more) and try it. Unlike PC games that sells for $150 *coughSTWORcough* .

Posted: Jul 27th 2011 1:35PM hereafter said

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@wfseg

More like $60
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Posted: Jul 26th 2011 6:23PM Borick said

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I think that for mobile MMOGs to really take off they need to embrace more than just the mobile platform.

Mobile devices just don't seem comfortable for protracted play sessions. I would love to use a mobile device to check on my farm during lunch breaks or for auction house and small-scale solo/group content, but when I get home I'm going to sit at my terminal or media center.

Mobile platform games tend to be hedged in by the 'walled garden' of the app world.

Posted: Jul 26th 2011 6:33PM Beau Hindman said

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@Borick You mean that they should act as extensions of "normal" games? What about MMO developed solely for mobile...you think it'd be a good idea to expand into the PC market?

I know Pocket Legends talked about this at one point. Some do, as well, have PC versions.

Thanks for the comments so far!


Beau
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Posted: Jul 26th 2011 6:57PM Borick said

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@Beau Hindman

If one considers the WoW auction house as it's own mini-game, then the auction house mobile app is something like what I would like to see expanded upon.

There are plenty of ways to fit turn-based or (For lack of a term) 'waiting for the carrots to grow' sorts of things into their own mobile control systems. It seems like this would serve as a hook to keep people checking on and interacting in their MMO of choice.

I can see dedicated, persistent-world games that fit the mobile platform, but having that I fail to see a good reason not to extend your work across multiple platforms.

We probably can't have an action game that remains fair and balanced across multiple platforms, but I'd be more likely to play Pocket Legends on my tablet if it were also a game I could play on my comfy terminal at home.

I'm an old keyboard-jockey, however. These young whippersnaps with their thumb-typing skills may measure things differently.
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Posted: Jul 26th 2011 6:57PM Borick said

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@Borick Ugh. If I had a kingdom, I'd trade it for an edit button.
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Posted: Jul 26th 2011 7:59PM Beau Hindman said

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@Borick Yeh the mobile gaming, for me, is really not the main gaming I do. Well, I should say that I stagger ALL of my gaming, which helps with keeping wrist pain down and stuff.

The thumb gaming actually can hurt quite a bit after a while, so your caution is based in truth! lol

Beau
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Posted: Jul 26th 2011 8:35PM PanamaAlex said

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@Beau Hindman, @Borick Well, in the same vein of the WoW auction house supplementing your game, I do recall some games talking about having extensions to their games on a mobile platform. I will cite two examples (one that was implemented and one that was only talked about):

1) Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast (RIP). It had the Chao adventure game on your VMU (Visual Memory Unit). It was a mini game of sorts that supplemented your adventure on Sonic. This method was used on a couple of games (Skies of Arcadia & I believe PSO as well.)

2) Forza Motorsport 3 (not implemented): There was talk of being able to design your cars and tuning them through mobile devices such as smartphones and Zune. Hasn't happened yet.

So for non MMO games it hasn't fully developed. However, more to the point of the article, there is plenty of room to create a full featured MMO. Think larger than Pocket Legends. It just takes a bit of risk in an uncertain time. Anyone remember Majestic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majestic_(video_game) ? It would be awesome to have something like that pop up again on a mobile device.
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Posted: Jul 27th 2011 2:38AM Space Cobra said

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"This is how gaming goes. Success breeds copycats. The real problem is picking out the good from the bad."

Very true. We've seen this before, but, from my perspective, it's a bit worse with mobile gaming, which really did not get a separate/new introduction compared to other forms of gaming.

When a hobby starts out or at least, hits popularity, it is a great time for innovation. Companies are putting something new out and in many cases, it's different from what we've seen before. Sooner or later, other companies try to ride on this "train" and deluge the market with product that is mostly sub-par, but there are exceptions. The hobby may or nay not go into a lull or kill itself and then cycles back into popularity because of a new take on it, something else that gains popularity, nostalgia, or any number of elements.

Like I said, we've had MMO gaming and we've had single-player gaming (even online single-player games). So, while there has been some nice gems and innovation, there's also been lots of repeats and even "adaptions" of games from other non-mobile services.

I don't know if mobile gaming is truly at risk, but single-player downloads are fine. MMO-type ones...probably fine for the moment. The market is just beginning to emerge and may flood. It is interesting that the social gaming market hasn't quite yet flooded, but it may yet and drive people off. While there are players who play on any system, there are those that may have never tried such things and only discover it with their device of choice. So, these can be self-sustaining niche markets of a type....IF those people don't get too bored and too many bad games don't get released.


Posted: Jul 27th 2011 4:10AM jh3141 said

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@antagonistyahoocom

You know, you really should try being fair to Beau. I mean, it's quite clear that what he's complaining about is the fact that the most successful titles are derivitive, not that there's a pile of derivitive titles down at the bottom of the heap that nobody cares about. But clearly you know this market better than he does, so perhaps you'd care to point us at these hugely popular and highly original games that he's been looking for?

And as for Android and iOS being so different: no shit. But you are vastly oversimplifying. You can program Android in just about any (compiled) language you want; just download the native application development kit. You can do C, C++, or Objective C if that's your thing. You can also use all three of these languages on iOS. And while the two platforms have totally different user interface libraries, they both share an implementation of OpenGL ES 2.0, which is probably the only platform library the majority of the code in most games needs to use.

And regarding those frameworks, Unity supports both platforms, is mature and stable, and the developers I know who work with it have no complaints about its performance.

Posted: Jul 27th 2011 8:49PM nicoled said

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@jh3141

First off, if you think you get to write the app once in Unity and you're done, then forget it. Your comment reads like a whitepaper on cross-platform development, when in actuality most developers maintain completely separate codebases for each platform (and sometimes each device).

But that's completely beside the point. Beau was trying to imply that "experienced" developers build for multiple platforms, and "inexperienced" ones don't--which is bullshit. This much is clear: he has no idea what he's talking about.
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Posted: Jul 27th 2011 4:47AM Graill440 said

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I tossed this question around to a few friends and some family members, maybe its the great northwest but in this area no one i talked to was remotely interested in mobile gaming, especially nothing on the scale i have seen some plans for.

Hope they do the correct research before investing the money.

Posted: Jul 27th 2011 4:49AM jh3141 said

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@antagonistyahoocom Another thing... I'd hardly call the 13th highest grossing film of the year to date a box-office failure, particularly as 8 of the higher ranked films are sequels (which are known to be more successful on average than first films).

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