What's old is new again

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What's old is new again

Postby DaMan » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:45 am

"Apple Promotes Strange New Game Type In iOS App Store, 'Pay Once And Play'"
That thing that almost everyone did after arcades died is new.
[South Park reference]The Canadian Devil won't be happy.[/reference]
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby Peter Bark » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:12 am

space technology! you should see the new Apple cell phones, they are big and have one of those cool antennas on top! feels like we are in the distant future already.
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby Nash » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:34 am

This is exciting. I can't wait for the big boys to start making games that I can actually play! I think they used to call it gameplay?
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby Graf Zahl » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:56 am

Best are the user comments who completely fail to detect the irony in that article. Great piece, btw.
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby scalliano » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:22 pm

You know, before I actually read that article, I honestly thought it was an actual arcade style format ie pay 20p and get one go at the game. Perhaps the current state of the industry is making me bittercynical.
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby NeuralStunner » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:37 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:Best are the user comments who completely fail to detect the irony in that article. Great piece, btw.
Agreed. Nice to see a piece on video gaming that actually "gets it". :)

scalliano wrote:You know, before I actually read that article, I honestly thought it was an actual arcade style format ie pay 20p and get one go at the game. Perhaps the current state of the industry is making me bittercynical.
Well, "wait 5 minutes to continue or pay to continue right now" is almost exactly like feeding quarters at the arcade, except the publisher is technically able to market it as a "free to play".
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby scalliano » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:50 pm

I think the main difference though is that in the arcades, getting good at the game means spending less money. Many of these so-called "freemium" games require more expenditure in order to get good at them (or at least get the good items).

I could actually 1-cred a few arcade cabinets back in the day (Big Run worthy of special note - MAME still can't run the bugger) - that was a decent 15-20mins (depending on the game) on just 20p. You can't do that with Clash Of Clans.
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby Enjay » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:14 pm

scalliano wrote:I could actually 1-cred a few arcade cabinets back in the day that was a decent 15-20mins (depending on the game) on just 20p.

Back in the day I could play...



for that long, and longer. My local pub had a machine. The cabinet had two joysticks (one for moving and one for firing) and sometimes I would play so long and be shoving those joysticks so hard that I would actually end up straining my arm muscles to the point of aching pain that would keep me awake long after I got home (didn't notice while playing but, damn, it hurt when I stopped).

The game did get progressively harder in as much as more enemies appeared as you went through the levels and there were, of course, tougher enemies and things like seeking missiles. The object of the game was to rescue civilians. When you did, you got big bonus points and you got extra lives when you hit points milestones. Every now and again you got a map where the "brain robots" could convert the civilians into enemies (wave 5 in that video shows this). However, there were loads of civilians on these maps at the start. As the game went on, these kinds of maps became more frequent. So, provided you could keep yourself out of harm's way long enough to rescue enough civilians on these kinds of maps, you would get an extra life. If you managed to get it so that you gained extra lives at least as quickly as you died, then you could keep playing for ages.

I have played it via emulation but that cabinet really was the way to play. I'd love to have a go again but I'd probably hate the fact that I'd almost certainly suck at it now. :lol:
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby scalliano » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:30 pm

I'm no stranger to Robotron ;) I was never that good at it though. Berserk, on the other hand ...

There is actually a fan remake of Robotron called Mechatron 2152. I'd post a link, but Google isn't playing ball right now.
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby Enjay » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:39 pm

scalliano wrote:I'm no stranger to Robotron ;) I was never that good at it though. Berserk, on the other hand ...

There is actually a fan remake of Robotron called Mechatron 2152. I'd post a link, but Google isn't playing ball right now.


Ahhh, Berserk, another classic - that voice!


This looks like what you were describing.
http://norrish.force9.co.uk/robotron/

[edit] Hah! Yes, it's really close gameplay wise and I do indeed suck. :lol: [/edit]
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby GooberMan » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:01 am

I met the creator of Robotron there last Thursday. The old school mentality was definitely "make them pay with money, but make sure they're hooked by being a good game" - a lesson that can definitely be taught to a number of these mobile game studios using the F2P model.

(Later things like buying power ups in NARC came about because people were spending 15-20 minutes on one credit... ;) )
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby wildweasel » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:14 am

GooberMan wrote:(Later things like buying power ups in NARC came about because people were spending 15-20 minutes on one credit... ;) )

Yeah, I can't remember where I read it anymore, but there was some article years ago that mentioned that the average arcade game should be tuned so that one credit averages 1 to 5 minutes of gameplay. That certainly explains a lot of video game tropes, a few of which are still in use today...
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby GooberMan » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:24 am

Indeed. Arcade games were tough for one reason - they wanted your money. Everything else about them was to attract you to them so they could take your money.

F2P is like the inversion of that - they want your money so you can get the things that you might find attractive.

Of course, the irony of the "skill based games" mindset there is that the entire idea was born out of the realities of a commercial environment.

Still, the problem arcade games were fighting back in the day - visibility when thrown in the same room with other games - is still being fought by App Store developers. There's a ton of F2P games made by a ton of studios, some which you could find very agreeable in the gameplay department, but everyone's crowding around the Clash of Clans machine.

There's a deeper discussion in general to be had there.
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby wildweasel » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:32 am

I suppose the thing that disappoints me the most about mobile phone games is that there are no "truly" free games that are worth playing on mobile platforms, and the games that are worth playing are either too expensive or are available elsewhere in better forms. Square Enix's output is overpriced for what it is, in my opinion, but that doesn't mean their games are bad. In fact, the Final Fantasy V port on Android is actually fairly good, but I could never justify spending $15 on it. (I find it hard to justify spending $15 on anything, though; I'm a huge cheapskate when it comes to my games.) On the other end, any game that can truly be played for free is either loaded with ads or just generally not worth the play time. (I recently spent $3 just to have a damned Solitaire game on my phone that wasn't loaded with interstitial ads and stupid cash-shop nonsense. It's debatable whether that was worth the investment.)
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Re: What's old is new again

Postby GooberMan » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:34 am

The market data for every console game I've worked on shows that the sales rate at least doubles when the price is cut in half.

People only have <x> per month to spend on luxury items. I've argued this for years among colleagues that, for example, a €65 second-hand copy of a €70 new release is a saving felt far more than a €30 second-hand copy for a €35 new release would be.

There's definitely far too much of a "this is how it's done" mindset... but the way it's done now on mobile was only ushered in when the App Store launched 6 and a half years ago. Only seismic shifts seem to have any effect in this industry.
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