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You Dont Know What You Really Want What Gamers Dont Know About What They Like About Video Games www.andrewpmayer.com [You dont know what you really want.]

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Presentation on theme: "You Dont Know What You Really Want What Gamers Dont Know About What They Like About Video Games www.andrewpmayer.com [You dont know what you really want.]"— Presentation transcript:

1 You Dont Know What You Really Want What Gamers Dont Know About What They Like About Video Games [You dont know what you really want.]

2 Who am I? Andrew Mayer Ive been designing all kinds of Games for 16 Years - Original Producer/Designer on Petz - Creative Director at Cartoon Network Online - Original designer for HeroCard game - Casual Games [You dont know what you really want.]

3 Im a HUGE GAME GEEK - I Learned a lot about designing games by playing them. - Starting with my Atari I learned more by making them. -P-Playing games wont teach you everything you need - And it wont teach you why people like them. Who am I? [You dont know what you really want.]

4 Its all good. - There are developers who dont know this stuff - Companies spend millions of dollars trying to make you happy - And it works! - The industry is getting bigger every year. [You dont know what you really want.]

5 [You dont know what you really want.] What is a Player? - Someone who plays games (of course). - When they turn the game off, its over. - They dont think about games outside of the game.

6 [You dont know what you really want.] What is a Gamer? - Someone who loves to play games. - People who talk about the games they play. - People who think about games when theyre not playing them.

7 [You dont know what you really want.] Players and Gamers are a lot alike - Both have the same instincts when theyre playing. - Theyre passionate about the game - And theyre trying to figure out how to win. - When they love it, they play it a lot.

8 - Players like games, just not Gamer games. - They care more about THE SIMS, then SPORE. - The #1 PC GAME RIGHT NOW is Nancy Drew: The Phantom Of Venice. - The industry always wants to make $$$ by selling people as much stuff as they can. Players and Gamers are different [You dont know what you really want.]

9 What Gamers Say - You can learn a lot from a Gamer - Most Gamers describe the things they like in pretty similar ways. - Except for you of course. - You are special and different. [You dont know what you really want.]

10 This is cool. - Cool is how you feel when things are going smoothly. - You know what youre doing and get how it works. - The game isnt getting in the way of you playing it. What Gamers Say [You dont know what you really want.]

11 This Sucks" - Your expectations arent meeting reality. - Pure WTF moments. - Malfunction! Malfunction! What Gamers Say [You dont know what you really want.]

12 This is Awesome - All of your game skills are working together. - Loving the big, flashy stuff. - Digging the great Story. What Gamers Say [You dont know what you really want.]

13 - Exciting Gameplay - Dynamic Characters - Compelling Stories - Gorgeous Environments - Rock Solid Controls Doing this stuff well isnt expensive, just hard work. Gamers and Players all want the same good stuff. [You dont know what you really want.]

14 Gamers and Players all want the same good stuff. [You dont know what you really want.] =

15 We likes what we likes - Sequels - Remakes - Me-too games. - Genre Busters that dont really bust anything. And then they want it all over again [You dont know what you really want.]

16 What about the cool NEW stuff? Big new ideas mean big risks - Most games around big new ideas die before theyre ever released - Its hard to explain something new to the audience - Its hard to explain something new to the guys with the money - New doesnt always equal good [You dont know what you really want.]

17 Innovation isnt dead - It is, however, more about evolution, not revolution. - Imagine re-inventing the camera every time you made a movie. - There are still more GTAs in our future, just not as many as fast. [You dont know what you really want.]

18 Whatever, just make me great games! Okay… sure, but there are a few issues we have to talk about first. [You dont know what you really want.]

19 - They only really have to think about whats in front of them. - A Gamer is only worrying about game mechanic thats getting in their way. - You only need to fix something thats busted. - Seeing the gears breaks the magic - For most people… Gamers get to like what they like just because they like it. [You dont know what you really want.]

20 - In fact, the more you love it, the more they hate it. - Its way easier to make a game for 20 people then 2 million. - But your risk of failure is much higher. -Too many hardcore fans can kill a game. Someone hates your favorite game [You dont know what you really want.]

21 - We lose perspective on our own games early and often. - We can only make things that we can break down into bite- sized chunks. - The bites are getting bigger… - We have to do the work and take the big risks - But we lose perspective. - Cry for us. We are teh sad. Developers are their own hardcore fans [You dont know what you really want.]

22 Figuring it out How do Developers and Publishers learn what you want? - Focus Testing: Watch people play the game. - User Metrics: Theyre tracking your every move! - Experience: Make a lot of games and youll learn something. [You dont know what you really want.]

23 [You dont know what you really want.] The Big Secrets What do developers, publishers, and marketers know about Gamers that Gamers dont know about themselves?

24 Listen to your audience. - You have to filter what people say into useful information. - Smart developers always listen to users. - Even if youre ignore someone you should listen first. - Data often gets more interesting in large clumps. [You dont know what you really want.]

25 - Game Design is the art of enjoyable frustration. - If you always got what you wanted when you wanted it, it wouldnt be a game. - Frustration equals fun, when its balanced right - Read Raph Kosters A Theory of Fun. - Its a great book on this subject. Frustration is Good

26 - Good games trick you into doing what you should be doing. - The make you think it was your idea. - Having an a-ha moment is always a win. - Everything (graphics, gameplay, story) should be working toward that moment of user discovery. - You can break the game in new ways after you already get it. You didnt think of that, they did

27 - No matter how much the journey sucks, it always feels good at the top of the mountain. - You must triumph (eventually). - If you never beat a challenge you wont love it. - If its too easy you wont care. - Once youve mastered something, it feels good to go back and kick ass. The Reverse Yoda: Hate turns to love

28 [You dont know what you really want.] Translating from Gamer into Developer Gamers dont always say what they mean. Developers have to figure it out.

29 Translating from Gamer into Developer Can I please have some more? - Less is more. Games are made out of rules and limitations. - Too much stuff is actually confusing. - Theres already a no-limit sandbox called Life. -Theres another one called Second Life.

30 This is too hard! - Is it too difficult or just really challenging? - Remember the Reverse Yoda you must. - Is it so hard that you wont buy it? - Its only a lose when you actually stop playing. Translating from Gamer into Developer

31 You should make it like this! - Actions have consequences. -It just may not be possible in the time & budget. - It may not be the game that theyre trying to make. - Changing little things often have BIG consequences. - If a developer isnt doing something obvious theres almost always a reason. - The question is, is it a good reason? Translating from Gamer into Developer

32 [You dont know what you really want.] If we arent making games for the people who love them, then why make games at all? Developers want to make Gamers happy

33 Developers want to make Gamers happy Get the basics right - Controls - Interface - AI - No nasty bugs

34 Theyre watching you. - Beta testing. - Reading opinions online. - Gather their every move with every tool they have available. - More metrics tools are being used every day. Developers want to make Gamers happy

35 Gamers are the most valuable to developers as Players - Becoming a meta-critic actually makes you less useful. - Hardcore players open the door to new ideas. - They can also hurt the games they love. -Hardcore fans often dont always want to face the truth. Developers want to make Gamers happy

36 [You dont know what you really want.] Become a Smarter Gamer - Find more of what you enjoy. - Move the industry towards the kind of innovative games that everybody says they really want. So what do I do with all this secret knowledge?

37 Learn to smell the BS Where theres smoke theres fear - Bad marketing tries to sell you the sizzle instead of the steak. - Is anybody talking about the gameplay? - Beware strange details, long lists, or number counts.

38 Play Wider Its okay to only love part of a game. - Its worthwhile to try out something for one good idea, especially if you can rent it. - You dont need to like something in order to understand why its value to others. - Sometimes youll discover something awesome inside of a spectacular failure.

39 Find Good Stuff Faster-er Little details tell you when its going to be good. - Its hard to explain what the game is, but they keep trying. - You start seeing cool little features theyve been hyping, and they look good. - Youre hearing a lot about what the player does in the game.

40 THANK YOU for being Gamers! Nobody would get to play games if it wasnt for the people who loved them the most.


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