In a recent Interview that spawned a few other posts, here, here and here. I stated that the Wii is like a virus. I would like to hereby take a moment to clarify what I meant.
First off I believe the Wii is a phenomenal accomplishment and a great addition to the Video game space. Nintendo did a very smart thing by staying away from the graphics arms race and created a product that was different and could stand out.
Given this design direction the Wii in my mind is more of a toy then a Games machine, and i say millions of Wii Fit players agree with me!. It’s a Toy that plays some pretty good video games, but the majority of users that has bought a Wii I believe would never consider buying a X360 or a PS3. Simply because I believe they would not be interested in that experience, the Wii initial experience is so new and refreshing, they come over and play it with someone or see it in the store and it becomes almost an impulse buy.
They then play if a few times and BECAUSE they are not gamers, they put it away. It might come out from time to time at a party etc, where some new people get to experience the “fun” and now they go buy one, and the circle repeats itself, thus it spreads like a “virus”. How many people do you think has come over to a party and played a PS3 or X360 game and then gone a bough a console (Rock band and guitar hero games excluded!), right!.
So i really meant no disrespect to Nintendo at all or the Wii, just expressed the opinion that i think the Wii will need a successor sooner rather then later, as its Newness and Virus spreading capabilities will soon run out. Just my 2 cents!
I found this article on Gamasutra very interesting as it speaks about the growth potential in Social and online games, in this case they highlight the fact that the hardcore developers are having a really hard time to penetrate the Social game space. I find that even for us here at Antic we are having a very hard time to "dumb" down our designs to the point that it seems most social game players want the games to be. My gut and where we are hedging our bets is that we can bring enough of them over to our side, but delivering a more engaging game experience then the simple me to mafia, farm, aquarium "games" they tend to play now, where its really mostly about clicks and management, with very little if any strategy or difficulty curve built in. That is why we are moving our collect, build and real-time battle game Junk: battles to Facebook soon, with the hope that the deeper more engaging game play will find an audience on Facebook as well..
So Apple finally came out with the Jumbo IPod touch, and everyone thinks its either the best thing since sliced bread (really its just a bigger screen!), or Apple totally dropped the ball by not making it your laptop replacement. My Take, it is for sure not as revolutionary as the IPhone, who took the clunky mobile space into the the new century by showing the handset manufacturers the power of a great GUI (Which is oddly weird that they ALL failed to see the power in one before the IPhone). The IPad on the other hand does not replace anything we have today, its trying to be a NEW thing that we have to decide if we really need or not, a much harder task than asking someone to replace their exciting phone for something MUCH better. For me the only and i think the reason most people will get one is simply as a surf board, aka, a web access pad. The other features are nice, but not ground breaking. So the question then begs how many people need a surf pad? Well time will tell. I am for sure getting one, in about 11 months for myself for Xmas.
I found this article on Gamasutra very interesting. I am a firm believer in using psychology in your game design and even though in the past i have used loss aversion on a small scale, we are now going to experiment with it on a larger scale in our title Junk: Battles. The idea is that we will create a instant "play now" mode that creates a guest account where no progress will be saved after you logout or close the browser. We will remind the player of this "loss" of progression unless they register now. We hope to accomplish an instant playability option with a high retention of registered users, driving our active vs registered numbers up. Ill keep you posted on our results.
I have produced and designed many games on many platforms in many genres. Have participated in the evolution of this industry from 3 guys in a garage to 50+ Million dollar projects. Still we got so far to go and so little time to get it done!
Now looking to participate in the revolution of interactive game development as we shift from a package goods products that "have to have it all" to the exciting concept of free to play, involve your customer, collaborative development.
My Current company Antic Entertainment is a game development company focused on developing free-to-play titles for all platforms!