Monday, February 28, 2011

The lack of depth in games

Over the past few years, there has been a trend away from 'deep' games.  Accessibility has been the rallying cry for a lot of new products.  This goes for MMO's and many other genre's.  It is not really a trend I am a fan of, but I can understand why some would be.

The explosion of smart phones (iPhone, Droid, ...) created a large demand for games.  To work with the limited input devices, such as a touch pad, most of them have been of the casual nature.  Now we are being flooded with these type of shallow games.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, who doesn't like a good game of Angry Birds?

This has also reached the MMO market.  If you look at WoW over the years, they have put a lot of effort into making the game more accessible to a larger amount of people.  It's worked, but the game itself has become more shallow as a result.  They have removed stats, removed group content and made other changes which really just made parts of the the game easier.

On the other hand, there are still companies who appreciate depth.  CCP and EvE Online have been quite successful with a game that is complex in relation to others on the market.  It shows there is still room for deep games if done correctly.  Sadly, Vanguard is an example of one which did not live up to its potential.

That brings us to the game I'm working on.  My goal for it is to be a deep game.  For me, that means it will have a lot of details, options, choices, moving parts and so on.  I miss the days of games coming with a huge manual.  I still have my copies of Red Storm Rising and F-19 Stealth Fighter just because the manuals are so awesome. 

Thanks to Unity, I do have the option of building a version for the iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, Xbox, Wii, and now Flash.  However, the only way I'd do that is if the input device would not force the game to become less deep.  Anyway, that is getting a little ahead of myself.  I don't even have a working mission yet, but should by the end of the week.