Super Mario 3D World There’s been a marked downtrend in Mario’s platforming adventures of late. Especially with the New Super Mario Bros. series, at first something of a welcome throwback, but soon hitting the wall in terms of innovation. Never write off the heroic Italian plumber, however, for with Super Mario 3D World he’s …
one word (whoops four)
it is worth it
I fucking hate the freemium model of mobile games.
Me too. I will happily pay a few pounds for a decent game, and have done on many occasions. However, I want a one-off payment that will allow me to unlock and complete the game at a pace dictated by me. The "freemium" model is nothing short of a scam IMO and I will actively avoid any game that pushes it.
Why should games be any different?
After all we can see the same thinking in the offerings of Microsoft. Office 365 is a good example.
Face it, they want you as peons, not customers. Why sell things when you can rent them out in perpetuity?
I think not
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Agreed! I'll buy a 69p game without thinking - it's the cost of a Mars bar. Even a £1.99 app isn't much to risk on a whim, but this constant Upgrade for 69p, Unlock for £1.99 and 10,000 credits for £27.99 drives me bananas.
If it's not realistically playable without purchasing in-app or if the micro-payment nagging gets too much then I simply won't play it!
The freemium model is designed with kids/teenagers in mind, not you. They've loaded gift cards in to pay for stuff, and don't think of it as spending real money. Most don't have any real sense of what money is worth anyway at that age since they don't have to earn it.
When their balance runs out they'll ask for more for birthday, Christmas, rewards for getting As or just because mom and dad are tired of hearing them whine. Developers are out to maximize the money they make, and based on developer uptake freemium clearly works, even if some adults hate it and avoid such games.
I don't play mobile games but I enjoy the freemium model elsewhere. It essentially allows me to play a wide range of games I would otherwise never bother picking up. I am a patient* person, so I have never felt tempted to shell out real money for virtual.
I think we just need to "teach" the developer/publishers what is reasonable behaviour. Unusually for SOE, I think Planetside 2 is a reasonable model in that it does not seem to me to be Pay-to-win, such that I might actually spend some money on it around Xmas.
* Or freetard, your choice.
EA destroyed Plants Vs Zombies 2 with the freemium model.
If you do not pay the game is just not that fun, if you pay (or hack the game) it becomes way too easy.
Some game companies are like Telecom companies, they are putting way too much effort into the billing/charging for everything and little on the service quality/gameplay
I have had *loads* of fun with Plants vs Zombies 2, without paying (or even really considering paying). The difficulty level seems just right - so in a way I agree with you that the freemium model isn't helping them, because I'm a fan of the game with no motivation to pay for it.
"If you do not pay the game is just not that fun, if you pay (or hack the game) it becomes way too easy.
Some game companies are like Telecom companies, they are putting way too much effort into the billing/charging for everything and little on the service quality/gameplay"
I think a lot of this sort of behavious comes down to what I call "the gamification of gaming".
Everyone outside of gaming has spent the last few years trying to "gamify" everything, from shopping to education, by pulling out the accoutrements of gaming (rewards, achievements, levels etc) and tacking them onto their "customer experience".
The problem is, that these accoutrements aren't actually a game -- there's no actual gameplay in it.
I remember when the term was new, there was an article on one of the gaming sites about "gamifying education", and a leading game programmer pointed out this very problem. Traditionally, playing games was about learning -- learn the level maps, learn how to time the jump, learn how to pull off the Dragon Punch with a quick flick. Brain scans show that playing computer games stimulates learning in ways that would make teachers green with envy... but it's the gameplay that does that, not the "achievements".
For instance, a few years ago, fired up an emulator and started playing the 8-bit tie-in game to the film Platoon, a game I hadn't played in over 15 years. I completed the first level on my first attempt, from memory. I remember the strategy to beat half of the first 50 levels in Bubble Bobble. There's dozens of shoot-em-ups that I would be able to glide through on autopilot, because I've learned them.
But games have been gamified.
Remember when MMORPGs were new, and people used to complain about "grinding" and "gold-mining" as being too much a part of the game? Most of these casual freemium games are just grinding. Tiny Death Star, for example, has virtually no game mechanics, nothing to learn and nothing to fight against. All you're doing is pressing buttons at partially random intervals to keep the credits coming in and to reach the next "achievement", and making a few simple decisions on what to build next... decisions that provide no feedback, so you can't learn from your mistakes.
If computer games are drugs, Tiny Death Star is nicotine. It offers no high, no real reward, but once you start on it, it dominates your life. "Just one little puff.... and another... and another."
I have uninstalled it.
I agree that I'm much happier to pay a fixed amount for a game and I very very rarely pay real money for anything from a free to play game. The exceptions being a few PC games, namely TF2, Tribes: Ascend and League Of Legends. Even then, I haven't paid anymore than £15 between them.
Unfortunately, more and more developers are embracing the free to play model, which in some cases I imagine is being pushed on them by publishers. However, I believe there are 2 different approaches to the model. Genuinely "Free To Play" games vs "Pay To Win" games.
In an ideal world, I would imagine that only charging for cosmetic changes would be the Utopian vision for free to play games. In the case of TDS, changing your bitizens (I still cringe at the name) outfits or names.
Obviously we don't live in an ideal world, and the developers have to strike a decent balance between free to play and pay to win. Some developers have been more successful at this than others. Which is why i have paid for a couple of things in the games mentioned above, because I believe the balance is good enough between paying and non-paying players.
"The freemium model is designed with kids/teenagers in mind, not you."
This decades outdated mindset is laughable.
The average "gamer" is a woman in her mid 40s. That is the target everything from Farmville to Tiny Tower to Temple Run or whatever the flavor of the month game is.
"In an ideal world, I would imagine that only charging for cosmetic changes would be the Utopian vision for free to play games."
This is basically what Tiny Death Star does. Bux are very easy to get (you get one every time someone moves into your tower and you assign them the right job, then kick them out and wait for the next person) and they serve 2 real purposes:
1.) Cosmetic Changes
2.) Upgrading your elevator to make it faster
The rate of bux is basically just right that as your tower gets taller and it takes longer to get to the top, you have just enough bux to upgrade to the next one.
But, as someone mentioned, it is just grinding. In most games these days, stats scale. Your gear/whatever gets better, and the difficulty increases proportionally. The game never gets easier or harder if you play properly. That gets boring for hardcore gamers. In Mario or Sonic games, you never got more powerful really. Your stats never increased. The game got harder as you went on. That barely exists in gaming anymore.
The Need for Speed games are usually too busy tongueing their own arseholes to actually let you play the game: Insert the game, Load her up, watch an unskippable cutscene, Please log into your Origin account, now polling the Need For Speed servers, updating your stats with Autolog, would you like to connect your Facebook account? Here's another unskippable cutscene. And now we will load some game content. You'd think we'd have done that in the background of the poxy cutscene but no. Now here's another cutscene, it looks like it's skippable but pressing the 'skip' button just mutes the voices until it finishes running, but after that you'll be in your virtual car! Just complete this unskippable tutorial first and then we will let you roam freely in (a small segment of) the game world. We will also unleash the aural assault of DJ Atomica on you. No you can't switch him off.
You can occasionally glimpse a good game in there but BY GOD do they bury it under a ton of shite.
Developers take note!
What I find stoopid about freemiums is the insane cost for in-game coin
Developers need to recognise that 1000 * 1c is greater than 1 * $1
I play this one freemium game whereby US$100 will get 1M in-game coin, but that only buys 5 regions in the early levels and final regions cost upto 4M in-game coin.
Do they really expect people to fork out US$1000 or more for an 'average' looking game?
Re: Developers take note!
Clearly they do, otherwise they would be pricing them at the lower level. If people didn't buy them at the stoopidly high prices then they wouldn't price them that high. Since they do price them that high then I can only assume that there are punters out there with more money than sense who will pay for the stuff.
Re: Developers take note!
I play one freemium game. It's a hidden object game called Found.
I' have yet to pay real money for anything, and I've unlocked everything in a little under a year of playing -- strategy is worth as much as actual $$$ in this game.
I know that's not the case with most of them -- that's why I don't play the other freemium games.
Re: Developers take note!
yes they do
and scary thing is people do it
one freemium game I'm quitting to win events you need to buy items at $1 a pop (or take a year + to accumulate free ones)
I've seen events where after I did the math in ONE DAY people blew over 2-3 thousand of the $1 items...
playing free I've only come in 5,000th place or so
to buy units for the game they were offering guaranteed high level units for $50 a try... on my in game "friends" list (aka use each other list) 5 people on it bought 4 of them...
Other freemium game I played had a big event like that where people poured hundred of dollars in, and the day the event ended they announced they were discontinuing the game...
Re: Developers take note!
"Clearly they do, otherwise they would be pricing them at the lower level. If people didn't buy them at the stoopidly high prices then they wouldn't price them that high. Since they do price them that high then I can only assume that there are punters out there with more money than sense who will pay for the stuff."
Everyone is working toward the WoW model. $60 a game, every 2 years, plus $15/month. I played from TBC to Cata, so that was $40 for the original game, $60 for TBC, $60 for WotLK, $40 for Cata (I took a break) which totals $200. $15 a month is $180 a year, times 5 years = $900 + $200 = $1,100.
But the question devs should be asking is: is it worth a small number of gamers who are willing to pay high costs, or a larger number of gamers who won't pay as much? Many games start with the former because they don't need to support as much server side with fewer gamers. They make their money, then can scale out to more gamers and lower costs down the road (if they last that long, many don't).
was really enjoying playing TDS, to point where one weekend i decided to restart from scratch, spent a chunk of real money so i could jump through the early stages quickly and set up the levels in more optimum way now i understood how the game played.
then, on that Monday, a new patch for the game was released, which reset my death star to square one, and no sign of any of the purchases i'd made.
kinda lost the appetite to do it all again from the start for the 3rd time so cut my losses and just deleted the game instead.
am instead playing Space Hulk on the iPad which despite some bugs and flaws they are ironing out, has proven far more fun and far less frustrating
Theres a strategy to follow in TDS?
Yes, it's 'uninstall it'. Fun on my Lumia 720 right up to the point where it glitched and lost all the progress I'd made towards the next level. Did that repeatedly, until I became convinced I'd rather buy a time-waster game than fail to make any progress at all on a buggy free one. So I got Civ for a few earthpounds, and it's a far better way of timewasting.
Theres a strategy to follow in TDS?
Well, for starters, I guess once you've filled up an Appartment floor with 6 residents you have a 9 rating in the shop they're working in, then any visitors to that level are of no benefit to you. So I when a Mover VIP turned up, I'd rearrange the Apparetment levels if possible to alays be the odd-numbered levels. That way, assuming it's truely random for which level new arrivals go to, hopefully it ensures an even chance of the new arrival generating you money.
Similarly, can easily tell if i want to bother taking them to the requested level, or down to an Imperial level where they can be put to use. (A better plan might be to only put the appartment levels in the top half of your Death Star - once filled you don't need to take the elevtor to visit them again, so you can therefore all you're elevator movements are quicker as you'll only have to travel the first half of the levels to get to the revenue-generating levels)
Plus - don't spend bux on anything by elevator upgrades, at least not to start with.
Also, keep hold of the Big Spender VIPs when they arrive. Get the Marriage level (it was the level that produced the highest number of 3-coin item of all the levels I saw while playing it. I guess later in the game it will be superceeded by a better level). While you manage the stock of all levels, pay special attention to the Marriage one. Try to get it so that you run out of 1-coin and 2-coin items close to when you'll complete fully stocking the 3-coin items AND have a Big Spender VIP waiting on the first floor. As soon as the 3-coin items are avilable and there no 1-coin and 2-coin, use the Big Spender on the Marriage level, and they have to buy all the 3-coin items, netting a big chunk of coins.
Fortunately the 3-coin item on the Marriage level takes so long to re-stock, it seemed to me that nearly always another Big Spender VIP would turn up before the the item was stocked, so you can do it over and over.
i didn't get around to working out the coins per hour rate though to see how it compared to some of the other levels, but it seemed to be the best on the quick rough maths i did in my head at the time
"Theres a strategy to follow in TDS?"
One that everyone left off here is that you should always try to keep all of your apartments short one person. When that person arrives, give them their dream job. This earns you one bux. Then evict them. Rinse. repeat.
You should have roughly 50% residential, which means any time a person arrives you basically have a 50% chance of earning a bux. People arrive, what, every minute?
If you need to buy bux to play, you're doing it very wrong.
TDS is best of the rest .....
..... and only 3 out of 5? Look on Steam for Reus and Gnomoria .... addictive little time wasters and usually less than £10.
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