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View Full Version : Microsoft Requests Feedback on Casual Games


bean19
05-25-2007, 09:25 AM
Wouldn't it be cool if Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo asked gaming enthusiasts what we think about games and the game industry? Well, here's your chance to armchair quarterback for the game industry - or, you know, to at least get to throw a couple passes during tryouts.

Ozymandias, a Microsoft representative and blogger extraordinaire, asked a series of questions to the gaming public regarding casual games in his self-titled blog (http://ozymandias.com/archive/2007/05/25/Your-Thoughts-on-the-Future-of-Casual-Gaming_3F00_.aspx?CommentPosted=true#commentmessag e) today.

So I'm curious - how do most of you get your casual games to play? Do you play primarily on the PC and use sites such as RealArcade, MSN Games, or Yahoo games? Or are you a "new generation" casual console player, and prefer getting your casual games from Live Arcade, PS3's online Store, etc? What is it about the experience of getting games that you like or dislike?

A related question is what sorts of games do you want to see that you don't currently? Are there game genres we're (as in the industry) missing that would draw in your wives, girlfriends, or non-gaming friends? Oldschool classics that would resonate with newer gamers? Companion games to large-scale MMOs that allow people to play some element of the game while on the road?. . .

. . . Disclaimer: You should assume that any ideas discussed publicly here are just that - public. Microsoft (or anyone) might use them in product ideas. If you have some ideas that you want to keep private because you think you might do something with them yourself one day, you should not post them here.
Ozymandias frequents Evil Avatar, so feel free to leave your opinions here too.

CaptStu
05-25-2007, 09:53 AM
Damn it. I want Monopoly.

wezlypipz
05-25-2007, 09:53 AM
I mostly play my causal games on my 360 and PS3. I just wish they (Sony and MS) would release more games. There is quite a lack of variety.

Heretic Machine
05-25-2007, 09:56 AM
I don't get where they are taking the whole casual game distinction. Personally, I don't consider most XBLA games to be casual games. They cost less, this is true, and they aren't as technologically advanced... but they're no more or less complicated (gameplay-wise) than Gears of War or Halo 3.

I mean, if they're talking about casual purchases (which, to me, means <$10, up to and including free), then I'd say XBLA currently, closely followed by the Virtual Console. I don't deal with any of those websites they listed, but I have considered GameTap.

jeffool
05-25-2007, 10:01 AM
I typically get my casual games from the creators websites, for instance, Dice Wars (http://www.gamedesign.jp/flash/dice/dice.html). Another idea may be looking into insanely cheap game-toys like Grow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grow) as a large collection, releasing Grow V.1 as a free sample. It's menu driven and would be easy for a typical gaming controller to do. Hell, I'm sure the guy who does the Color Room (http://www.fasco-csc.com/index_e.php) Series could make some great 100pt games exclusive to Xbox Live. (I wouldn't recommend those particular games, as they're mouse-oriented.)

If you really want me to start liking Xbox Live again? Give me something I can't refuse. Give me Shadowgate and Deja Vu in HD for a reasonable price. (For bonus points you can talk to the guys (http://www.infiniteventures.com/) who own the games and get me a job helping with the ports!) (Again, mouse-driven, but so good I couldn't say no.)

Uniqueusername
05-25-2007, 10:19 AM
* XBLA games are too expensive. In Australia, we pay a lot for Live points, so the arcade games work out to be pretty pricey. You can get 'full price' games on special for less than the (supposedly) cheap casual games.
EG: I got CoD2 for ~USD$16, while a 1500 point card is ~USD$28. It's just not good value.

* Availability is erratic. Where's TMNT and Boom Boom Rocket?

* Few adventure games. What about all those Lucasarts and early Sierra games?
I dare MS to release Zork with the new keypad. :p

Evil Dude
05-25-2007, 10:21 AM
If the price point of Xbox Live arcade doesn't change, it isn't CASUAL at all! No casual gamer gona pay for a game at that price? It's the hardcore that are buying off casual game on XBLA.

torrefaction
05-25-2007, 10:24 AM
I need to see more original games, or at least games I haven't played before. Catan was a great start...I had a lot of fun with the online portion of that. Geometry Wars was obviously brilliant.

What I'd really like to see is a wider variety of independent games, and to entirely lose the size limitation. Don't punish me because you didn't include a hard drive in all the consoles. That's just not fair.

Adventure games are perfect for the console. Let's see Sam and Max for download on XBLA. Episodic gaming is perfect.

I'm willing to give you my money (I've bought quite a few XBLA games), I just want you to give me more, and better, games.

menage
05-25-2007, 10:26 AM
Casual games are fine on XBLA, but I don't see how the word Arcade fits in there anymore. They should develoop a new tab and call them just that. Casual Games or something.

And games like Sam & Max aren't really casual in my book. Hell, in that way every game is casual.

Citizen Philip
05-25-2007, 10:30 AM
Are you saying a guy who writes a blog and asks a question, who happens to work for Microsoft is in fact Microsoft incarnate, asking questions? Because I only see a link to a blog.

Maskatron
05-25-2007, 10:32 AM
More games, and some should be cheaper. There's a few games on XBL that I would buy at 400 points (or even 500-600), but I'll pass at 800.

Games I REALLY would like to see: Rez, Chu Chu Rocket, Monopoly.

Grave
05-25-2007, 10:36 AM
Old arcade ports need to cost like 2 dollars, they get roughly that much play and a low price point would allow more casual people to fill the player pool.

How am I supposed to get any of the "online" achievements on games where nobody plays online? I guess I have to schedule via a website.

That doesn't seem so casual to me.

midrael
05-25-2007, 10:47 AM
Some simple adventure games would be really cool to see. Also maybe some simple trading games a la Trade Wars. Hmm.. does Trade Wars count as a casual game? Probably not. ;) I miss Privateer. =(

Serapth
05-25-2007, 10:48 AM
Risk.

I am not giving anymore feedback until Risk is on XBox Live.

Unless of course they do Axis and Allies. Oh, and I want Monopoly, so I can school some of you bastards in what it means to be poor!

Thats it, no feedback until my demands have been met!

bean19
05-25-2007, 10:51 AM
Are you saying a guy who writes a blog and asks a question, who happens to work for Microsoft is in fact Microsoft incarnate, asking questions? Because I only see a link to a blog.

He is a representative of Microsoft, and someone who has input on their strategies.

Citizen Philip
05-25-2007, 10:57 AM
He is a representative of Microsoft, and someone who has input on their strategies.

Right. It's not a blog, it's transmitter to speak with your god. Even with the disclaimer is in the third quoted segment. :rolleyes:

torrefaction
05-25-2007, 11:00 AM
Risk.

I am not giving anymore feedback until Risk is on XBox Live.

Unless of course they do Axis and Allies. Oh, and I want Monopoly, so I can school some of you bastards in what it means to be poor!

Thats it, no feedback until my demands have been met!

Fuck yeah...I'm all about Risk or Access and Allies...

If this happens Serapth...I challenge you.

Although you may still be afraid after your Catan whooping.

Serapth
05-25-2007, 11:03 AM
Fuck yeah...I'm all about Risk or Access and Allies...

If this happens Serapth...I challenge you.

Although you may still be afraid after your Catan whooping.


Dude, in a real strategy game, I would own your punk ass!

Hell, if they ever release chess, I will own you in that aswell! That is, as soon as I remember how to play.

Loganrapp
05-25-2007, 11:21 AM
I would pay whatever price tag they put on Axis and Allies.

In our World History class in high school, my teacher had an old German WWII helmet, which whomever played the Nazis would don, and we "borrowed" someone's Russian red-star hat for Stalin's army.

It was epic. Our entire class would play, which made me feel less of a nerd, because we were an impoverished public school.

As for feedback, well, I've got to say, I've probably played Geometry Wars more than most games. Less than Oblivion, but right around there with the amount of time I put into shooters.

Now that Microsoft owns FASA Studios, I think seeing BattleTech (Classic) would get me very into it. I don't know if they can do that, but it's worth a try.

torrefaction
05-25-2007, 11:26 AM
Dude, in a real strategy game, I would own your punk ass!

Hell, if they ever release chess, I will own you in that aswell! That is, as soon as I remember how to play.

Shit...we can play chess now, fool. Bring it.

Sl1pstream
05-25-2007, 11:32 AM
Oh, and I want Monopoly, so I can school some of you bastards in what it means to be poor!

You'll be going straight to jail anyway. No extra cash for passing start either.

Serapth
05-25-2007, 11:33 AM
Shit...we can play chess now, fool. Bring it.


Say what, huh? Did they release that game pack thingy?

Serapth
05-25-2007, 11:34 AM
You'll be going straight to jail anyway. No extra cash for passing start either.


It's go, bitch, GO!
;)

Sl1pstream
05-25-2007, 11:36 AM
It's go, bitch, GO!
;)

I'm sorry, I couldn't hear that. I guess it's those bars.


It's start over here. Haven't seen the English version of the game.

Ozymandias
05-25-2007, 11:40 AM
Damn it. I want Monopoly.

I gotta say, you suddenly make me wonder who the heck owns the online rights to Monopoly! Can't be Westwood anymore... or could it (via EA?)

Serapth
05-25-2007, 11:40 AM
I'm sorry, I couldn't hear that. I guess it's those bars.


It's start over here. Haven't seen the English version of the game.

Is Boardwalk still Boardwalk?

Ozymandias
05-25-2007, 11:42 AM
Some simple adventure games would be really cool to see. Also maybe some simple trading games a la Trade Wars. Hmm.. does Trade Wars count as a casual game? Probably not. ;) I miss Privateer. =(

Old times... I used to run a two-line BBS with Tradewars. Was a good, async sort of game... could work well!

Sl1pstream
05-25-2007, 11:46 AM
Is Boardwalk still Boardwalk?

Every country has it's own version (at least we've got our own), with different streetnames. Over here, it's Nieuwstraat, a shopping street in Brussels.

Ancalagon
05-25-2007, 11:59 AM
meh, I made a comment, expect MS to make millions from my ideas. Such is life...

torrefaction
05-25-2007, 12:02 PM
Say what, huh? Did they release that game pack thingy?

Yahoo Chess man...Like I said...we can play. Right. Now.

snugglebearofdeath
05-25-2007, 12:07 PM
Fuck yeah...I'm all about Risk or Access and Allies...

If this happens Serapth...I challenge you.

Although you may still be afraid after your Catan whooping.

Dude, in a real strategy game, I would own your punk ass!

Hell, if they ever release chess, I will own you in that aswell! That is, as soon as I remember how to play.

AAHAHAHAHA!!!
As a GOD looking down on you foolish mortals it giveth unto me much joy to see thee blissfully ignorant of just how pointless your existance is against the likes of me; thine NINJA ROCKSTAR WIZARD GOD OF RISK AND ACCESS AND ALLIES GAMETH!!!
MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

51|RandoM
05-25-2007, 12:12 PM
A pox on casual games and the people who play them. I didn't spend $1000 on next-gen consoles to play $1 games.

midrael
05-25-2007, 12:14 PM
Old times... I used to run a two-line BBS with Tradewars. Was a good, async sort of game... could work well!

I suppose the beauty of the Tradewars game mechanics is that it translates pretty well depending on what genre you want to set it in: space traders, frontier traders, pirate traders, post-apocalyptic nomadic traders, etc.

I suppose a couple other pretty simple style games that might work for mixing up casual play. Something like Silent Service perhaps from way back where you control a submarine and just hunt in whatever theater you wish. The mechanics to that were pretty simple and might be interesting if online play was introduced.

Some simple strategy type games like old-school Shingen would be pretty cool to see too. Hmm, I seem to be on a nostalgia kick lol.

Texas Speed
05-25-2007, 12:19 PM
More board games! Monopoly, Risk, and STRATEGO! Stratego would be so awesome on Live Arcade with the same type of facelift Catan got.

51|RandoM
05-25-2007, 12:21 PM
Tradewars was not a casual game. I had a bunch of utility programs just to play tradewars on the 4-line VBBS bbs I used to run. Ah, the days of Desqview, ram drives, dual standard modems, and walnut creek shareware/freeware cdroms.

jeffool
05-25-2007, 12:22 PM
If the price point of Xbox Live arcade doesn't change, it isn't CASUAL at all! No casual gamer gona pay for a game at that price? It's the hardcore that are buying off casual game on XBLA.For what it's worth, we obviously are the hardcore. A true casual gamer is unlikely to put up hundreds of dollars for a console, but if there's a console in the house, then they may try it a a few times. A problem after that is not just the price, but the method of payment, particularly Microsoft points. Have you ever tried explaining MS points to a non-hardcore gamer?

"It's like buying arcade tokens twelve bucks and fifty cents at a time."
"That's stupid. Why not just pay for the game you're getting?"
"... I... See... No, see, you don't get it. Let me start over. It's like an arcade..."

They're right. MS points are stupid.

/edit: And yes, Evil Dude's right. The price is also a problem.

Serapth
05-25-2007, 12:35 PM
Yahoo Chess man...Like I said...we can play. Right. Now.


With the way my company has been lately... no thanks!!!

torrefaction
05-25-2007, 12:51 PM
Old times... I used to run a two-line BBS with Tradewars. Was a good, async sort of game... could work well!

Tradewars was a goddamn awesome game. I played the hell out of it. I ran one too :D

*Edit*

Legend of the Red Dragon 360 Port!

So. Awesome.

Flatpicker
05-25-2007, 12:58 PM
I would love to see more social gaming on Live.
My big 3 would be:

Axis and Allies.
Classic Battletech. (Make it turn based like the real game)
Warhammer 40k.

I'd even agree to having to buy my Marines or Mechs separately as long as they were realistically priced. Ie. say you sold the entire 3055 technical update for $10.00.

Serapth
05-25-2007, 12:59 PM
God I played way too much LORD.

There was another game... had something to do with trading wheat??? Played it to death too.

Spigot
05-25-2007, 01:26 PM
I would absolutely love to see some Talisman or Munchkin on Live Arcade. Given how well the Catan port went, I could see Talisman working fine. And Uno was a big hit, so Munchkin might work smashingly.

And the prices do need to come down for some of the games. 800 points for a popcap game is a bit much.

I know there's a backgammon game on Live, but nobody was playing it. I love backgammon so much...

Arthen
05-25-2007, 01:53 PM
More games like Eats, Catan etc...

Less games like random arcade shooter #467

No more retro games, unless the gameplay is updated to today's tastes. I mean I love me a charlie chaplin flick, but I can't watch more then 5 min at a time.

torrefaction
05-25-2007, 02:19 PM
God I played way too much LORD.

There was another game... had something to do with trading wheat??? Played it to death too.

Did you ever play Usurper?

Telefrog
05-25-2007, 02:30 PM
How about something similar to Mario Paint? That would be awesome for kids and pretty sweet for the losers like me that want to just fool around.

Imagine a multiplayer co-op version of Mario Paint!

Serapth
05-25-2007, 03:42 PM
Did you ever play Usurper?
Dont think so.

Johan
05-25-2007, 03:48 PM
I have one complaint about Catan...the box at the bottom of the screen obscures the board a bit too much for my taste. I would have made the info. box much smaller, or perhaps even transparent.

torrefaction
05-25-2007, 04:08 PM
Dont think so.

It was basically a darker LoRD, with more classes/races. You could be good or evil, take over the city, go to whorehouses, kill merchants or help them...pretty fun stuff.

Serapth
05-25-2007, 04:18 PM
I have one complaint about Catan...the box at the bottom of the screen obscures the board a bit too much for my taste. I would have made the info. box much smaller, or perhaps even transparent.

Standard Def TV?

Johan
05-25-2007, 04:20 PM
Standard Def TV?

That makes a difference on the size of the info. box on the screen? Now way...really?

I'm skeptical. I have no graphical/text issues with the game. The box is just too large for my tastes. I don't think that's an SDTV problem. I think that's an issue of taste. Their lack of it! ;)

TrackZero
05-25-2007, 04:47 PM
"So I'm curious - how do most of you get your casual games to play? Do you play primarily on the PC and use sites such as RealArcade, MSN Games, or Yahoo games? Or are you a "new generation" casual console player, and prefer getting your casual games from Live Arcade, PS3's online Store, etc? What is it about the experience of getting games that you like or dislike?"

I'm a huge XBLA player. I almost always try the demo first, if I dig it, it's bought. 400 points are no brainers for me, 800 points ones I always feel have to be "worth it". I love the classic games getting art workovers + online co-op play. I freaking LOVE that. I've pretty much grabbed them all.

I also dig many of the newer originals, GeoWars, Marble Blast, Aegis Wing, Eets, Pinball FX, Heavy Weapon, Assault Heroes, Small Arms, Cloning Clyde, Astro Pop, I've bought them all. Not to say that there haven't been a few of the new ones that aren't so good or aren't my style, but I'm finding at least 2 out of every 3 kick total ass.

"A related question is what sorts of games do you want to see that you don't currently? Are there game genres we're (as in the industry) missing that would draw in your wives, girlfriends, or non-gaming friends? Oldschool classics that would resonate with newer gamers? Companion games to large-scale MMOs that allow people to play some element of the game while on the road?. . ."


I like the direction things are in currently. It's pretty damn set for anyone to play. To comment specifically on the "companion games" idea, because I know I've heard allard/moore mention the idea in the past (halo universe on your cell phone), I think that's an idea too far out ahead of it's time. Perhaps you can prove me wrong, but I just don't see any interest unless we're talking something like a virtual pet game on your main system being tied to a portable one. But certainly nothing I can imagine on a standard game genre. The idea of crafting to help yourself in the main game just seems like more of a task/punishment than something fun to do.

Unless of course you're going to tell me that getting a new high score in Tetris will net me a sum of experience in WoW. Then I'm all aboard.

Serapth
05-25-2007, 04:48 PM
That makes a difference on the size of the info. box on the screen? Now way...really?

I'm skeptical. I have no graphical/text issues with the game. The box is just too large for my tastes. I don't think that's an SDTV problem. I think that's an issue of taste. Their lack of it! ;)


Actually it makes a huge difference. Lets just say, with an HD tv, you arent quite the screen miser you lowly SD folk have to be. Thats is probrably the biggest advantage to moving to 720p, the interfaces can get much more sophisticated.

Spigot
05-25-2007, 04:51 PM
My only problem with Catan is that the text is tiny. Granted, I'm used to it now, but yeesh. I shudder to think about how tiny it is on an SD/ED TV...

Serapth
05-25-2007, 05:07 PM
My only problem with Catan is that the text is tiny. Granted, I'm used to it now, but yeesh. I shudder to think about how tiny it is on an SD/ED TV...


Really? I don't find that.

But then, I play on a 110" display :p

Spigot
05-25-2007, 05:12 PM
Really? I don't find that.

But then, I play on a 110" display :pWell, DUH.

I'm on a 32" widescreen LCD HDTV. All of the games I played were fine, text-size-wise, except Catan. Dead Rising is small, but not unreadable. I actually had to squint at Catan for a bit until I got used to the tiny text size.

That said, I don't have any issues with the box at the bottom covering any of the board unless I'm zoomed in.

EGO
05-25-2007, 08:42 PM
More original games.

Let's support the indies!

Speaking of such, people should stop bitching about such a low price tag! I mean, c'mon $10 for a good game? That's great! Don't try and take money out of the little guy's mouth.

51|RandoM
05-26-2007, 04:30 AM
I have one complaint about Catan...the box at the bottom of the screen obscures the board a bit too much for my taste. I would have made the info. box much smaller, or perhaps even transparent.

You're suffering from what I suffered from briefly: Not knowing that you can zoom the board in and out and rotate it.

EvilTheBadger
05-26-2007, 05:14 AM
I'd have to agree I'd like to see more in the way of strategy and tabletop gaming on the XBLA, I'm not overly blown away by 8 bit arcade repaints and I would imagine most truly "casual" gamers aren't big fans of the classics either. The thing about tabletop games is you can enjoy them without button bashing or twitch responses, plus they are already designed with multiplayer in mind.

As much as I would love to see an updated Road Rash (similar to the PC release in terms of sprites and speed) or one day Ikaruga, I don't believe that's the market MS are going after with Live Arcade. Perhaps it could use some rebranding, people might associate "Arcade" with the hardcore crowd, how about seperating the hardcore from the casual by inventing "XBox Lounge" or something...

Oh and prices. I will not pay 800 points (the best part of 7 or $13.50) for games I could walk into the nearest store, look in the bargain bin and pick up for 2. That makes even 400 point purchases seem a little off to me as well, so I tend to tread lightly in the Marketplace. The point system is blatantly used just to obfuscate real world costs but as a 360 owner, I'm not going to fall for it.

fiercey
05-27-2007, 07:21 AM
I play casual games on my Blackberry and on my PC -- but *only* if they're free. On the Blackberry, that pretty much limits things to chess and brickbreaker right now, but I haven't spent a lot of time looking around. On the PC, it's games.yahoo.com for Literati and Pool (I think the chess interface really sucks there)-- I'd play Scrabble, but they want you to pay, no thanks. I also play the occasional Flash-style game that someone here will link to. The only thing I don't like about the casual game-getting experience really is paying. That might make me a cheap bastard, but a casual game is something I only play for short intervals and I'm not foaming at the mouth to get it.

-f