Project Octopath Traveler is a upcoming 2018 JRPG from Square-Enix for the Nintendo Switch. The game had a downloadable demo where they could gather fan feedback for the game. The feedback was used to improve the game. Fans were able to convince the developers to improve the UI, movement around the map, visuals, and motivate them to improve the game even more. More details in video below.
Recently, Nioh was another previous Japanese game title that also took fan feedback to improve the game and how fans felt about the overall game. The power of fan feedback can have huge effects and will greatly effect how video game development changes in the future. Depending on the success of Octopath Traveler, future JRPG or games could have more feedback demos. Even Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s beta helped induce changes before the release (clearly not enough before the game’s release). Although developers want to appeal to their fans as much as possible, they will not able to please everybody. For Nioh, developers become stress about trying to please every fan. “The first problem we encountered after researching feedback was that many members of our team became too influenced and affected by the opinions of the players,” Team Ninja’s Fumihiko Yasuda writes. “By attempting to consider all of those opinions, we were not arriving at solid solutions, but rather creating more questions” said Yasuda.
Fan feedback can create a good fanbase prior to the game release. Nioh did extremely well for a new IP from Ninja Theory with a 8.5 Metacritic rating. For a new game, developers can build a large interest by taking fan feedback. For a new IP, Square-Enix is taking steps to continue to push new classic JRPGs. Jairus Cambe stated that he is “excited for this since it’s an homage to the old school JRPGs presented in a beautiful way.”
Amy Hennig is a video game director and script writer. She is famous for her work at Naughty Dog and writing the story for Legacy of Kain and the Uncharted series. A veteran in the gaming industry, she spoke up about the price of creating video games and how video playthroughs of games ruin sales for the creators and justify microtransactions.
Video games need to contain enough content to warrant consumers to pay the $60 price tag. Now more than ever, micro payments such as loot boxes and DLC are customary with every game purchase. Consumers often complain that the inclusion of microtransactions are ruining the gaming industry and that video games have become more of a service. To experience the full content of a game or play online, you’re often forced to pay for additional content that many believe should already be included. Hennig states the reasons games as a service have become the standard is because the price of creating video games have risen. She defended the popularity of loot boxes because creation cost have increased but the price of games have not. The budget continues to grow to create bigger and better games but it comes with the price of trying to earn a profit via game sales. The demand for better games have increased as amazing and beautiful games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Assassin’s Creed Origin, The Last of Us, and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have shown single player focused games can still be amazing. However, Single player games have an even difficult time because the replay value isn’t as strong to more audiences in comparison to games with multiplayer aspects. This has led to more video games to come with DLC, season passes, multiplayer, and micro-transactions.
Hennig also stated that the popularity of Let’s plays and video game playthroughs have ruined the sales of Single Player games. People can watch entire games stories or gameplay on YouTube or Twitch through other players. She believes the rising popularity of online media will continue to drop games sales and force companies to find alternative forms on sales such as loot boxes.
Let’s Plays have become a major form of media. Popular online personalities have started gaming channels and play through the entire series. This can introduce potential consumers to buy the game. Now, YouTube and Twitch link to stores where you can buy the games when watching online playthroughs. Videos are seen as indirect marketing and one of the biggest platform that can reach an audience without heavy cost. Some introduce a game that people would never have bought until they saw content creators make playthroughs. However, there can be an argument on whether it is worth to pay $60 for a single player only game. Video games have become a luxury for some and lack of side content in a story or additional modes of gameplay leads to lower sales. This justifies the addition of microtransaction to make up for the profit lost when games eventually price drop. It really depends on the individual.
What do you think about what Amy Hennig said? Do you agree or do you disagree?
Since the introduction of Mortal Kombat, video games have been seen as the cause of violent behaviors in children. With games becoming more realistic and having better graphics than ever, more adults believe the industry should have stricter regulations. Games such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, and even indie games such as Paper Please introduce players to the dark natures of humanity but turns it into a game. However, scientists have shown that there is no evidence to prove that violent video games have no correlation with violent behaviors.
With a sample size of 3000 people, University of York ran a study to see if video games cause “priming.” The dominant model of learning in games is built on the idea that exposing players to concepts, such as violence in a game, makes those concepts easier to use in ‘real life’ (University of York). The test was based on reaction time, realism and combat games.
They tested the users with two different types of games. One example used realistic game physics with ragdoll physics while the other wasn’t. The realistic game creates characters that move and react in the same way like they would in real life. Human characters are based on the human body and how that skeleton would fall if it was injured. After playing the games, players were tasked to complete word puzzles called “word fragment completion tasks.” Researchers expected violent word associations would be chosen for players who played the game that employed more realistic behaviors. They also compared players who were playing one game with realistic military behavior type enemies while the other didn’t have it.
Dr David Zendle from the University’s Department of Computer Science found that the priming of violent concepts measured by word fragment completion tasks was not detected. There was no difference between games with ragdoll physics or games without the feature and games with realistic military enemies or without it. The University of York found no connection between realistic games and violent behaviors.
Dr Zendle is looking to have further studies with different forms of realism and violence. They are considering adding realistic characters, torture gameplay and trying the experiments on adults.
I believe the study was a good showcase of proving to people who violent video games aren’t the cause of violent behavior. Parenting, surrounding environments, and the people around them have a much bigger effect on personality rather than video games. Hopefully, this will lead to less government push on regulating gameplay.
Everyone is excited and confused about Nintendo‘s newest Switch add-on: cardboard. Nintendo Labo‘s initial set will have a starting cost of $70. They are DIY (Do it Yourself) box builds Toy-cons. There will be two starter sets released. One is an Variety Kit that can changed into different Toy-cons. It can transform into 5 different types.
A remote-controlled car. The vibrations from the Joy-Con serve to provide momentum and steering to the car. The game software allows the player to control the car like a normal remote-controlled vehicle.
A fishing rod where the Joy-Con sit in the reel and the handle of the rod. The game receives motion input from the Joy-Con to simulate a fishing game.
A toy piano with a full octave of keys; the console sits atop this to serve as a music stand.
A motorbike with Joy-Con inserted into the handlebars on either side of the tablet for steering.
A house containing a slot to insert different components that can interact with the game software on the Console’s display.
The second is the Robot Kit. Its a mecha suit that includes a visor which holds the Switch and a backpack that holds the Joy-Con. The game allows a player to rampage through a virtual world presented on the console’s screen. Both boxes will come with a game for the Switch to create a AR game. The tablet and controllers are key to creating a stimulation of movement. Nintendo said the product was “specifically crafted for kids and those who are kids at heart.”