The Infamous Noob

April 20, 2009

Quality vs. Quantity

Filed under: Design, Games, Real Life — infamousnoob @ 12:08 pm

This is the age-old question. When you’re marketing a product, do you make it really, really, REALLY good, or just make it good enough that you can appease the masses?

I’ve had an idea brewing in the back of my head for a while about a nebulous game-like thing that I’d like to create. But some big questions that I hav about it are whether I want to appeal to the general public, or if I want to make a specific “niche” game that will only appeal to a relatively few gamers, but have a higher quality in some aspect. Now, I’m not saying that I’m a wonderful game-designer and that I can produce results for either one of these scenarios. But I think that it’s an important question to consider.

From what I’ve seen in the world around me, it’s ALWAYS more profitable to make a lower-quality product. Microsoft is almost the embodiment of this principle. Mac OS is better, but more expensive hardware. The Xbox is hardly more than a Windows machine masquarading with controllers, but it has more market share that either the Wii or PS3 (sadly).

People say that they want things of high quality, but I think that when the dust settles, they really just want -things-. Quality is very nice and will win out over a very long period of time (sometimes a generation or more), but for any product/business that wants to turn a profit soon, just putting a product out there (and having a lot of units available) is the sure-fire way to start the cash flowing.

April 6, 2009

The Ultimate in Customization

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — infamousnoob @ 4:13 pm

Today, I spent some time looking at the game Little Big Planet. I love the idea behind this game. User-created content really makes it easy for game developers to sit back and enjoy watching other people enjoying their game. I haven’t had a chance to dig into the controls and look “under the hood,” but I’m pretty confident that I’ll enjoy it.

I think the thing that makes me like it so much is that unlike Löve, I don’t have to know a programing language in order to take advantage of this system’s level development package. Also, it harkens back to the days of 2D scrollers, which anyone my age has a soft spot in their heart for. I’ll reserve my final judgement until I get my grubby mitts on a copy and make a few levels and such myself, but I think this is a good jumping-off point for further studies in game “balance” for me – if there is such a thing.

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