Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

Forum organization and occasional community-building.
Forum rules
Questions about Ren'Py should go in the Ren'Py Questions and Announcements forum.
Message
Author
User avatar
Jo'ogn
Veteran
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:31 pm
Projects: Kassiopeia [iVN]
Location: Deutschland
Contact:

Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#1 Post by Jo'ogn » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:47 am

I was on an "IGDA chapter" meeting and someone told me that there is some statistic telling that only 30% or even less shall play videogames till the end. (I suppose referring commercial games in general)

I have been involved in budget issues, cutting down game design to size for all different kinds of needs. One thing I repeatedly heard on this meeting was that publishers are hesitant to pay for content that a player might not see. E.g. a game with several options leading to content the player won't see if s/she chooses(!) another path.

I was reminded that there are even players who feel literally betrayed if they play through a game and have not seen it all!

Which puzzles me personally - considerably, as I am a big advocat of choices - which is the whole idea of a game for me: To offer me choices. What's all this Zeitgeist talk about 'non-linear game play' if I can't have choices to do things differently creating a diffent outcome of the game of different effects on a game's world? (Not going into the discussion of more content is more expensive, which goes without saying! However at the same time games are supposed to be longer and longer! Six hours are considered not enough by some.)

Obviously a clash of different interests as well as ppl again saying things which they don't mean and likely don't actually do/live either...

Code: Select all

So why do you play games?

How much time do you spent with playing?

What is a frustration factor?

When do you give up?

Why do you want to play a game through?

in that context: How is the relation between games you spent money on and those you did not?

Do you play games even though they are not of the kind you like? 
If so, why?

Do you believe in 'genre of games' or 'games for genders'?
So why do you play games?
Lots of reasons! It's fun, I love the variety of genres Action, Adventure, Sports, Racing, delving into new worlds, relaxation, excitement, cute things, funny things, interactive entertainment...

How much time do you spent with playing?
Varies, excessively, from non in months to 10 hours straight, 6 hours sleep, another 10h of gaming if a game captivates me.

What is a frustration factor?
Bad controller handling/responsiveness, optics which make me feel sick, pointless repetition to stretch play time, no or stupid 'story', pointless violence, not knowing what to do, instant attacks on level start with quick possible dead of player, not being able to set audio volume separately, or have own controller settings, video scenes who do not adjust to my volume settings and 'scream' at me at 3 in the night =_=; ...

When do you give up?
Quickly if several of above mentioned factors add up.

Why do you want to play a game through?
What would be the point to stop right in the middle if I happen to enjoy the setting, the story, challenge and the game play? If I see re-play value I might start over right away ^_^

How is the relation between games you spent money on and those you did not?
A friend has a lot of games so I can sample many without feeling 'bad' that I spent lots of money on games I ended up not enjoying. I am a 'late bloomer', buying games when the have dropped in prices and I am pretty picky. So I have not that many games, but I play through most of the games, if I come to like them. I quickly stop if I do not like a game, even if bought.

Do you play games even though they are not of the kind you like? If so, why?
I do, I am not fond of Ego-Shooter, but I e.g. played through Halo and Halo2. For one thing i am interested how different games are made. Sometimes certain elements are just nicely made. Narrations are funny, have good acting, animations are unusually natural and smooth, game play is smooth and non-frustrating. Repetiveness and violence are not too blunt and obvious, the challenge is tempting etc...

Do you believe in 'genre of games' or 'games for genders'?
I don't believe in the male vs. female myth. I believe in different tastes and interests. I play 'male' actions games as well as cute 'female' games. Furthermore I enjoy playing a female protagonist as well as a male. In fact I find the female game pathes usually more intriguing: e.g. Eileen's in "Alone in the Dark 4", or the female Alex in "Deus Ex iw".
Audio Plays: [original] The White Feathers Directive - [Star Wars] Through Flame and Shadow
Ren'Py: Kassiopeia [very interactive VN] work in progress - looking for proof reader english

User avatar
chronoluminaire
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1153
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:57 pm
Completed: Elven Relations, Cloud Fairy, When I Rule The World
Tumblr: alextfish
Skype: alextfish
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#2 Post by chronoluminaire » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:05 am

People have really widely varying views and expectations on the "played through once and not seen it all" thing.

For me, it's generally a pleasant surprise when I discover some nonlinearity in a game where I wasn't expecting it. Like in Starcraft when a mission has two different victory conditions, leading to different levels after that, although the tree rejoins after one variant mission; that's still more than I'd expected, and it's good.

VN players I think will generally be more in favour of content varying on multiple playthroughs. (Though not KN players, I suppose.) I loved it in Brave Soul when, after I finished the game once, there was a brief cutscene indicating a whole extra character has now been added for future playthroughs!
I released 3 VNs, many moons ago: Elven Relations (IntRenAiMo 2007), When I Rule The World (NaNoRenO 2005), and Cloud Fairy (the Cute Light & Fluffy Project, 2009).
More recently I designed the board game Steam Works (published in 2015), available from a local gaming store near you!

User avatar
Jo'ogn
Veteran
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:31 pm
Projects: Kassiopeia [iVN]
Location: Deutschland
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#3 Post by Jo'ogn » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:25 am

chronoluminaire wrote:I loved it in Brave Soul when, after I finished the game once, there was a brief cutscene indicating a whole extra character has now been added for future playthroughs!
I like that sort of reward as well. I find it usually quite dissatisfactory if I finish a game, like "Deus Ex iw" after 30 hours of intesnive playing and after a minor cut scene it ends in a... "Game Over" o_0? indicating no further reward, nor extra unlocked. In MGS3 they at least sneakily put the Boss' Patriot and Ocelot's Revolver into the player's Rucksack ^_^
Audio Plays: [original] The White Feathers Directive - [Star Wars] Through Flame and Shadow
Ren'Py: Kassiopeia [very interactive VN] work in progress - looking for proof reader english

User avatar
chronoluminaire
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1153
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:57 pm
Completed: Elven Relations, Cloud Fairy, When I Rule The World
Tumblr: alextfish
Skype: alextfish
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#4 Post by chronoluminaire » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:35 am

The flip side is that I'm not a player who'll search for every ending of a game (unless the game takes <10 minutes to play through). I know there are players like that out there, so I design my games with them (amongst others) in mind, but I'm not generally among their number. So if there's some aspect of your game that's only visible once people have played it through five times, or found every ending? I probably won't see it.

And there's more issues for VNs with hybrid gameplay, even though I love them in general. If something's a hybrid game, the chances of me replaying it many times are lower again. Something like Science Girls might get me to play through a few times, because there's diversity in both the VN segments and also in the RPG segments (how you upgrade your characters). But something where the gameplay segments are identical several times through, and unskippable? It's probably going to dissuade me from replaying something where I've already seen most of the plot, even if I'd quite like to see the rest of the plot. That's why I'll always make minigames/combats/etc in my games skippable - so that those who just care about the plot can experience that.
I released 3 VNs, many moons ago: Elven Relations (IntRenAiMo 2007), When I Rule The World (NaNoRenO 2005), and Cloud Fairy (the Cute Light & Fluffy Project, 2009).
More recently I designed the board game Steam Works (published in 2015), available from a local gaming store near you!

User avatar
rioka
Royal Manga Tutor
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:21 pm
Completed: Amgine Park, Garden Society: Kykuit, Metropolitan Blues (art)
Location: somewhere in NY
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#5 Post by rioka » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:48 am

chronoluminaire wrote:And there's more issues for VNs with hybrid gameplay, even though I love them in general. If something's a hybrid game, the chances of me replaying it many times are lower again. Something like Science Girls might get me to play through a few times, because there's diversity in both the VN segments and also in the RPG segments (how you upgrade your characters). But something where the gameplay segments are identical several times through, and unskippable? It's probably going to dissuade me from replaying something where I've already seen most of the plot, even if I'd quite like to see the rest of the plot. That's why I'll always make minigames/combats/etc in my games skippable - so that those who just care about the plot can experience that.
Adding to that, there's also the amount of time that has to be put into the game to get the other endings. If I find that it takes a lot of commitment (like Tales of Symphonia where you won't see the results until after playing 60+ hours), then it's kind of pointless to replay again. If the game had an easier time for replay, then I'm more likely to try getting the other endings. Also, is there a reward for getting that ending? Cute Knight and Princess Debut, for example, has a gallery which fills up as you get each ending and it's a great motivator. With rewards like that plus an easy replay value time-wise, it was pretty easy for me to go back and get the other endings. Of course, I have to like the game too because if I don't like the characters, the plot, or how the game plays - I won't bother replaying it at all and I may even stop halfway. <--- This I've been doing in more recent years as opposed to when I was younger and had time to burn and play through any game even if it was crappy.

User avatar
rinrin
Veteran
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:18 am
Completed: Several.
Projects: Several.
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#6 Post by rinrin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:18 am

I just wanted to comment about choices / 'non-linear game play':

I think the best thing about multiple endings / branching paths is knowing they are there, not necessarily trying to achieve every one of them.
I have played Princess Maker for more than a hundred times and I almost always aim for the same ending - the "perfect" one. I would never attempt to play in a way that would get me one of the "lesser" endings just to see it, but they really give the game a certain interest and depth, even if you don't actually care to see them. In other words, even though I don't "use" / see the other endings, I would be upset if PM6 came out with only 1!
But of course, it depends on the type of game. Some games / stories are just better suited for linearity - I wouldn't like Phoenix Wright to have multiple endings, for example.

By the way, are we supposed to answer those questions in the "code" quote?

User avatar
Jo'ogn
Veteran
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:31 pm
Projects: Kassiopeia [iVN]
Location: Deutschland
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#7 Post by Jo'ogn » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:03 pm

rinrin wrote:By the way, are we supposed to answer those questions in the "code" quote?
You may, if you want to.
rinrin wrote:I almost always aim for the same ending - the "perfect" one. I would never attempt to play in a way that would get me one of the "lesser" endings just to see it,
Ah, this is sth I noticed. Some ppl only think in "good and bad" endings, or "good and bad" choices. Not only speaking about ren'ai adventures. Which makes the whole process of choosing slightly redundant. Why would I deliberately choose the "bad" part, in which the game will not reward me? It rather seems to me like a pretty unimaginative way of adding an pseudo-option to a game.

More cunning would be to give options which are as much as possible non-judgemental - in terms of "that was good, you win", or "that was bad you loose"... But rather as you chose a different path you will live through a slightly different story.
Audio Plays: [original] The White Feathers Directive - [Star Wars] Through Flame and Shadow
Ren'Py: Kassiopeia [very interactive VN] work in progress - looking for proof reader english

User avatar
rinrin
Veteran
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:18 am
Completed: Several.
Projects: Several.
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#8 Post by rinrin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:18 pm

Jo'ogn wrote:More cunning would be to give options which are as much as possible non-judgemental - in terms of "that was good, you win", or "that was bad you loose"... But rather as you chose a different path you will live through a slightly different story.
I think that was what the developers were aiming for in PM2. You can't really say becoming an artist or a general is a "bad" ending - I'm sure some people would aim specifically for that.
But there is a problem with this solution (having multiple "nice" endings) - if one ending is simply better than the others or perceived as such (and in PM2 case, I think part of the problem is in the name - even if you would actually prefer to chose some other path, it clearly suggests what to do), most people will feel drawn to that. It's almost compulsory. So I suppose if there are multiple endings, they should be somehow equal in value - and this is hard to achieve.

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4032
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: that magical diary sequel, that vampire-raising game
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#9 Post by papillon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:35 pm

PM2 gave each ending a score, though, iirc? So there was definitely a sense of better-or-worse.

As for why I've given up on games... In at least one case I got to a fight that was difficult in a way that wasn't much fun. I didn't want to drive myself crazy trying it over and over. Something that's real-time action-based, it's possible to feel like you'll NEVER be good enough. And you can't really try out different strategies the way you can in a more strategic game, or just fall back on a walkthrough like you can with most adventure games. In these cases, if someone provides me with cheat codes, I'll go back and finish.

In several more sprawling games, I simply got tired of the gameplay getting in the way of the story. I wasn't enjoying the gameplay part itself enough, and there wasn't a clear progression of where to go and what to do in order to move the story along. (Being stuck in a place where you need to levelgrind before you can possibly survive the next area, being out of active quests and just wandering around trying to find something to do, having all your quests be seemingly meaningless and just having to hope something interesting happens eventually...) In some cases, a walkthrough or other guidance system to make me feel less adrift would help.

In the case of Princess Debut, though, no walkthrough is going to fix the problem of me getting fed up with having to repeat the dances so many times. The boys were cute, but the gameplay wasn't worth going through the game more than once. For me.

User avatar
rioka
Royal Manga Tutor
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:21 pm
Completed: Amgine Park, Garden Society: Kykuit, Metropolitan Blues (art)
Location: somewhere in NY
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#10 Post by rioka » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:51 pm

papillon wrote:In the case of Princess Debut, though, no walkthrough is going to fix the problem of me getting fed up with having to repeat the dances so many times. The boys were cute, but the gameplay wasn't worth going through the game more than once. For me.
Actually, you don't have to practice very much. You can go through the whole game only doing the first dance (what my niece did when she first started playing). On the flip side of papillon's experience, I didn't mind doing the dances - it was easy, the music was fun, and it wasn't level-grindingly tedious like most of the RPGs I usually play. I guess I have a better tolerance? :P

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4032
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: that magical diary sequel, that vampire-raising game
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#11 Post by papillon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:10 pm

I just felt like there wasn't enough variation in the dances. New dances unlocked slowly, they were generally quite easy but on the occasions where I did something 'wrong' it wasn't always clear why (actual mistakes seemed less likely to be caught than invisible stylus flibbles), and the experience of doing the dance didn't change much.

In, say, Oendan/EBA, various bits of graphics change as you go through the level depending on how well you're doing, so it feels more interactive (and there's even reasons to screw up a bit just to see all the different outcomes). But once you pass a level, you pass the level and can move on to the next.

In Princess Debut, I'd do a dance well and then want to be able to try the next dance right away, and couldn't.

User avatar
Wintermoon
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 3:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#12 Post by Wintermoon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:47 pm

Let's see...

So why do you play games?
Because I am human. (A vague question deserves an equally vague answer.)

How much time do you spent with playing?
I usually spend very little time on playing games, although occasionally I go on a week-long binge where I spend up to eight-teen hours a playing. If a game catches my attention (which happens about once a year or so), I focus on it completely. When no game has my attention (i.e. the rest of the year), I don't.

I consistently spend a couple of hours per week playing Rock Band with my family. It's mostly a social thing, mot indicative of any genuine interest in the game.

I also consistently spend three hours per day reading Japanese-language VNs, which I don't consider games. I do this to relax before going to sleep and to improve my Japanese language skills.

What is a frustration factor?
Anything that keeps me from encountering a steady stream of new interesting content:
  • Getting stuck (on a puzzle or skill-based challenge).
  • Grinding.
  • Repetition.
  • Games where I simply don't find the content interesting.
When do you give up?
Any one of the above frustration factors can make me drop a game. Sometimes I keep going out of sheer stubbornness, especially when I'm near the end or when I expect that a new interesting part is going to come up.

Why do you want to play a game through?
Enjoyment of the game and the satisfaction of completion.

How is the relation between games you spent money on and those you did not?
I spend very little money on games because very few games interest me and because I find most games to be ridiculously overpriced. I refuse to even try games with restrictive DRM, and I don't own a gaming console. When I do buy games, it's usually indie games like Aquaria or Mr Robot. I also play a fair amount of freeware indie games.

Do you play games even though they are not of the kind you like? If so, why?
Sometimes I'll play a game because I expect to like it and drop it when I don't. Sometimes I'll play an "important" game to learn about it, even if I don't particularly enjoy it. I once spent a lot of time on an online game I didn't enjoy because it managed to get me addicted.

Do you believe in 'genre of games' or 'games for genders'?
Different games are interesting to different groups of people, which may have a statistical correlation to gender. The statistical correlation is probably real, but it's also just a correlation. I think that, very broadly speaking, I tend to prefer games that appeal to the female demographic. For example, I tend to dislike hard skill-based games and games based on competition with another player, two categories that usually appeal more to the male demographic. (BTW, I am male.)

User avatar
Jo'ogn
Veteran
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:31 pm
Projects: Kassiopeia [iVN]
Location: Deutschland
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#13 Post by Jo'ogn » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:20 am

Wintermoon and papillon mention two other quite important factors, which are 'competition' and 'lack of feedback'.

Said friend of mine got the Xbox360 and started online gaming, in fact we did some 'testing' together and he checked Halo online. The experience was rediculous frustrating, to say the least. We didn't spent barely a few seconds before dying a quick death - we didn't even see it coming.

It is 'supposed' to be that way. I would reason, that in this way, all over the world at any time s.o. could quickly join a round of... yeah of what? Random competetive shooting and dying quickly.

On the other hand he told me about playing "Bomber Man" and it turned out to be a quite different experience. Rounds were longer. Participants came from all over Europe and seemed much more 'casual minded' than hardcore, nevertheless they spent quite a long time enjoying the game and even if out of the eight parties players 'lost', they started to cheer on the remaining contestants ^_^ Using the chat head-set.


At one point in Halo (single player) the Flood starts taking over. It attacks mercilessly both sides, Human Marines as well Alliance Fighters. Sometimes you just better wait and watch from the distance how the AI does its own battle between Flood and Alliance 'enemies' before I'd go in and eliminate the rest.

Every now and then an Alliance member would survive and instead of rather dealing with the Flood would start attacking me. I found that rather disturbing. If I would be out there for real, I would better join forces... At this point ~I~ didn't even want to kill the Alliance anymore. Esp. because the small Grunts were talking so cutely in "Halo 2" T.T


Lack of Feedback: "Advent Rising" is a pretty straight forward 3rd person shooter for 98% of the time. Despite its more involving story it's surprisingly similar to Halo. Nearing the end there are two Boss fights. While I could shoot down even bigger attack ships or tanks with my up-leveled hand guns(!), nothing would work on those Bosses... Which didn't make any sense all!

And the game didn't tell me why it suddenly changed its game mechanics either. On closer inspection, in both Boss fights there are repeating themes. The monster pounds on the ground and a rock would come down, which it would hold over it's head and then throw at the player...

Checking the WWW I learnt that I was supposed to full charge my telekinetic ability (which I never did before - wasn't even aware that I could, as it's not explained live in the game) and hit it in exactly ~this~ moment. It would then drop the rock on its own head - which ~would~ hurt it! A rocket launcher however, which would blow up a tank would have ~no~ effect whatsoever on this monster... o_0;;;

I did realise, that with most games, if sth seems to be too difficult I am usually doing sth 'wrong'. However I don't know if this random 'figure it out' in otherwise simple straight forward games is the way it is supposed to be... fun?
Audio Plays: [original] The White Feathers Directive - [Star Wars] Through Flame and Shadow
Ren'Py: Kassiopeia [very interactive VN] work in progress - looking for proof reader english

User avatar
Samu-kun
King of Moé
Posts: 2262
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:49 pm
Organization: Love in Space Inc
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#14 Post by Samu-kun » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:20 am

At one point in Halo (single player) the Flood starts taking over. It attacks mercilessly both sides, Human Marines as well Alliance Fighters. Sometimes you just better wait and watch from the distance how the AI does its own battle between Flood and Alliance 'enemies' before I'd go in and eliminate the rest.

Every now and then an Alliance member would survive and instead of rather dealing with the Flood would start attacking me. I found that rather disturbing. If I would be out there for real, I would better join forces... At this point ~I~ didn't even want to kill the Alliance anymore. Esp. because the small Grunts were talking so cutely in "Halo 2" T.T
They're called the Covenant, not the Alliance. And yes, the Covenant would probably attack you in Halo, since they are in the middle of a jihad against the human race. In Halo 2, some of the Covenant have doubts about their Prophets and join the humans. By Halo 3, it's solidified into an alliance and you get the Arbiter as a permanent side kick. (Yes, paying attention to the story helps explains some things...)

Erm, not to derail the topic too much.

So why do you play games?
One of two reasons, 75% of the time because I'm procrastinating for something that I'm supposed to be doing (like writing, hehehehe) and the other 25% of the time because I want to do something that the game allows me to do that I otherwise wouldn't be able to in real life.

How much time do you spent with playing?
Not much. If I'm playing to procrastinate, generally less than one hour. Other times, I generally can't play for more than three hours because I have other things to do. And these are only on the weekends and during vacation too. No time for games during the school year.

What is a frustration factor?
Games generally don't frustrate me. I just quit before that happens.

I pretty much quit the instant a game starts boring me. After I've seen how a game is structured and what its underlying game play mechanics are, I feel like I've seen everything that I can and I quit.

The exceptions to this rule are for the games that let me do stuff that I want to do in real life. I'll be willing to play these games again and again as long as I have the time. (For example, I've always wanted to become supreme ruler of a nation and conquer the world. Unfortunately, the chance to do so rarely arises outside of games.)

When do you give up?
Answered above.

Why do you want to play a game through?
Answered above

In that context: How is the relation between games you spent money on and those you did not?
I expect the ones that I spent money on to be a whole lot better!

Actually, I generally only spend money on games that I know I will like and for major console releases, so freeware games can't really compare to them.

Do you play games even though they are not of the kind you like?
If so, why?
Yes, although I will probably stop playing them as soon as I grasp their underlying mechanics.

Do you believe in 'genre of games' or 'games for genders'?
Sure, there are different genres of games.

In general, gender plays some role in determining the kind of game that one would be interested in, but it's just one factor in a list of thousands.

User avatar
chronoluminaire
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1153
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:57 pm
Completed: Elven Relations, Cloud Fairy, When I Rule The World
Tumblr: alextfish
Skype: alextfish
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact:

Re: Reasons why you play through/give up on a game?

#15 Post by chronoluminaire » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:22 am

Samu-kun wrote:(For example, I've always wanted to become supreme ruler of a nation and conquer the world. Unfortunately, the chance to do so rarely arises outside of games.)
I love the use of "rarely"... ^^
I released 3 VNs, many moons ago: Elven Relations (IntRenAiMo 2007), When I Rule The World (NaNoRenO 2005), and Cloud Fairy (the Cute Light & Fluffy Project, 2009).
More recently I designed the board game Steam Works (published in 2015), available from a local gaming store near you!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users