Sell Out

Creating Value for Gamers

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Creating Value for Gamers-

It is undoubtedly true that one of the most important factors in the success of any business is the ability to create value for your customers. The reason for this is very simple- it's because that's literally what they're paying for! In fact, some have argued that this type of value creation is the whole point of business in the first place.

But of course the concept of value itself is extremely vague and nebulous. Value is essentially whatever people find value in, and is therefore completely subjective. However, like most other things in life, there are larger overarching patterns. And in most industries, types of products and services, there are specific value propositions that most customers who purchase those types of products are looking for. This is true of videogames and gamers as well.

So then, it is the job of the game developer to provide the right type of value to those gamers; to basically give them what they want. But what's the value proposition of gaming? This is a surprisingly challenging question since videogames are not “practical” or utilitarian products with an obvious purpose in mind.

On a basic level you could say that it's about providing entertainment, since videogames are essentially entertainment and recreational products. But saying you're going to make something more “entertaining” is still too vague and not very helpful in any kind of practical way when you're designing a game. To really understand what the value proposition of gaming is, you need to understand what gamers really want. And generally, that requires research. Fortunately, with the help of the Internet, this isn't that difficult. In fact gamers will often tell you what they want and this is very helpful if your goal is to provide value for them (which it should be, if you're a game dev).

While I think that understanding why gamers play games is very important (and there has been a fair amount psychological research done on the topic of the different motivations for why people play games, video or otherwise), an even better question for any game developer looking to provide value might be- “what's the most important element of a game that I should focus on in order to provide the most value?”

I believe that all industries have certain value propositions that are uniquely important to them. There are certain elements of any product that are more vital in providing this value. And in the case of video games, I'd say that history shows us that the biggest factor in whether or not people enjoy a game is the gameplay itself. (Shocking right? Who would have guested that gameplay would be important in gaming?) This isn't to say that other elements such as graphics or sound design aren't important, but when examining what makes a game popular and successful, gameplay seems to be the most critical element of whether people enjoy a game or not. I feel that this distinction is very important if your goal is to design a successful game. But of course, there are many other, even more detailed or sophisticated distinctions a game developer can make.

For Terror Chasm, our current gaming project, we decided that replayability was another thing that can massively contribute to a game's enjoyability and potential for success. It can be argued that this is true of any game, not just video games. It seems that throughout history, the best games are the ones that you can play over and over again, indefinitely. This is one of the reasons why we so heavily emphasize replayability in Terror Chasm's design. Our custom A.I.'s procedural level generation, combined with our cool enemy A.I. and the fact that we are going to have multiplayer functionality in the final version, all contribute to an insane level of replayability. We believe that presenting this in the form of a fully 3D game with unique and compelling gameplay, will be a great value proposition for gamers indeed!

One other thing I'd like to point out about replayability and value is that it also gives gamers more bang for their buck, by receiving more gameplay for their money. Since Terror Chasm is designed to have near infinite replayability, we're hoping that gamers will find that it's well worth a purchase.

- False Prophet