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Why most recent casual mobile games tend to put NO efforts in design?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by II_Spoon_II, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. II_Spoon_II

    II_Spoon_II

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    Jun 16, 2018
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    I see too many casual games on mobile with a good amount of downloads (100k+-1M+) that only use cubes, spheres, cylindres etc... that you can find in the unity editor, I am not against being minimalistic, I like it actually, if we take for example color switch, it doesn't have so many art pieces, but it looks nice. For the ones that I talked about, they just paint unity's editor 3d objects with some very simple materials.

    Do you think that mobile gamers don't care about art anymore?
     
  2. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Dec 5, 2013
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    16,172
    Anymore? I would suggest mobile gamers have never cared about art.

    For starters the screen is typically too tiny to appreciate decent art. Then half the screen is covered by your thumb at any given point in game play. Then your average mobile gamer is only playing games as a distraction while waiting in line or for a meeting to start or during an ad break on TV.

    There only a few successful mobile games where art has been the definitive factor in the games success.
     
  3. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Compared to when? The art direction of mobile games was pretty bleh even as far back as 2012.
     
  4. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Taking a quick scroll down the Google Play Store games category page and opening a bunch of stuff as I scroll by, I'm not seeing a single thing that fits your description. Of the 64 titles on the front page one game, Bubble Shooter, maybe comes close. While plenty of this stuff doesn't suit my own tastes, each thing looks at least above average based on what I know of different types of games and their audiences (which I admit, in some cases, is pretty limited!).

    Back to the Play Store, doing a random click, one of these games has over 100 million downloads. The games you cite with over a million are still doing well, that's nothing to sneeze at, but how are they doing when compared to games with better presentation? One data point alone doesn't tell you enough to draw a useful conclusion.

    If you look at more than just a few specific examples, and look at what's in common amongst a sample of top games (by whatever metric Google uses to decide what to put on the front page) then yeah, I think gamers do care about graphics and presentation to some degree. I'd have to look further to find out how much they care. For all I know these games have better looking and better presented competitors who aren't doing so well, and looking into those and drawing comparisons would probably be a very useful exercise.



    Also keep in mind that "simple" and "minimalist" are not at all the same thing as "easy" or "low effort". It can take a heck of a lot of effort and experience to make something that is both simple and good.
     
    II_Spoon_II, Lu4e and MD_Reptile like this.
  5. Braineeee

    Braineeee

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    I love these arguments: "It doesn't cater to my unique interests/ideas of what aesthetics are good so even though these apps have 100m+ downloads and rake in the big bucks, therefore it must be awful".

    What a self centered loser-ish way to look at the world...
     
  6. SamohtVII

    SamohtVII

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    Jun 30, 2014
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    I think you are noticing the games (via targeted ads) that spend nothing on graphics and heaps on promotion.
     
    II_Spoon_II likes this.
  7. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I don't think this is a new concept. Normal graphics on a mobile screen tend to look terrible. There's probably also the fact that mobile gamers are more interested in the gameplay loop than any sort of immersion factor.

    The only mobile game I've played with any real regularity is Desert Golfing, and its appeal has very little to do with how it appears on the screen. It's more about how clearly I can see the effect of my input.
     
  8. FMark92

    FMark92

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    Timewasters don't need to look good. They just need to waste time.

    *2004 but that's just my perception.
     
    Kiwasi likes this.
  9. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Thankfully, that's not an outlook anyone here has expressed. ;)
     
  10. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    Well if game has 100k+ downloads, means it is appealing to many, with its gameplay and art.

    It is critical of knowing target audience. And is known that graphics is not that important for younger audience, as well, as many veteran gamers.
     
  11. Gladyon

    Gladyon

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    Sep 10, 2015
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    There's also the time-constraint.
    Some game-studio create a mobile game per week.
    They assemble a small team of 3-5 people, the monday morning they review a few game ideas, in the afternoon they choose one and write in detail what it will be, and by friday the game is finished.
    With such a limited time it's a bit hard to create a lot of things...
     
  12. FMark92

    FMark92

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    Well, they're imposing the limit on themselves. Let's not act like they're completely absolved of responsibility.

    Live by app store first page, die by app store first page.

    edit: made the remark milder.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 10:58 AM
  13. moonjump

    moonjump

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    People play games because they are fun. Some fun games have a limited lifespan, but that is fine if the player has another game to move onto. The variety from constant new games is quite appealing in itself. But for the developer, limited lifespan means limited monetisation. So to work, it must be made quickly to make a profit.
     
  14. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    if you can sell cubes and spheres why would you waste time making characters and castles?
     
    roojerry and Antypodish like this.
  15. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

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    May 8, 2012
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    I don't look the Play store, as it's usually full of garbage, so not sure there. But the App Store has a ton of visually impressive casual games (and other) games. There is definitely some low effort offerings, but I think you'll find that everywhere.
    In many cases, popular casual games use the same mechanics. As such, you will see the many of the top games are very visually strong, that is often the big difference between top and lower tier games.
     
  16. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    I would also look at the subject, with different angle.
    Anything really "low effort", with low popularity, will be probably down the bottom of search, with many other garbage together.
    Most titles on the top, are probably already there for months, if not years. But don't take me for a word.