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-   -   Consumer Power and Innovation (http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?t=790)

Shadow 07-01-2008 12:02 PM

Consumer Power and Innovation
 
One of our forum users (Paladin Sponge) brought up the point that gaming is based on innovation and when games stop being innovative it dies.

Innovation is dangerous for companies though. It is a unknown risk. It is much easier to pick a sure thing like a clone, a sequel, or a movie license and keep the innovations to a minimum. This is what most of the larger developer and publishers tend to do. It's a fairly logical risk/reward thing.

The problem is Paladin Sponge is correct. If an industry stops innovating it might not die, but it will at least stagnate. It needs innovation. It needs change to keep it fresh.

There are luckily lots of companies that create completely new types of games, combine genres in interesting ways, bring back genres from the past, try different settings, and in general try out many innovative things. Unfortunately, these companies tend to be smaller and don't get as much press and attention as the big boys get.

The larger companies see all of this of course, but they aren't likely to copy any of these innovations unless it is proven to be successful. It's that risk/reward thing again. So they will continue to stagnate.

This is where consumer power comes back into play. If consumers buy these games that innovate in enough numbers, then the big companies will bring those ideas into the larger market place and they will filter throughout the industry. This will bring about at least some change that keeps the industry from stagnating.

So again, support those little guys that are creating innovative games! For that matter, when a larger company does make a cool, innovative game support them too.

SevenMass 07-02-2008 10:55 AM

It is funny, your words are the complete opposite of the words from an other indie game developer.

Quoting Jeff Vogel, the guy behind SpiderWeb, from this article here: http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/692/692642p1.html

Quote:

Well, speaking as an Indie Game Developer, I have this to say... Don't look at us, man.
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you're only going to get big changes from big companies, with big resources. Coming up with something nobody has done before isn't cheap.
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I would argue that innovation is overrated.
Quote:

But truly innovative games? The sort you're only going to see a few more times in your lifetime?

Those will come from Electronic Arts.

Delve 07-02-2008 11:04 AM

Nintendo is the only entity with something to lose that's done anything particularly innovative lately. I hate to disagree with someone actually in the business (and seemingly successful enough), but... Jeff's wrong.

Innovation wouldn't seem to take huge amounts of resources when compared to the resources required to create more than a square yard of 'photo-realistic' game real-estate.

Shadow 07-02-2008 11:07 AM

I know, I've read that article from Jeff Vogel. Other than Will Wright's stuff (Sims & Spore) what has EA done that was innovative?

(name here) 07-02-2008 11:22 AM

well, there is their work on red alert three, which centers very heavily on naval combat and controling the oceans.

Delve 07-02-2008 02:12 PM

I don't know anything about the naval combat setting other than that it's been done before. I've no idea how many submarine games there are, and I swear I played some sort of battleship simulation on the 386 back in the day. Is the game itself something new?

(name here) 07-02-2008 06:42 PM

it is an RTS with basebuilding. if you can't figure out how that makes it new, i'll start going into greater detail

Paladin Sponge 07-02-2008 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by (name here) (Post 4266)
it is an RTS with basebuilding. if you can't figure out how that makes it new, i'll start going into greater detail

*snicker*

Alright, we've got it agreed on that gaming needs innovation, that gamers (the casual kind. The ones who are the biggest part of the market) like innovation in the games they play. They generally demonstrate this by throwing money at the producer of their favorite stuff, hence supporting innovative game developers.

Something like that.

Another problem however, is that consumer power requires knowledge and information to function effectively. Personally, I accidentally stumbled on the demo for DoP while thumbing through a 1500 item list on apple's website. I just so happened to click on it and download it. Otherwise, I don't think I would've heard of this game.

I really don't know of a solution to easy, widespread advertisement. But there's definitely a need for it. Certain games deserve the fanfare. The ones that get it are generally mediocre. *shrug*

Basically, I'm saying I can't exercise my consumer power to support innovative games if I don't know the products exist. Thus I'm stuck watching reruns of bleach and midnight swim on cartoon network (Like hell I'm suffering through another $60 purchase that feels like I'm living through a skipping DVD of a bad movie directed by Michael Bay's retarded brother).

(name here) 07-02-2008 10:34 PM

Quote:

well, there is their work on red alert three, which centers very heavily on naval combat and controling the oceans.
Quote:

it is an RTS with basebuilding. if you can't figure out how that makes it new, i'll start going into greater detail
combine the two to get an RTS with water based buildings.

Shadow 07-03-2008 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paladin Sponge (Post 4269)
Another problem however, is that consumer power requires knowledge and information to function effectively. Personally, I accidentally stumbled on the demo for DoP while thumbing through a 1500 item list on apple's website. I just so happened to click on it and download it. Otherwise, I don't think I would've heard of this game.

I really don't know of a solution to easy, widespread advertisement. But there's definitely a need for it. Certain games deserve the fanfare. The ones that get it are generally mediocre. *shrug*

Basically, I'm saying I can't exercise my consumer power to support innovative games if I don't know the products exist. Thus I'm stuck watching reruns of bleach and midnight swim on cartoon network (Like hell I'm suffering through another $60 purchase that feels like I'm living through a skipping DVD of a bad movie directed by Michael Bay's retarded brother).

Yes, that's definitively a problem. The big companies have plenty of money to market their games, but us smaller companies do not. :( Personally, I think this is our DoP's main hindrance right now.


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