Casual Games notes

From Casual_Games_SIG/Whitepaper

Players mostly women 35+
Spend 9 hours a week on pick up and drop games
successful casual games must:
* Seem accessible to players with varying levels of familiarity and dexterity with computer controls;
* Engage players who may not be familiar with various game genres
* Attract players by offering easy-to-learn games that are inviting and generally non-violent;
* Interact with players who are accustomed to user interface conventions from the traditional retail market.

Top Genres

Web game genres vary as widely as every other game platform. And like other platforms, genre popularity varies between age and gender groups.

Action / Arcade, Sports, Strategy, Role-Playing Games (RPG) all tend to skew to a younger and more male audience.

Board / Card, Casino, Puzzle, Action Puzzle, Word typically command an older but gender equal player base.

Certain Puzzle and Action Puzzle titles have mostly female audiences. All of the above genres can be created as multiplayer, but today this is typically only seen with Card/Board, Word, and Casino games.

Game Genre Examples
Puzzle Magic Match, (Oberon Media/Codeminion)

Mystery Case Files: Huntsville, (Big Fish Games) Tropix, (GameHouse/Robot Super Brain)
Mah Jong Mah Jong Adventures, (Skunk Studios)

Mahjong Escape – Ancient China, (Playtime) Mah Jong Quest, (iWin)
Word Games Big Kahuna Words, (Reflexive)

Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters, (Adveractive/Playtonium) Super Wild Wild Words, (GameHouse)
Casual-Action Cake Mania, (Sandlot Games)

Diner Dash, (PlayFirst/ gameLab) Feeding Frenzy 2, (PopCap)|
Card & Board Ancient TriPeaks, (Toy Box Games)

Hotel Solitaire, (Zylom) Sudoku, (GameDesire)

Dogger the game

Frogger with a twist. Instead being a little froggy trying to cross the road, you are cast as a dogger; optimistically hopping from car window to car window in a car park. Hoping to catch a glimpse of a couple copulating. The player throws a bone as close as they can to the car with the steamiest windows. The dog is attracted to cars that are squeaking as their suspension bounces.

Guttersnipe the game

You are a guttersnipe.
You are the gunky filthy rainwater that hangs around in gutters after the posh rainwater has drained away.
You can snipe(r) debris lying in the guttering at the top of nearby buildings – or beneath the street in the drains – to defeat the enemy of every guttersnipe!

Developing new gamesssss

I’m developing a new game for Yazino at the moment with Matt Burton McFaul – the old team from Signs of Life. It’s a totally new game; the ugly prototype has worked perfectly as a proof of concept and we nailed the look and feel last week, after much stroking of chins. I’m working with a good team and ‘am really looking forward to reviewing how the game board and creatures look on Monday.

The game itself is still awaiting agreement on the final name. The beauty of the game is that it only has 3 rules – nice and simple. It’s exploits real time multiplayer interaction and allows you, as a player, to mess with other players’ games. Inspired in part by my favourite video game of all time Mario Kart (N64). If I have time I’ll write more about the some of the thinking behind the game, but it’s tricky without giving away to much…

Hydro Venture Wii game

I played the demo and was impressed – free to download from the Wii store. It’s very simple to play – simple controls. You are water. The world spattered with inky darkness reminded me of Mario Sunshine. The look and feel is very Nintendo, and no higher praise can be given. I downloaded the full version and after two rainbow drops got a bit lost, but it was very late at night. I’ll return to it and report back.

Water flying through a level of this platform game

I only knew about this because my friend Graham Denney helped make the game at Curve. But glad I found out about it. It makes excellent use of the Wiimote.