I often describe myself as an enthusiastic soft core gamer. Enthusiastic because I do like my games, follow what is happening, try games, think about what it is that makes me tick with games. Soft core because I will not invest the amount of time and dedication in any one game to get really good at it. The moment where a game becomes too much like work – requiring endless attempts, training till perfection, or reading up for hours just to progress or succeed in it – then I stop enjoying the game. The forum at 8bitrocket has just had a thread called “mid core gamers” which is about the same kind of concept that I try to describe with my “enthusiastic soft core” – and makes it into a manifesto. Read their take is under http://www.8bitrocket.com/forums/Default.aspx?g=posts&m=247 but here is my quick analysis of their points, where I agree and disagree
1. Save Anywhere
I totally agree with this – I often choose to play for hours on a game but I dont want to get stuck until the wee hours just because I cannot save and would lose all my progress if I stopped. There are now and then a few games that could get away with doing that, but they are too hardcore for me, and the chances i buy it after a demo are almost nil. Of course there is the exception – I have memories of leaving the computer on overnight with “dark forces” on pause…
2.Games Should Cost < $29.99
I kind of agree here – I prefer to buy 4 or more games for £20 than one. And since people like us rarely finish a game a lower price makes me more likely to buy for a try… I often buy slightly older games or second hand games on the same principle (with the added value of knowing if people still think the game is great a year later). At the moment I would like to buy Dominions 3, both to give it a whirl and to support the developer, because I think this is an intriguing series of games, but at over $50 with something like $16 shipping it is priced for hard core.
3. Reasonable Graphic Choices
Hardware nowadays lasts longer (especially with the longevity of XP) and gamers like me wont spend more than £100 on a graphics card (60-70 is more my sweet point). Games with “top end” graphics (in my experience) have often sacrificed something in the gameplay for the sake of the graphics. This works on the hardcore market, because fancy numbers often matter to them, but it doesnt work for us enthusiasts. I want graphics that match the game, and work well even on an older laptop. Again, if new games need hefty hardware then it just pushes me to buy older classics and enjoy these.
4. Single Player Games
I am of two minds here – I tend to agree that SP games are easier to play, but the success of a game like guild wars shows and many free to play games shows that online can work too, at least for the while while it is possible to simply explore and enjoy
5. Cooperative Games On One Screen
That is the winning formula to allow us to play with the non gamers around us
6. Multi-player Games: Play Anytime, Find Friends Easily, No Fees, Voice Chat Not Necessary
I know that the reason I have a love-hate relationship with WoW is because it requires too much investment which often goes in the way of the fun – there often is no time to discover things, you have to read up the guides and play-by-the-numbers.
7. “Casual” Games Don’t Have To Be Simple Games
Can’t say I agree on that one, I dont see how adding an “adventure” mode to tie a puzzle game really makes it all that better
8. Games Do Not Need to Be 5.5 GB To Be Good
We lost that one
9. No need to be “mature” for the sake of being “mature”
10. Yes To One-Time Fees, No To Monthly Fees
Which is why I play Guild Wars 2 not WoW