Game Megatrends (largely from Pascal Luban in Gamasutra)
The necessity of increasing the commercial life span • of games. • Development costs are rising – > $100 million • More multi-player • Give players the tools to create maps and mods • Downloadable content – microtransactions • Merchandising – action figures, manga, comics, tournaments, novels, movies, school supplies… • Online distribution – buy-and-download, monthly subscription, try-and-buy, free-to-play.
The emergence of fast gaming, and games relying on micropayments. • Easy to start; no big investment. • Design implications: ease of setup, simple game mechanics, many add-ons and upgrades.
Increasingly believable universes. • Increasingly detailed models. • Facial animation. • Outdoor environments. • Real-time, interactive atmospheric effects. • Increased interaction with the environment (including NPC animations). • Completely interactive environments.
The search for immediate accessibility. • Making games easier to grasp (no tutorials, no documentation). • Progressive introduction of features. • Simpler user interfaces. • Increasing number of casual players. • New types of players, new habits of playing. • Design implication: avoid failure early in the game
Gaming as a teaching tool. • A deep tutorial mechanism, itself interactive, explaining each game feature and academic topic. • Built-in exams, integrated into the game environment and consistent with it. • Exchange and communication between player/students and the teacher. • Integration into classrooms and lesson plans; and into distance learning schemes.
Increased multi-player gaming. • Greater demands on quality control – levels are likely to be played many times. • Further development of cooperative games. • Gaming on mobile platforms. • Challenges of bad behavior: cheating, sore losers, lack of team spirit, rude or racist behavior, unequal skill levels.
And more… • Public health concerns • Gamification • User-generated contents • More emotion in games • Alternate input devices – body, voice • VR: Oculus Rift, wearable gaming (PrioVR) • Bigger indie hits (eg. ID@Xbox) • New consoles (PS4, Xbox One) • Games on multiple devices
USA Today – Five video game trends from E3 2014 Game worlds are getting much bigger – Dragon Age: Inquisition, Destiny, Metal Gear Solid V Virtual reality’s second act – Oculus, Sony’s Project Morpheus, EVE Valkyrie, Alien: Isolation The rise of the toy/game hybrid – Nintendo’s Amiibo line (Mario, Pikachu), Activision’s Skylanders, Disney Infinity Better with friends – more coop games
And more… Wearable technology. Virtual reality. Gamification. Citywide team sports. Software enhanced table top games. Natural language processing. Expensive games for rich people.