In the last couple of years, my LinkedIn is filled with claims regarding community-driven / community-led games. The search for new business models to give more fresh air to one of the most fresh businesses in the World and attract investments often leads to something unusual.
It seems at first sight like an interesting path to take, because everything is fast. If you are lucky, you may get millions of downloads. This without having to face all the challenges that people that make real games struggle to deal with every day.
Yesterday I was watching a video with the new Supercell game, Floodrush.
I believe that Supercell is trying out the new features from Google. Their new beta program provides lots of tools for building up a community early. Please, look at the game.
Floodrush is an unpolished game, it’s too early to launch it. The goals aren’t exciting, the camera has issues, the controls aren’t intuitive and the portrait doesn’t feel like the right layout for a game based on curiosity and discovery. Supercell has probably fallen into the trap of launching something too early and seeing how it goes. To me, it is not the right strategy.
If something goes more or less well, your competitors will surely catch up with better solutions early. You are revealing the result of your research. If I look at the last Supercell releases it is clear that discovery and exploration are the next thing for them.
Game design is also a form of art
And as artists, we cannot put the audience first. The audience is the most important part of our job, and for that, they deserve something great, something final, something polished. If you try to do what they want you end up doing something average and mediocre.
As game designers, we have lots of tools to spot the weakest parts of our craft and improve them. But we need a clear vision and we need to deliver it in the best quality in order to find success.
Is the next trend just throwing things at people? I have seen this in hyper-casual gaming, I see this in hybrid-casual. I didn’t expect to see this from the masters of free-to-play.