Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rating Fun

Saw this today over at CrazyKinux's and it got me thinking:

Does every game need to be a grade-A blockbuster title? Would you be willing to play more average games or should every game shoot for the 10.0 rating?

For me, the answer is no. I believe its more about fun for me. Is the game in question fun to play? If it is fun, I will invest my time and money whether or not the game is considered a blockbuster. Take the game Peggle as an example... this is a fun game to play (the wife loves it). Certainly not a blockbuster... nor a very long lasting game... but it is cheap ($10 on Steam) and definitely fun to play.

The second question, should every game shoot for a 10.0 rating, is a bit more complicated. I think every game should shoot to be the best it can be. But I don't believe a game needs to be a perfect 10.0. However, there is a line in their somewhere between what's acceptable and what's not. Let us say this line of acceptance is a X rating.

If your game is below X rating, it will simply not keep an audience for very long (despite how much hype you put into it). MMO's that fail to deliver content are a prime example of this. Single player games that repeat the same boring crap over and over are also in this group. If your game is at or above the X rating, you are doing okay.

Where is this line though? That is the real question. This line varies from person to person and genre to genre. In my opinion, systems like Metacritic do a pretty decent job in figuring this all out. Super Mario Galaxy is 97 (of 100), it is probably fun for a lot of people. Team Fortess 2 is rates 92, its probably fun too. Beijing 2008 is 60, probably not as fun.

I'd like to get back to the first question again though. I think there is a more interesting discussion here. CrazyKinux in his post mentions money as a factor.

Does more money equate to more fun? Is it possible to create a fun/dollar measurement?

In the above, I gave my $10 game of Peggle as an example. Let try and create a fun factor measurement for this game. This game is fun for 10-20 hours... so 15 hours of fun over $10 is 1.5.

I also play EVE, which is $15 a month. I play for a few hours each night most nights a week... lets say 60 hours a month. Now half of this time is grinding to get money or whatnot (not fun) so 30 hours over $15 is 2. This sounds logical... I'd rather play EVE over Peggle, and its higher rated.

Blackjack is a fun game to play. Using basic strategy (if you don't you should!) the house odds are approx. 0.5%... which is $0.05 per $10.00 bet. Lets say a good dealer performs 3 deals a minute... that's 180 deals an hour... or $9.00 an hour. So the fun rating here is only 0.11. But I'd much rather play blackjack over any computer game.

Since blackjack costs more money does it make it more fun? Is it more fun to own a home that is twice as big and expensive? What about a car?

You read all the time about people grinding to get epic weapons or armor in various MMO's. Or bigger and better fitted ships in EVE. These are very expensive in game items that take a lot of time/money to earn! It is more fun to own these items?

I'm not so sure I have an answer to these questions. I'm also not so sure one can put a price tag on fun.

It sure is fun thinking about these things... and that doesn't cost a whole lot. Hmm...

No comments: