Comments on: How Games Are Different From Web Apps Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:53:13 +0000 hourly 1 By: Paul Mendoza Fri, 30 Jun 2006 06:50:00 +0000 You need to check out as it’s all about game development with agile methods. Highmoon studios has been using Agile mixed with SCRUM for a while and they’ve managed to be pretty successful.

By: Oleg Tue, 20 Jun 2006 04:02:00 +0000 I also think that your comments apply not just to web apps, but to all apps in general. In fact, you seem to be drawing distinctions between apps and games. For example, Outlook is an app that I use every day, and same goes for AIM. However, I may ditch an AIM client for a while and go back to it if it’s improved (similar to your webapp example).

By: Oleg Tue, 20 Jun 2006 00:05:00 +0000 I think another difference between non-web games and web apps is the lack of any deployment or installation required.

The fact that you can jump on and play any web game just like that, without having to run installation, is quite an important consideration IMO. This is, of course, what makes web-based games quite attractive.

By: Bradley Momberger Mon, 19 Jun 2006 22:36:00 +0000 Your post echoed a statement that I made recently about what separates games from other software, while arguing with Darren about whether the rest of the software engineering world applies to games.

Games are different from other software because the burden of content in a game is on the developer. In the case of productivity software (wow, I sound so 1993) the software is a mechanism by which the user may create content. With GMail you create email, with Photoshop you create images, and with Microsoft Office you create macro viruses. This is why you use these applications over and over; your need for content is satisfied by your creation of the content.

Also, with GMail and email clients specifically, you frequently share in other users’ content, so increasing the rapid reusability of the application.

Now, games by contrast are a mechanism by which the user may experience content created by the developer. You could say that the user creates entertainment through his interactions with the developer’s content. Rarely can the user directly create content with a game (Excitebike!) and even in cases where the user creates his own content, the joy of discovery is lost.

The ways in which the world interacts with the player can be considered content. In this way, online games generally have such high replayability because of the constant contribution of the players. The other players interacting with the one player create new content for the player in the form of a new challenge.

This goes back to my original thesis about game design, that given equal development resources, more story tends toward less replayability. If you are playing a game primarily to advance the story, and the story is complete when the game is complete, there’s no reason to play again. By contrast, the games people play thousands of times are generally games without a story, especially those “casual” board and card games. You can study chess and bridge for new tactics and strategies, and thanks to the game mechanics and other players, the game will react in predictable and unpredictable ways. How virtuous a concept! We have set up narrative computer games as an adversary to players which never changes between playthroughs, never better and never worse. Is it any wonder you only feel the need to defeat it once?

Yea I say unto you, replayability is the product of your game’s initial playability (would the player want to even play it once?) and the flexibility of the game’s content (would it be different if the player started again?).

By: Patrick Dugan Mon, 19 Jun 2006 20:08:00 +0000 I’ve come to respect replay value as a statement to the ultimate, long-lasting integrity of a brillaint game. Playing is replaying. So I don’t know about the production techniques the book was talking about, but if we want to get real with games, we need to design games that have a strong core loop and a high recombinance to content ratio. I played Baldur’s Gate, Myth and Alpha Centauri at least half a dozen times each; I believe games with a stronger core design are ultimately easier to produce, because feature creep and content balooning are less likely to creep in.