Do you agree, disagree, or are you neutral about...

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sitearm
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Do you agree, disagree, or are you neutral about...

Postby sitearm » Wed Sep 14, 2005 6:18 pm

Here is a summary of points raised in a discussion at another thread. It is hoped this information will be helpful feedback to the final design of Caesar IV. Some of these points appear to contradict each other. Additional points are still being discussed.

As part of the feedback process, you are invited to respond: Do you agree, disagree, or are you neutral about, any of the points below?

. If you respond, please mention which point you are commenting on, for example "I agree with B2 but disagree with C3" etc.
. Freeform response is fine, even preferred, just be sure to label which point each response applies to.
. To respond to all statements, click on the "Quote" button at the bottom of the post and type within the quoted text.
. CityBuilding and SimCity titles are considered to belong to an overall city-planning game genre.
. "**" indicates some disagreement with the point as stated

A: Why do people play city-planning games?

A1: City-planning games emphasize learning strategies for building pleasing locations that you can imagine yourself living in.

A2: Creating a successful city is a goal of a city-planning game.

A3: City-planning games can be played for satisfying open-ended or fixed goals.

A4: In city-planning games, win conditions can be set by the game player as well as the game developer.

A5: CityBuilding titles have more goals to accomplish than SimCity titles.

A6: More credible research is needed on who is playing games and why.


B: What are the key characteristics of city-planning games?

B1: Observing individual characters is an important part of city-planning game play.

B2: Being creative is a goal of SimCity titles but not of CityBuilding titles. **

B3: Strategy is more important than aesthetic in city-planning games. **

B4: City-planning games allow players to build up rather than blow up.

B5: 3D game engine and great graphics are a de facto market requirement.

B6: Children of the Nile is the first of a new society builder genre that models cities and individuals both.

B7: Oversimplifications of societies and cultures are necessary for feasible game designs.


C: Is city-planning a game market with a future?

C1: City-planning is a small but stable niche market that needs to stay well-defined from other game genres. **

C2: Sims titles (The Sims, The Sims 2) comprise their own genre.

C3: Popularity of a genre is measured by more than sales. **

C4: The numbers of city-planning game players may well grow.

C5: Game forum posting frequency is different from game playing frequency.


C6: Popular, top-rated city-planning games are as tough as ever to develop.

C7: Genre success is measured by sales, and forum activity is a reflection of sales. **

C8: The current market is too limited regarding variety in games design and play. **

C9: Innovations are hard to come by.

C10: Independent game development is risky despite talent and demand.


C11: The study of "non-computer, non-game" theories is fundamental to designing inspiring games.

C12: Plenty of women play violent games and Sims titles both.

C13: Forums provide value whether you read them, post in them, or both.

C14: There *is* innovation happening in the game industry.
Last edited by sitearm on Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: clarify options to respond per feedback received

imhotep3147
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Postby imhotep3147 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 6:39 pm

I would tend to disagree with C7. Personally, if I were a game developer (creator, designer, etc....) I would rather have a game that perhaps didn't sell as well as the token "game of the year" but know that after 5-10 years people still play the game and enjoy it as much as the first time. Prime examples Pharaoh and CIII.....I would much prefer to break out my Pharaoh cd than play the majority of games out on the market today. That speaks volumes on the longevity of a game, not to mention it's design....I consider that more of a success than say...a game that sold 10 times as many copies but only gets played for a month or two then is relagated to the shelf to collect dust.

As for forum activity being a reflection of sales....well, simply put....people lie. Case closed. However, forum activity could be a way to determine success as defined above. :D

Azeem
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Postby Azeem » Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:15 pm

I agree with most except B2, B3, and C7.

B2: Being creative is a goal of SimCity titles but not of CityBuilding titles.
-Not true. SimCity rewards formulaic, efficient design much more than creative design; if you get too creative, your city can be as inefficient as the Los Angeles transportation system. In SimCity, I often find that I strive solely for efficiency and often forget about the aesthetics. This is also true for SimCity 4, even with all the fancy new graphics and plethora of interesting recreational structures, especially considering that location and traffic are much more complicated concerns. The same can be said with the CB games where you need to make your "housing blocks" as efficient as possible, or else your entire city would come crashing down...literally. However, there is some room for creativity. In both games, you can set up certain areas as certain districts serving specific purposes, such as industrial districts and elite neighborhoods and organizing these districts in a certain pattern or you can utilize designs that combines both creativity with efficiency by organizing structures and districts in unique ways that mitigates potential problems while using the most out of every individual structure.

B3: Strategy is more important than aesthetic in city-planning games.
-The answer to this depends more on a person's perspective. Everyone ultimately sets their own goals in both SimCity and the City-building series games. For Zeus and Emperor, Ticaios and I often set beauty and aesthetics as our goals in building our cities. While not the most well-oiled machine, they were filled with all sorts of uniquely-designed garden districts.

C7: Genre success is measured by sales, and forum activity is a reflection of sales.
-Genre success is not always determined by sales. For example, when publishers note that book sales are up, polls also indicate that while people are buying books, they aren't necessarily reading them or enjoying them. Some people just buy things for the sake of having them (like I do... :o ). Also note that some films that may have been major forces in shaping the film industry did not necessarily become absolute box office hits while their successors did (such as Akira Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress" being a major influence upon George Lucas's highly-popular and successful "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope"). Who in the US has ever even heard of "The Hidden Fortress"? :p You can also have a game that is not a big bestseller, but still have satisfied customers even years and years after initial release. Success should more be defined on how a particular game in that specific genre shapes the genre as a whole in or how well the genre keeps its fans satisfied. While the City-builder series may not have been absolute bestsellers and may be regarded simply as a niche category, the fact that the series lasted as long as it did, the fact that there still are fans for it and that they still are highly regarded among this group is a good enough indicator that the series has enjoyed quite a bit of a success. As imhotep pointed out with regards to forum activity, people lie. :D Nonetheless, they still do give both visitors and developers a good idea on what some other players are thinking and what they expect.
Last edited by Azeem on Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Spelling errors.

vic_4
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Postby vic_4 » Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:45 pm

I mostly agree with Azeem.

NilsS
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Postby NilsS » Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:10 pm

I think that this survey is a great idea to compile alot of input in a concise manner, but it is difficult to respond to. Is it possible to reformat this questionaire into the typical format with 4 columns of response options with corresponding circles to be filled in below? [ Agree, Disagree, Neutral and other (fill in) ]
A1-Agree, A2-Agree, A3-Agree, A4-Agree, A5-Agree
B1-Other-depends of size of city, B2-Disagree, B3-Disagree, B4-Agree
C1-Disagree, C2-Disagree, C3-Agree, C4-Other-I hope so, C5-Agree, C6-Agree, C7-Disagree, C8-Agree, C9-Disagree, C10-Agree, C11-Agree, C12-Disagree

hexagonian
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Postby hexagonian » Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:12 pm

C3: Strongly Disagree: Popularity is defined by numbers.
And it depends on how you define 'popularity'. You have to take these factors into account.

In the business world, success is driven by how much product is moved off the shelves (how popular it is). A good business will also care that it has a quality product, because quality will create a customer that will return. But businesses are also pretty adept at creating hype, and creating it repeatedly, even for a shoddy product. So they will be successful in what truly matters to many businesses - making money.

On the other hand, you may have a quality product, and you simply cannot get anyone to try it (unpopular). The product may have limited appeal because there are not a lot of people who are actually interested in what you are doing too.

You will also find die-hard fans for any product - be it a quality product or a shoddy product. Those fans will defend a product and define it as 'quality' even if the vast majority of people do not feel the same way.

So you end up having to define - 'What determines quality'? It is in the eye of the beholder - and little more than that. The baseline for quality that everyone can agree on is stability (does the game crash?) but after that is merely opinion...What is quality to you might not be for me.

The goal of a company is to get as many people as possible to use their product (popularity) and to have a lot of positive feedback for it (quality) - the best of both worlds. The company will strive for as much quality as possible so they can maximize their return - but it still take a back seat to popularity because companies know how muchh they can get away with. The gaming world is full of games that are released as buggy and unbalanced - companies know that fans are now trained to expect a patch as part of the gaming process. What was the last game you saw that did not require a patch - or was universally accepted 'as is'?

C7: Strongly Agree: As for forum activity, I'm a believer that it is a reflection of sales and is a huge baraometer for the quality factor. People do lie, but if there are not a lot of people there in the first place, I'd bet that sales were not overwhelming.

Games are communal in nature. The combination of games and the internet create a community experience, so people will naturally be drawn to the forums. There is also a lot of competition in the gaming market. It is, for lack of a better word, oversaturated with options and choices - and a lot more than it was 10 years ago. Players will find that a game holds their interest for less time, and are more willing to move onto something else, because there is always something new for them. And you better grab them right when your product is released, because you will not grab them 6 months afterwards. You may get a few, but not enough to truly matter.

I firmly believe that a game that can muster long-term forum activity in quantity of posters speaks volumes about it's quality. Because people who are not interested in the game anymore would have said their piece about that game and moved onto something else.

I mentioned this before - I see as much forum activity for a game like Pharaoh (a game that is over five years old, BTW) as I do for CotN. Even in comparison to the same time period after release for both games, Pharaoh had a much better showing.
Last edited by hexagonian on Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

EmperorJay
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Postby EmperorJay » Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:14 pm

I'd like to respond to every one of these points, they're very good and constructive. Plus, I like polls where I can ramble :p .



A: Why do people play city-planning games?

A1: City-planning games emphasize learning strategies for building pleasing locations that you can imagine yourself living in.

A2: Creating a successful city is a goal of a city-planning game.

A3: City-planning games can be played for satisfying open-ended or fixed goals.

A4: In city-planning games, win conditions can be set by the game player as well as the game developer.

A5: CityBuilding titles have more goals to accomplish than SimCity titles.


A1: Agree. Many of the city-planning games really are just "common sense". Would I rather live next to a garden or a pig farm? Would I rather see a statue of my beloved emperor or a vagrant's tent? If a CB game requires you to build things that are clearly against common sense, the game is not designed well. Of course, to us people, gladitorial games for entertainment are against common sense as well, but at least we can understand it.

A2: Neutral, as in, can't agree or disagree. Completing a mission succesfully does not equal building a succesful city. On the other hand one could argue that by completing the mission, you must've build a succesful city. However, I think that sometimes it's fun to create a city to look real, rather than it works perfectly. In C3 this was much harder than it is for example in CotN.

A3: Agree. I usually enjoy sandbox/no-win-conditions scenarios even more than scenarios with win conditions. Sometimes it's fun to complete a certain goal under certain circumstances. Sometimes it's fun to set your own goals.

A4: Agree. Isn't this related to A3? Sandbox scenarios allow a player to set his own challenges. Campaigns allow the developer to present the player with a challenge. To reach a wider audience, both should be available and of a high quality.

A5: Neutral. Never played Sim City enough to comment but I get the feeling that CB games present more challenging campaigns and scenarios.


B: What are the key characteristics of city-planning games?

B1: Observing individual characters is an important part of city-planning game play.

B2: Being creative is a goal of SimCity titles but not of CityBuilding titles.

B3: Strategy is more important than aesthetic in city-planning games.

B4: City-planning games allow players to build up rather than blow up.



B1: Agree. Although this is very personal. I think that having individual characters play an important role in a(ny) CB, players will feel even more immersed into the world they are building their city in. Only a few games can give you the feeling that you're actually there and I dare to say that a game that does not give you the feeling to be "there", can never be considered to be truely, exceptionally well designed.

B2: Disagree. Being creative can be very important in CB games. Lugdunum comes to mind...

B3: Disagree. Again, very personal, but to me a good (and real!) looking city is just as fun to build than having to use complex strategies to complete a certain goal.

B4: Agree. But sometimes it can be fun to allow both. The emphasize should always be on building up though.

C: Is city-planning a game market with a future?

C1: City-planning is a small but stable niche market that needs to stay well-defined from other game genres.

C2: Sims titles (The Sims, The Sims 2) comprise their own genre.

C3: Popularity of a genre is measured by more than sales.

C4: The numbers of city-planning game players may well grow.

C5: Game posting is different from game playing frequency.


C6: Popular, top-rated city-planning games are as tough as ever to develop.

C7: Genre success is measured by sales, and forum activity is a reflection of sales.

C8: The current market is too limited regarding variety in games design and play.

C9: Innovations are hard to come by.

C10: Independent game development is risky despite talent and demand.


C11: The study of "non-computer, non-game" theories is fundamental to designing inspiring games.

C12: Plenty of women play violent games and Sims titles both.


C1: Disagree. Small, stable and niche I agree with. But if the developers of CB games need to let the games be influenced by other genres (whether that is RPG or RTS or TBS) to get richer and larger, then so it be. If Tilted Mill gets a lot of money, they can release more and even better games.

C2: Disagree. The Sims-series belong to the RPG genre.

C3: Neutral. One can argue that sales=# of people playing=popularity but one could also say that the number of players playing still after X years says more about the popularity.

C4: Agree. I've read about Caesar IV on many forums and it seems to be eagerly awaited already.

C5: Not sure what you mean by this :( .

C6: Agree. But it's always tough to make a game that's not just good, but a real gem.

C7: Neutral. I could say that my gut feeling is disagree. I think certain genres attract a crowd that's more forum oriented, but this would require a serious study IMO.

C8: Neutral. There's a lot of variety out there, but the negative factor here is that too many games out there carry the number 2, 3, 4 or even 5 behind their title. There's a variety between sequels to say so.

C9: Agree. There are no more genres to invent. The next step will be interactive movies I think. Of course graphics will get even prettier, but we're at the limits of gameplay. It's all fine-tuning the existing genres these days. There're already 3D goggles on the market, we have Dolby Surround sound. These things are very expensive these days and not always of a good quality but in 5 years the technology will have advanced far enough that these things are both affordable for the average gamer and also of high quality. Just my guess of course, but truely placing a player in the world (s)he's playing in will be the next step just like the first 3D shooter was a next step 15 years ago.

C10: Agree. But that's because EA keeps pumping out sequels, not because players are not interested in innovation. Sequels get all the attention, player spends money on sequel, player hears about good innovative game later, but doesn't have the money for it.

C11: Agree. If you're going to base a game on Rome, you'd better get the facts right. Besides that, many things can be inspiring if you're creative enough to do something good with a theme that interest you.

C12: Disagree. What is "plenty"? This too requires a serious study before I could comment on it.

sitearm
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Postby sitearm » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:24 am

More discussion statements have been added to post #1 in this thread: A6, B5, B6, B7, C5 (clarified), C13, C14

"**" has been added to indicate statements disagreed with. Most statements have been accepted (so far) "as is" with some supporting responses

To respond to all statements, click on <QUOTE> at the bottom right of the post and type within the quoted text. To respond to individual statements, indicate which statement or statements (e.g., "A2", "C9" etc.) your comments address.

Thanks!

Thucydides
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my reply to section A

Postby Thucydides » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:50 am

sitearm wrote:.
A: Why do people play city-planning games?

A1: City-planning games emphasize learning strategies for building pleasing locations that you can imagine yourself living in.

A2: Creating a successful city is a goal of a city-planning game.

A3: City-planning games can be played for satisfying open-ended or fixed goals.

A4: In city-planning games, win conditions can be set by the game player as well as the game developer.

A5: CityBuilding titles have more goals to accomplish than SimCity titles.

A6: More credible research is needed on who is playing games and why.



A1: The larger answer is that we play games as a form of escapism for pleasure. Why city-building in particular? Well, the joy of the god complex ;) and our natural pleasure in defining our version of Utopia.

A2: Yes, this is often the objective of city-building, but not exclusively. My son builds cities in Simcity so he can wreak disasters upon them and then respond.

A3: Yes, both. Sandboxing can be fun! (Are there limits to Utopia?)

A4: The ideal game is where the game developer can maximise the choice of the game player to define their desired objective.

A5: Not necessarily. They are largely one and the same genre, with a historical twist added to some of them.

A6: If I were a game developer I would wish to know my audience to the greatest extent feasible (for business planning purposes if nothing else). But it would be a cost-benefit exercise.
Last edited by Thucydides on Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thucydides
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Postby Thucydides » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:07 am

sitearm wrote:B: What are the key characteristics of city-planning games?

B1: Observing individual characters is an important part of city-planning game play.

B2: Being creative is a goal of SimCity titles but not of CityBuilding titles. **

B3: Strategy is more important than aesthetic in city-planning games. **

B4: City-planning games allow players to build up rather than blow up.

B5: 3D game engine and great graphics are a de facto market requirement.

B6: Children of the Nile is the first of a new society builder genre that models cities and individuals both.

B7: Oversimplifications of societies and cultures are necessary for feasible game designs.



B1: Not for me. If the goal is to build a reasonable size city of, say, 10,000 inhabitants, why would I want to closely follow the individual desires of all 10,000 city dwellers.

B2: Creativitiy should be the goal of all Simcity/Citybuilding type games.

B3: Strategy and aesthetic gameplay are two equally valid and desirable game elements

B4: Not necessarily. Both options should be provided to challenge the player as they desire.

B5: yes

B6: Nice thought

B7: Yes. It is mathematically impossible to completely game even a small proportion of a society, let alone a large segment like a city.

Thucydides
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Postby Thucydides » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:19 am

sitearm wrote:C: Is city-planning a game market with a future?

C1: City-planning is a small but stable niche market that needs to stay well-defined from other game genres. **

C2: Sims titles (The Sims, The Sims 2) comprise their own genre.

C3: Popularity of a genre is measured by more than sales. **

C4: The numbers of city-planning game players may well grow.

C5: Game forum posting frequency is different from game playing frequency.


C6: Popular, top-rated city-planning games are as tough as ever to develop.

C7: Genre success is measured by sales, and forum activity is a reflection of sales.

C8: The current market is too limited regarding variety in games design and play. **

C9: Innovations are hard to come by.

C10: Independent game development is risky despite talent and demand.


C11: The study of "non-computer, non-game" theories is fundamental to designing inspiring games.

C12: Plenty of women play violent games and Sims titles both.

C13: Forums provide value whether you read them, post in them, or both.

C14: There *is* innovation happening in the game industry.


C1: I agree that city-planning is a small but stable niche market, but not that it that needs to stay well-defined from other game genres. The next step should be city-building plus games...

C2: The Sims takes a separate approach to gaming than city-building

C3: Personally yes, but ultimately no.

C4: Only as long as the genre continues to develop and create new challenges for players.

C5: Who knows? :)

C6: Like any game. Its a dog eat dog world out there.

C7: yes, and no

C8: If you adore city-building and have wads of cash and time, then the current availablilty of one or two new city building games a year is unlikely to be enough for you.

C9: One hopes not!

C10: It is not risky because of talent, but risky because of the uncertainty of the marketplace.

C11: Desirable if not fundamental

C12: I am not a woman so would not care to chance an opinion

C13: I appreciate the Forum, others will not. C'est la vie

C14: yes, even if new ideas are increasingly hard to come by!

imhotep3147
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Postby imhotep3147 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:15 pm

:D I'll agree with C12.

As for C8, I guess that really boils down to *what* you play. If you like games across several genres then you probably wouldn't feel as though your choices were limited. But if you only like one or two types of games then I'd imagine you'd feel the crunch a bit more. I'm somewhere in the middle on this one because I do play games from many genres, but at the same time I feel that there is indeed a lack of variety....I guess I'm hard to please :D :p

Thucydides
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ah...

Postby Thucydides » Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:26 pm

imhotep3147 wrote: :D As for C8, I guess that really boils down to *what* you play. If you like games across several genres then you probably wouldn't feel as though your choices were limited. But if you only like one or two types of games then I'd imagine you'd feel the crunch a bit more. I'm somewhere in the middle on this one because I do play games from many genres, but at the same time I feel that there is indeed a lack of variety....I guess I'm hard to please :D :p


Thats a more nuianced and better answer than mine. I also play games from other genre and so don't feel the deprevation of having to hang around for the next CBer.

Lannes
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Postby Lannes » Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:42 am

sitearm wrote:Do you agree, disagree, or are you neutral about, any of the points below?


I have to say there are a lot of points where I'm not sure if "I agree" would be taken as "I believe it is true" or as "that's the way I would like it to be".
For instance, I think it's true that building a successful city is a built-in goal of city builders, but I'm not sure that is the way I'd prefer it to be. Am I to answer "I agree" or "I disagree"?

Lannes

sitearm
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Postby sitearm » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:50 pm

Hmm... I see your point. You might say, "For A2 I think it's true but I'd prefer that [your thought here]". Freeform response is fine even preferred... just be sure to label which point(s) each response applies to. Good comment! :)

Lannes wrote:I think it's true that building a successful city is a built-in goal of city builders, but I'm not sure that is the way I'd prefer it to be. Am I to answer "I agree" or "I disagree"?

Lannes
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Postby Lannes » Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:10 pm

In that case the following are my personal preferences/priorities. I fully expect many, probably most, to disagree thoroughly.

A1: City-planning games emphasize learning strategies for building pleasing locations that you can imagine yourself living in.
Disagree, I think. I don't want to impose my ideals on the game. In historical city builders any way I would expect enough realism to make me adapt to the needs of the time.

A2: Creating a successful city is a goal of a city-planning game.
Agree, though I would like to build a successful province rather than city

A3: City-planning games can be played for satisfying open-ended or fixed goals.
Neutral: I prefer a mix actually. I do want to have a goal to strive for, but not one that is too strictly defined.

A4: In city-planning games, win conditions can be set by the game player as well as the game developer.
Agree. It should definitely be possible to change win conditions or even turn them off.

A5: CityBuilding titles have more goals to accomplish than SimCity titles.
Neutral. No idea really.

A6: More credible research is needed on who is playing games and why.
Neutral.

B: What are the key characteristics of city-planning games?

B1: Observing individual characters is an important part of city-planning game play.
Agree, but only inasfar as a "governor" would indeed observe them.

B2: Being creative is a goal of SimCity titles but not of CityBuilding titles. **
Neutral.

B3: Strategy is more important than aesthetic in city-planning games. **
Agreed

B4: City-planning games allow players to build up rather than blow up.
Agreed

B5: 3D game engine and great graphics are a de facto market requirement.
Agreed

B6: Children of the Nile is the first of a new society builder genre that models cities and individuals both.
Neutral. That remains to be seen.

B7: Oversimplifications of societies and cultures are necessary for feasible game designs.
Agreed

C: Is city-planning a game market with a future?

C1: City-planning is a small but stable niche market that needs to stay well-defined from other game genres. **
Disagree. The genre has a future if it expands geographically (into the countryside), not if it sticks to the city and expands into detail (people's bedrooms). In the latter case, the genre would no longer appeal to most strategy gamers.

C2: Sims titles (The Sims, The Sims 2) comprise their own genre.
Neutral, never played them.

C3: Popularity of a genre is measured by more than sales. **
Disagree

C4: The numbers of city-planning game players may well grow.
Depends on C1

C5: Game forum posting frequency is different from game playing frequency.
Agreed

C6: Popular, top-rated city-planning games are as tough as ever to develop.
Disagree: probably harder to develop.

C7: Genre success is measured by sales, and forum activity is a reflection of sales. **
Agreed. Of course, it is highly unlikely that the opinions of forum visitors are representative of the customer base.

C8: The current market is too limited regarding variety in games design and play. **
Agreed.

C9: Innovations are hard to come by.
Disagreed. Either there is a stunning lack of imagination regarding game content, or developers are discouraged from trying something different.

C10: Independent game development is risky despite talent and demand.
Agreed

C11: The study of "non-computer, non-game" theories is fundamental to designing inspiring games.
Agreed

C12: Plenty of women play violent games and Sims titles both.
Neutral. Don't know any who do, but that doesn't mean a thing

C13: Forums provide value whether you read them, post in them, or both.
Agreed

C14: There *is* innovation happening in the game industry.
Neutral. If it's there it seems to be technical rather than content related.

Lannes

King Faticus
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I Agree

Postby King Faticus » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:39 pm

imhotep3147 wrote:I would tend to disagree with C7. Personally, if I were a game developer (creator, designer, etc....) I would rather have a game that perhaps didn't sell as well as the token "game of the year" but know that after 5-10 years people still play the game and enjoy it as much as the first time. Prime examples Pharaoh and CIII.....I would much prefer to break out my Pharaoh cd than play the majority of games out on the market today. That speaks volumes on the longevity of a game, not to mention it's design....I consider that more of a success than say...a game that sold 10 times as many copies but only gets played for a month or two then is relagated to the shelf to collect dust.

As for forum activity being a reflection of sales....well, simply put....people lie. Case closed. However, forum activity could be a way to determine success as defined above. :D

He has a point game developers make games not only for the money but because they like to produce good games and the real measure of their success in doing this is through costumer satisfaction

sitearm
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one from the archive...

Postby sitearm » Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:25 pm

Was looking at the CotN Home Page Poll Archive and found the interesting bit below. Very consistent with our discussions here.

What's the most enjoyable aspect of city-building games?

Creativity[color=darkslategray].............43.5%
Strategy..............19.0%
Problem solving.....19.0%
Control................11.2%
World domination.....7.3% [/color]

Total votes: 384

prof786
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Postby prof786 » Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:19 pm

A: Why do people play city-planning games?

A1: City-planning games emphasize learning strategies for building pleasing locations that you can imagine yourself living in.
agree. call me wierd, but sometimes i just want to get away from all this pandemonium and create something pleasing to me. that's why i'm so organized.

A2: Creating a successful city is a goal of a city-planning game.
neutral. depends on what success means to you whether in a campaign or in a sandbox.

A3: City-planning games can be played for satisfying open-ended or fixed goals.
agree. it is a good way to put all your city's resources and your skills to work.

A4: In city-planning games, win conditions can be set by the game player as well as the game developer.
agree. map editor.

A5: CityBuilding titles have more goals to accomplish than SimCity titles.
neutral. again, depends on what those goals are and how hard it is to accomplish these goals.

A6: More credible research is needed on who is playing games and why.
agree. that way we can find ways to reach out to others out of this demographic.

B: What are the key characteristics of city-planning games?

B1: Observing individual characters is an important part of city-planning game play.
agree. this factor is very important in cotn.

B2: Being creative is a goal of SimCity titles but not of CityBuilding titles. **
disagree. once you know the basics, you can try to come up with any kind of models you want. that's why we got sandbox.

B3: Strategy is more important than aesthetic in city-planning games. **
neutral. doesn't matter. either way cities look good and work well.

B4: City-planning games allow players to build up rather than blow up.
agree. seriously, you can't blow anything in your city.

B5: 3D game engine and great graphics are a de facto market requirement.
agree. unfortunately, 2d-isometric game models are becoming outdated.

B6: Children of the Nile is the first of a new society builder genre that models cities and individuals both.
agree. buildings can't work without individuals. they can't even be constructed w/o bricklayers for that matter.

B7: Oversimplifications of societies and cultures are necessary for feasible game designs.
disagree. each game should have at least one significant feature that gives them the edge over the precedent. darwin, folks.

C: Is city-planning a game market with a future?

C1: City-planning is a small but stable niche market that needs to stay well-defined from other game genres. **
agree. the bestsellers these days are action and sports games. sometimes they are also mixed w/ each other and other genres. cb's are pristine.

C2: Sims titles (The Sims, The Sims 2) comprise their own genre.
agree. i don't even know what those games are about.

C3: Popularity of a genre is measured by more than sales. **
disagree. some people are lured by advertisements and the word of the mouth.

C4: The numbers of city-planning game players may well grow.
neutral. perhaps in time.

C5: Game forum posting frequency is different from game playing frequency.
agree. if people need help with the game, they go to the forum.

C6: Popular, top-rated city-planning games are as tough as ever to develop.
agree. every title has to be better than the last.

C7: Genre success is measured by sales, and forum activity is a reflection of sales. **
agree and disagree. agree because a genre with more sales will have more demand in the future. disagree because C5.

C8: The current market is too limited regarding variety in games design and play. **
disagree. i think the current market is pretty diverse. even though one or two genres dominate the sales, the companies are always coming up w/ new ideas.

C9: Innovations are hard to come by.
agree. you could a=only do so much with the technology at your hand.

C10: Independent game development is risky despite talent and demand.
neutral. never actually seen an independent game.

C11: The study of "non-computer, non-game" theories is fundamental to designing inspiring games.
neutral. i possess no knowldege on this point.

C12: Plenty of women play violent games and Sims titles both.
neutral. it's possible that they do so. i've never asked any women about it.

C13: Forums provide value whether you read them, post in them, or both.
neutral. depends on what you are looking for. if you find it, depends on if that helps you.

C14: There *is* innovation happening in the game industry.
agree. but not the one for cb. people like quick games. it's a time saver. cb's are for patient, devoted people.

sitearm
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Postby sitearm » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:10 pm

THIS WAS POSTED SEP 2005, 16 MONTHS AGO, "PRE" CAESAR IV RELEASE
. IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN THIS OR RESPONDED TO IT BACK THEN, I AM INTERESTED IF YOUR THOUGHTS ON THESE POINTS ARE SAME OR DIFFERENT, NOW THAT CAESAR IV IS RELEASED, AND IF DIFFERENT, HOW?
. AND IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY SEEN THIS, I AM INTERESTED IN YOUR THOUGHTS NOW :)
. IN THE INTEREST OF "DISCLOSURE", MY OWN POSITION IS: "CB GAMES REWL AND THE MORE AVANT-GARDE ("NEW, ORIGINAL") THEY ARE, THE BETTER THEY ARE! ;) "

sitearm wrote:Here is a summary of points raised in a discussion at another thread. It is hoped this information will be helpful feedback to the final design of Caesar IV. Some of these points appear to contradict each other. Additional points are still being discussed.

As part of the feedback process, you are invited to respond: Do you agree, disagree, or are you neutral about, any of the points below?

. If you respond, please mention which point you are commenting on, for example "I agree with B2 but disagree with C3" etc.
. Freeform response is fine, even preferred, just be sure to label which point each response applies to.
. To respond to all statements, click on the "Quote" button at the bottom of the post and type within the quoted text.
. CityBuilding and SimCity titles are considered to belong to an overall city-planning game genre.
. "**" indicates some disagreement with the point as stated

A: Why do people play city-planning games?

A1: City-planning games emphasize learning strategies for building pleasing locations that you can imagine yourself living in.

A2: Creating a successful city is a goal of a city-planning game.

A3: City-planning games can be played for satisfying open-ended or fixed goals.

A4: In city-planning games, win conditions can be set by the game player as well as the game developer.

A5: CityBuilding titles have more goals to accomplish than SimCity titles.

A6: More credible research is needed on who is playing games and why.


B: What are the key characteristics of city-planning games?

B1: Observing individual characters is an important part of city-planning game play.

B2: Being creative is a goal of SimCity titles but not of CityBuilding titles. **

B3: Strategy is more important than aesthetic in city-planning games. **

B4: City-planning games allow players to build up rather than blow up.

B5: 3D game engine and great graphics are a de facto market requirement.

B6: Children of the Nile is the first of a new society builder genre that models cities and individuals both.

B7: Oversimplifications of societies and cultures are necessary for feasible game designs.


C: Is city-planning a game market with a future?

C1: City-planning is a small but stable niche market that needs to stay well-defined from other game genres. **

C2: Sims titles (The Sims, The Sims 2) comprise their own genre.

C3: Popularity of a genre is measured by more than sales. **

C4: The numbers of city-planning game players may well grow.

C5: Game forum posting frequency is different from game playing frequency.


C6: Popular, top-rated city-planning games are as tough as ever to develop.

C7: Genre success is measured by sales, and forum activity is a reflection of sales. **

C8: The current market is too limited regarding variety in games design and play. **

C9: Innovations are hard to come by.

C10: Independent game development is risky despite talent and demand.


C11: The study of "non-computer, non-game" theories is fundamental to designing inspiring games.

C12: Plenty of women play violent games and Sims titles both.

C13: Forums provide value whether you read them, post in them, or both.

C14: There *is* innovation happening in the game industry.


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