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Short games vs. short gameplay

Discussion in 'Nintendo Wii Gaming' started by dan1123, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. dan1123

    dan1123 WiiChat Member

    Jun 28, 2007
    Likes Received:
    San Jose, California
    I see lots of discussion, including the most recent article here, and thought many are missing the point.

    There is a lot of discussion about "mini-games" and so-called "non-games" that are prevalent on the Wii, and this is seen as both a problem, and someone's fault. Whether developers, Nintendo, or the audience is to blame for this is something that is hugely debated. However, I don't think this should be seen as a problem.

    So-called "mini-games" are many times what used to be considered just games, and while you would play for a few minutes per game, you could get hundreds of hours of entertainment out of the game. The arcades made this a business model. You would put in your quarter and play for a few minutes and see the "game over" screen (with a request for more quarters). The reason for this is not exclusively monetary, but because the learning process for a game needs to not overburden the player, or put too high of a barrier to enjoyment. Games should be a challenge, but they must first be fun.

    I would argue that most wildly successful games are the ones that only require 10 to 15 minutes of time to play a unit. Whether this is a level, or all you will really see is not an issue as much as that there exists a good learning curve and a low barrier to play. Even the most incredibly detailed FPS is lauded for quick online deathmatches. Mini games should not be scoffed at if there is good replay value. A game doesn't need to have 200 hours of playable levels or maps to be worthwhile. It just needs to be a good concept with good controls.

    Now there are some games out there that have a singular problem. It isn't that they are beaten too fast, or they are simple, or have lackluster graphics. It is that they have a very short gameplay. The game just doesn't grab the player and entice him to continue. It could be too difficult, too easy, too sharp of a learning curve, or an overly long intro. In fact, there could be hours of content that are almost never played because of the imbalance of the game. It could also simply be a bad concept for a game. But the problem isn't whether it can be classified as a mini-game or not, but the ever elusive balance that makes a game have "fun factor".
  2. vagrant

    vagrant ₪ ۩ ₪

    Nov 5, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Wii Friend Code: 8573-5327-9660-0097
    If you are going to copy and paste from an article at least cite it.

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