Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Kind of Games I Want To See On The Ouya

In response to the post on Ouya.tv about what games they want to see on their console, I thought I'd write up a quick list of my own thoughts on the matter. Why make my own list? Because I'm a consumer. Because I'm a gamer who is interested in the Ouya but doesn't have one pre-ordered. (I probably would have but I didn't have the money during the kickstarter) I'm someone who very well might get a Ouya, but also might wait to see what comes out on it.

On top of all that I'm a Game Design graduate and I may be able to explore some different elements of what will spark my interest as well as other gamers late to the party. Anyways, in no particular order, here goes my list:

1. Indie games, games outside of the "main stream" or however you want to put it. I see the Ouya as an alternate platform to find new and interesting games that I wouldn't find on the Xbox 360 or PS3. I won't be buying this system for triple A titles of big name franchises but for the smaller gems off the beaten path. There are thousands of smaller games out there that capture my time and attention. Some I find on the internet, some in the Xbox arcade/Playsation store, others are mods or kickstarter projects to download. The Ouya has the potential to bring all them together and show them off side by side without fear of being lost in the shadow of games with bigger marketing budgets.

2. Zany games. Games that take a new concept and run with it. Give me crazy adventures and settings I won't get in any other game. Maybe I'm tried of brown and gray FPS games, so throw a colorful, candy land-like shooter at me where the characters are so cute it's borderline creepy! Can we agree zombie survival games are getting a little redundant? How about "Zombie Baron" a game where you manage a zombie horde, carefully growing your horde while coordinating attacks on human survivors? Already a game? Well hopefully you get the idea. If not, check out Octodad. That's pretty zany.

3. Artsy game experiences. Ok, follow me on this one. Games that bring new experiences and deeper meaning to gameplay. No, not higher graphics, more colorful enemies or some Van Gogh themed puzzle platformer. For an example that most will know, Journey is a beautiful game, with simple yet fun exploration elements and a story that is told without words across your journey through the land. Another game that gives the player a different experience, outside the norm of normal games, and could be considered "artsy" would be One Chance. In One Chance you only have 6 days and one attempt to succeed in the game, otherwise you fail. Forever. There is no redo, go back or start over. The experience is strange and different and explores a concept that flies in the face of most other games. I would pay good money for games that make me think and that show me a different ways to play.

4. Fun multiplayer games. I know this sounds simple but I'm talking about games that I can play with my friends in the room with me, not random 13 year olds online. A lot of big title games are focusing on multiplayer but seem to be neglecting the friends you have on the couch next to you. Co-op mode, split screen, bots and lan support are features that have begun to disappear in more triple A games. Nothing is worse than having a friend over and looking at your collection of games, only to find that most of them allow just a single player online or off! Give me a chance to show my friends how much fun your game is! Let me play with the person next to me!

Here, let me push this further and challenge developers to give me a game I can play with multiple people with only one controller! Whether this might be accomplished through some gimmick, such as two people sharing half of a controller, or some sort of pass the controller trivia game, I'd like to see what can be made! At the very least design game with the knowledge that I will play them with other people in the room who will want to be apart of the game too!

5. Just to echo something from the original article, I'd like to see episodic games as well. Just so you know, I don't need a full game now to get my interest sparked. If you want to test the waters, give me a short demo and tease with what you would do if you got enough backers. With the rise in Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, (and all those other crowdfunders), why don't you show me what you can do and we'll see if I don't start throwing money at your next game! If gamers keep liking what they see they'll keep coming back for more. On top of that episodic gaming would allow developers to react accordingly top what players like and dislike quicker.

6. And lastly, (I could try to go on but why wear out my welcome?), I would want to see more short play games. Personally, I'm a busy adult, (most of the time), and games that require me to sit down and pump at least 15+ hours into them are becoming less and less appealing. What games have I been playing the most this past year? The quick, pick up and play games that give me amusement while my supper cooks or that I can put down in an hour and do something else. Replayability is great and so is the ability to play in short bursts without messing up the pacing of a game. Keep them short, or at least in short increments so I can get a few plays in before I head out!

All in all I am excited to see what games come out on the Ouya and once I have the means (I mean it's only $109 for the console+1 controller!) I plan on buying one and building my own library of games!