They come and go all the time, sometimes lasting for a few weeks whilst others last for a few years. This generation has been no different, and gaming trends have come and passed and are still going on right now. You can’t deny that you have participated in one of these 5 gaming tends one way or another.
Who knew developers begging their fans for money would turn out to be a good thing. But of course this doesn’t come without the developers giving back. Depending on how much a person donated to the company in question (whether it’s gaming related or not) would depend on what their prize would be in the long run. Whilst “Kickstarters” began prior to this recent event, the real trend didn’t come around until the developer, Double Fine (developers of Brutal Legend and Psychonauts), began their very own kick starter to raise money for their newest project. What they did not know is just how big their fan base was… whilst Double Fine only asked for $400,000 in total, they ended up earning $3,336,371 from 81,000 people. Some prizes for pledging were as follows:
- $15 or more – The finished game in all of its awesome glory DRM free on PC, Mac, and Linux, or via Steam for PC and Mac, exclusive access to the Beta on Steam, access to the video series, and access the private discussion community.
- $250 or more – “Double Fine Adventure” Poster autographed by Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and the rest of the design team, and all previous reward tiers.
- $10,000 or more (there was 4 available prizes and 4 people pledged this amount) – Lunch with Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert, a tour of the Double Fine offices, and all previous reward tiers. THERE ARE MORE REWARDS but we can’t post them here because they’re too big!
The game, called Double Fine Adventure, will be a point and click game due for release in 2013. Because of DoubleFine’s success, many indie game developers have applied for the same route such as InXile Entertainment and the “Wasteland” sequel, where they earned over $3,000,000 from the Kickstarter and Paypal donations.
You cannot deny the immense success of this game. The games development began in 2009 when a Swedish man named Markus Persson came up with a game where people can explore randomly generated world and build. At first the concept was simple, and few people caught onto it. When the game was released to the public in it’s alpha stage, thousands caught on and even bought the game, a good 1-2 years before it was even released officially.
The money earned from Minecraft made “Notch” (Markus Persson) millions and eventually began his own company called “Mojang”. What people could do (and still can do) in Minecraft was phenomenal. People built “adventure maps” where people could create their own stories and come up with creative puzzles to keep the gamer occupied playing it. Mods were also created which added a whole lot more to the game, such as more animals, new worlds and even replicas from other media like the Portal gun.
As the game neared completion, the hype started to die down when the creators began including things nobody wanted (I mean you “hunger”). Minecraft now has a stable fan base that will remain for years to come.
Whilst Kickstarters involved gamers donating to the developers themselves, Indie Bundles are a combination of giving to the developers as well as giving to charity. Indie bundles allowed gamers to buy both popular and unknown indie games in one complete package for as little as $1 (sometimes even less). Of course developers do expect you to donate more than $1 since all the money is shared between the developers and charities, but it’s really up to the gamer. Some people donated $5, whilst some donated thousands of dollars… all for some small indie games!
Previous bundles have included:
- Humble Indie Bundle I – This included World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Penumbra: Overture and Lugaru HD. This bundle earned $1,270,000 which was split between developers of those games and the charities in question.
- Indiegala 1 – This included Saira, Zombie Shooter 1, Zombie Shooter 2, Your Doodles are Bugged, inMomentum, Hacker Evolution: Untold, Hacker Evolution: Duality and Vizati. It even included a whole bunch of music albums. The total money raised was $84,513.
There’s no denying that there are some gamers who don’t work for any developer are incredibly talented due to their work; some people end up being hired for their work too. Certain games are released with a level creator where people are given a whole bunch of objects and physics that they can place in a scene in a certain game and then release them to the public. Such games include LittleBigPlanet, Trials HD, Halo, Modnation Racers, Minecraft and most recently Portal 2.
The rise of community levels have been immense, and some people have made levels that others never knew was even possible, such as LittleBigPlanet First-Person shooter levels. Some gamers use the tools release within a game, whilst others like to create their names in open-source programs like Source SDK.
You may or may not of heard of DayZ. That’s because this trend only came around earlier this year, even though this has been around for a lot longer when it was used by troops as a training simulation. DayZ is a mod that requires ARMA II: Combined Operations to run. In DayZ, you play as someone in a zombie apocalypse in a massive open world. What different in this compared to most zombie games is how it vouches for realism; gun shots will attract other zombies, food, water and ammo are really scarce, other players will feel threatened by other players since anyone can kill anyone, when attacked or shot, you’ll slowly lose blood, you’ll have to keep control of your hunger and thirst levels, and most importantly, you have just one life. If you die, you lose everything and would have to start from the beginning. That’s why encountering other players can seem threatening, because you may meet a survivor, befriend them for a few minutes and then when you turn your back, they’ve shot you and taken all your supplies.
This mod has caused a surge of sales for ARMA II, and the developers of ARMA even hired the creator of the mod, Dean Hall (an ex-army serviceman) to work for them in January 2012 and is now helping with the development of ARMA 3. The rise in popularity went from mere hundreds to thousands all in the proportion of a few months.
These are the trends of today; but what are the trends of tomorrow?