^^ so much of this. <3 i really want to see this in an RPG
@Matseb2611 It does really boil down to risk - especially for AAA commercial games. The majority of games that are developed are funded through a publisher, and a publisher will want to make sure their investment pays off. This means that the developer will be aiming for that tried-and-true formula where they know they can count on a certain amount of sales.
RPG market (more specifically, jRPGs) is kind of a niche market - especially when compared to some of the other genres. And a multi-million funded game can't afford to tank spectacularly. So, both publishers and devs tend to favor things with a history of success - things they have experience with, things that are familiar.
So, it's not a question of lacking creativity. It's a question of experience and risk involved.
Not only why are they all teenagers? But also why and how do they end up being so powerful so quickly?
Thankfully we will always have game developers that try to break the mold regardless of whether it's commercially viable or not and, every so often, these developers will hit gold. Look at the Witcher series and it's mature themes being tackled, look at how successful the kickstarters for Pillars of Eternity, Shadowrun and Divinity have been. You might not like these games, but you can't deny their success.
The market for games that tackle themes, subjects and gameplay style that differ from the norm is most definitely there, it's a matter of publishers catching onto it and marketing them more effectively than just "here's a remake/remaster".
The challenge lies in finding a way to either appeal to both the mature target audience and the younger ones, or, in splitting resources in order to focus on each individually. It's not an easy goal to aim for, but I think recent success stories are showing it's very possible, it just might take a bit of time first.
Shadowrun Returns series is imho one of the best role playing games experience I had in the last few years. Pillars is awesome, but overflowing with lore sometimes. Those are indeed great example of games with a mature setting and non Jrpg teen anime trope characters.
I think that's the reason, or because there is a lack of well designed adult characters for RPG Maker games.
@Matseb2611 - I think that story spammed to death for it is the kind of story people like. Yes, other stories, different types of protagonists are awesome, but they tend to flop sales wise (thus are a waste of time and money).
I think the question should be why are gamers so judgemental and scared to try new things? Developers are ultimately making the games the general gamer wants and if there is one thing that is for sure gamers hate, it is change...
...even when there are cries of innovation they are showing their hate for change as they want incredibly tiny changes only.
EX: adding supers to a fighting game that generally does not have them? amazingly innovative. Changing the control scheme, a fundamental gameplay system, etc? Dumb idea and the developer is ruining the series. ...Even if fighting games are currently struggling to survive, people do not want to make the game inputs easier for newcomers (the skill floor is currently way to high and making commands simpler to execute does nothing to the skill ceiling), they would rather have the genre die again I guess.
And if you want to list games that are very highly loved and innovative, check the sales figures of them compared to the non-innovative ones, the difference is staggering.
Here is a video that also talks about it (inb4 attacking the source with the power of logical fallacies:
The numbers are all legit (except portal 1, but that game was part of a bundle with other games so it is hard to tell really). Even the more innovative games in a series tend to fall to the underperforming side compared to the unoriginal ones.
Should also be considered that game development costs are currently skyrocketing and a game that use to take 2 years to make will take 4+ (comparing relative graphical wow, length, etc for the time period it came out now).
...and to make matters worse, gamers are not letting publishers do anything but speed up the presentation increases.
Maybe it is changing a bit at least? I mean, Overwatch is technically considered an RPG, yes? And I look at the characters and many of them look well past the "teenage" prime. I know I'm so not knowledgeable on much of this stuff, but maybe it's slowly getting there as gamers and developers alike age and mature.
That being said, the game I'm working on atm stars not-teen characters. The main character is in her early 30's and the others will mostly be mid-20's and up. I'm hoping it will reflect in their knowledge and experience and skills. We'll see though.
@mlogan - Nope, Overwatch is a first person shooter. There's not really any character progression in it, but, I can see why you got confused since most of what you've seen of it didn't really involve any guns
Yes that's changing. Mentality changes, people show more interest for mature content. People care less for Glee and more for GoT.
You see those young ages in RPGs to make them "more relatable" to the target audience. Target audience for video games and even anime is usually 12-25. In short, it's usually marketing. Or, it's just what the people making it are comfortable with.
Personally, I prefer the "older" type characters as well. I don't think I've settled on an age for my main character, but I think I'd set it something like 26 or so in early builds while his mentor would be around 38 or 40. The protagonists' wife is two years younger than him. He meets a younger couple (she's about 18, he's 22), a couple older guys (the Paladin is like 35 while the Pirate is close to 58 or 60), my female Cleric is like 18 or 20 as well (she looks young, but is pretty wise beyond her years, which makes her fun to write for), and my villain is about 30 or so.
I had originally planned to have a lot more 40+ year olds, but after creating the characters in the character generator of MV, I decided on their ages based on the people who came out.
Overwatch does feature a nice wide range of characters though, it's not perfect by any means, but I'd say it's a step in the right direction.
But Tai, I hope that is changing as the "target audience" is changing. Yes, once upon a time, it was primarily teen boys. But it's changing. A quick Google search just now shows (from multiple sources) that the average age of a gamer is now around 30-32 and that almost half of those are female. And while the statistics might be different for the RPG genre, I bet it's drastically different from "teenage boys" there.
At any rate - thanks for the correction Scy, seems google foiled me that time around.
And a last note - I do believe there is value in older main characters. There's this weird perception that once a person hits 30, they are cemented in who they are and tend to be these unchanging roles, only there to guide the younger. Well, as a person over 30, I can tell you that's just not true. I might be more aware and confident in who I am as a person, but I am constantly learning and changing and fully believe that I have many life lessons to go ahead of me, those that will continue to shape me into myself. I think if a person ever is truly "static" in who they are, it's a sad thing they've chosen to be that way.
@mlogan - those statistics are faulty.
If someone plays Candy Crush they are considered a gamer by that study. Plus it counts parents buying systems for kids.
Note: I am not saying that the amount of girl gamers are not growing or the older gamer group isn't the biggest, but the game market is still heavily focused on ages 13 to the early 20s and males for they are by far the biggest group buying games frequently. I don't think older gamers buy as many games on average, I think they buy games much less frequently thus are not as good of a market to target (they have to spend there money on other things after all).
With that said, it probably will shift...
...although I think it is heading away from strong stories and more focus on letting the player become and do what they want. With the story focused games aiming for the older audiences and the younger audience having a focus on multiplayer with barely any story (note that there are always less stuff made for the older audiences due to them being more money savvy).
For all the crap I say about the AAA industry, they know business and have the data on who buys what (And people love buying dlc, as they keep doing it even if they are talking about how much they hate it.
Side note: I wouldn't count Overwatch as a change in the right direction, they are mostly taking LoL idea of trying to make as many types of likable personalities to try and attract people to certain characters that they would enjoy. There is zero story and nearly zero backstory on them.
Whether the statistics are 100% or not, the fact is game players are growing up. I'm not going to sit here and debate the definition of a gamer. But I can tell you that older people do enjoy playing games, of all types. And just because markets target to teenage boys, doesn't mean the landscape of who is playing them isn't changing.
As far as adults not spending as much money on games - bull. Adults may have other things to spend their money on but they also HAVE money. Take a look at this forum for example - who are the ones buying resource packs and engines and games as soon as they come out, versus the ones typically complaining about not having the money for such things? Or, "my parents won't buy it for me". I'm not saying it's completely that way, but overall, yes.
And as for my Overwatch reference, I dunno. I admit, I am so far behind on the major games out there and the trends. I'd just remembered seeing from talking to friends and others who have played it and the media I'd seen from it, that it seemed they had at least some diversity of characters. But you said it yourself - they are trying to "target" a wider range of players. Would that be because those who play games is becoming more diverse? Hmmm...
@AwesomeCool - Regarding character diversity etc: From the perspective of a triple A publisher and/or developer, what is a step in the right direction to you, and how would you go about accomplishing it?
agreed with Mary here. I can't recall where the topic is but I kind of remember a thread here that ended up highlighting that A LOT of us here are 25-35+ owning makers and buying DLCs or commission.
Gaming is an expensive hobby, and those with a steady income have more to spend. Remember WE were the original 13-20 gaming demographic of the 90s-00s.
@mlogan - And more young gamers are coming in. As people get older they quit and leave (the older the audience gets, the more that audience shrinks).
And yes adults spend less on entertainment the older they get. They get responsibilities and take much longer to finish a game. A kid has so much more free time to spend on games and thus end up going through more games.
I use to finish a 60 hour game in a week, now it takes a month to do the same. ...and I work much less than the average man here in America currently.
" Would that be because those who play games is becoming more diverse? Hmmm... " - Because it is multiplayer they can do this and why it doesn't count (they can target multiple different groups of people easily). Unless you find a way to fit 25+ different potential personalities into a protagonist's role and still have a good story easily then it doesn't really apply to story heavy games (which have to target one audience, which would make the safest the biggest group).
Also, wouldn't your argument also mean the Movie industry should not be targeting the 13 to early 20 age groups still?
P.S. I already think it will shift, but it will shift toward what the new generation of younger gamers want these days. Just like with what happened in Anime.
Okay. No desire to argue this. I, at least, will agree to disagree. And with that, I'm going back to working on my old people game.
@Scythuz - That is a hard question.
I would prefer developers to create smaller experiences aimed at specific groups of people. Thus causing a huge spike in game diversity from a genre, gameplay, story and character personality role.
It will not work with the currently industry currently, however. Many gamers already shun a game for not having a single-player, a multiplayer, an easy mode, hard mode, more customization, not there type of genre, etc. Plus the hype culture would need to go away.
It would need for gamers to stop demanding everything being tailor fit to them and instead pick out the games they want.
Thing is, gaming industry is the biggest entertainment cake. I think you are right AC. The shift almost happened, with the Wii and candy crush. More people awakened to gaming, but sadly the industry did nothing to work on this and extend the gaming culture. They just pandered to the simplest and the make money fast culture, and kept feeding this nascent gamer culture match 3 copycats and Wii wristshake shovelware.
@mlogan - Why are you being so aggressive against me?
" Would that be because those who play games is becoming more diverse? Hmmm... "
I didn't even disagree with that second sentence and I already mentioned that I think it will shift, but in a direction toward more of what the younger generation wants (from what I saw happened in the anime industry and how I feel that there isn't anything targeting my age group). And yes, I think (and said) that there are more and more girl gamers now then in the past, and there are more older players than ever before. I just feel that the vast majority of games are going to ignore the older generation.
And this quote: "I, at least, will agree to disagree "
I don't even disagree with you really. I for one, WANT more games aiming at older audiences. But to speak so negatively of me so quickly feels like a spit in the face.
" And with that, I'm going back to working on my old people game. "
I apologise if you think I was insulting you or the type of games you like, but that was never my intent and was just trying to explain why I think the majority of games are made with a younger focus in mind.
@AwesomeCool - I don't think the demands will ever stop, the internet has made a lot of people's entitlement bubble to the surface after all. My main problem is with the reliance on stats, as though human emotions can be put into a hard, logical form.
I do think making smaller experiences aimed at specific people would help, it would be a better way to test the waters. I think episodic gaming is sort of doing this already, the main challenge there is finding a way to do it without making people feel ripped off and keeping the game as one consistent core.
@Scythuz - I agree, I think the reliance on stats is due to the management getting too old and thus not understanding the industry of today as it is today (thus they have to rely on statistics)
The new big hits are being made by a much younger group of people and they are the group innovating.
I think the industry is in a strong need of fresh blood with new ideas that is not hindered by the prestige of those that made the greats back in the day.
@AwesomeCool I was not in any way being aggressive. I tend to make my points bluntly, and if the wording of that came off as aggressive, I apologize.
I was merely commenting on the fact that you say "the game market is still heavily focused on ages 13 to the early 20s and males for they are by far the biggest group buying games frequently" but then also "they are mostly taking LoL idea of trying to make as many types of likable personalities to try and attract people to certain characters that they would enjoy." My point was simply that those statements to me seem contradictory. Either they are targeting a specific demographic or they are trying to diversify and attract more people. That's all.
But really, I'm tired, I've got a lot to do, and I don't feel like spending my afternoon arguing, so I'm walking away. And I'm not sure how walking away from an argument is aggressive...
I never really notice the age of the characters unless they're obviously younger than teenagers or older than the usual age they need to develop visible wrinkles.
@mlogan A "quick google search" showing those statistics is probably inaccurate to some degree. As a 30 year old, I buy fewer games than the average 18-25 demographic. When I was 18-25, I bought more games than I currently do. I am not the target audience at 30 precisely because my standards have improved over the years and I'm much less willing to spend money on drek. I'm more careful about how I spend my money, which games I pick up, which ones I play. I don't have time to play them all, and I've passed up games I thought I'd enjoy because I either A. Didn't have the money to buy it or B. Already thought I had too many games and didn't need another.
I'm not the target demographic because I'm going to spend less money overall than someone much younger than me. The cost of creating a game that caters to the 26-40 crowd is higher and it's also riskier. It's riskier because it's a much smaller market. It isn't a smaller market because there are so few of us. It's a smaller market because so few of us would actually spend money on a game, so it would have be pretty much the digital equivalent of Perfection to even maximize sales amongst our crowd. Meanwhile, you can pop out a Call of Duty every single year (or twice in a year sometimes!) and make millions by advertising and catering to the 12-25 demographic. I don't play Call of Duty. I haven't since I was 25. I find it boring. I find it unskilled. I find it a mess of constant action and kills and I don't have the ADD mind of a young person. Which is, again, why they don't create these games and market them to someone as old as me. Because I'm not interested in something that crappy. Because I'd rather spend my money on better games.
You know who plays LoL? 12-25 demographic. Older people don't play it as much because it's a massive time sink. You're talking 30 minutes a match, right? Maybe more? I'm sorry, I don't have that kind of disposable time. I have a job, I have responsibilities at home, I have bills to pay, etcetera. My routine, when I get home from work, typically consists of getting comfortable, loading up Netflix or Hulu, then starting supper. By the time I finish making supper, it's usually 6:00 p.m. By the time I finish eating supper, it's usually 7:00 p.m.. Sometimes, it's much later. Then, if I have laundry to do or bills to pay, I do that. If I have free time after 7:00 and I'm not exhausted, I might play a few rounds of Battlefield, spend an hour in Fallout 4, or load up an anime to watch a few episodes of. Or, I might load up RPG Maker and tinker in it on my quest to make a freakin' demo.
When do I have time to play video games at 30? A weekend. If I have no plans or prior obligations, I can spend my whole weekend playing video games. That roughly translates to about 16 hours all weekend for me to game. Yep, I spend a good chunk of my weekends cooking meals and catching up on sleep I missed out on during the week. Or, sometimes I get fairly lucky during a weekend and get to talk to my female friend for most of it and hang out with her. I'd much rather do that than play video games. I'm sorry, but she's more interesting to me than most video games are. So, I usually lose at least 5 hours there.
All of this is why games are marketed at the 12-25 demographic. Doesn't even have to be male demographic, just those age ranges. Because those people have the most time on their hands, the most disposable income, and are most likely to spend money on video games regardless of quality of experience.
That's usually why anime and video games have those age ranges for their characters. It's 1. Marketing and 2. Relatable characters for the audience. It isn't a bad thing, it just is what it is.
It's more cost effective to make mediocre games that cater to the 12-25 age range with similar character ages than it is to make excellent games that cater to the 26-40 age range with similar character ages.
Besides, you don't think the old wanting to remember when they were young also plays a factor? The older I get, the more I miss when I used to be twelve and had all the possibilities before me and pretty much everything my friends and I did was an adventure.
@Tai_MT: 100% agreed with everything you said. I notice the same "trend" in my life too. I'm 28 now and I don't play games for as many hours a week as I did when I was in my teens and early 20s. By this age, there are too many commitments - job/career (and hey, game-making is a full-time job for me now), friendships/relationships, and of course family and kids, which I bet takes up a lot of time.
Likewise, I too find myself being a lot more picky with what games I stick with, simply because the time in my life is limited and I'd rather not spend it on games I am not enjoying. Also, since we've been gaming for so many years, our tastes have refined. As you said, we're not content with any mediocre garbage. We prefer games that resonate with us.
@Matseb2611 and @Tai_MT are examples of exactly what I mean and are why the older audiences are never the primary target (you will of course find a game targeted at them every once in awhile).
Especially the higher standards thing. What I would once find enjoyable, now I see as not all that great due to how picky I have to be with how little time I have.
What I see around here is exactly the opposite. Here teenagers don't care about videogames anymore, they only care about android. Pretty much everyone I know who buys videogames are 20~35 years old.
Are we trying to beat some kind of record? No one told me. So many replies. D:
It's what happens when you comment on a Dalph status.
I was trying to beat some kind of record, but it's a secret~
This is nowhere near you highest yet though right? I'm positive you got like 60 odd one time.
I think I got 100 or so in an old one but I saw recently Amy spamming the status of that frog guy with almost 200 replies!
This may not have the longest list of replies, but it certainly has the longest of something else(s) here.
We got loads of replies on @AwesomeCool's status about Myers Briggs test.
@Amysaurus Had loads of fun with that one!
Just when I thought this status was dying down...
One can only hope....
What doesn't kill this status makes it stronger
I got how many replies to my personality one? lol
I actually prefer highly active status posts with actual talk in them.
Tends to be more meaty than just the circle jerk or joke ones that both end up with about 2-4 replies.
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