The “what they want” myth

It’s time we started talking a little bit about the genesis of our project through listing some of it’s ingredients.    I’m going to start with a bit of a rant…

Among many videogame industry business types, there could be said to be a common wisdom surrounding why lots of people buy certain types of games, what drives these sales and so on.  Therefore, it’s understood, that we (the collective industry) need to keep focusing on making those kinds of games, because people will keep buying them, and that’s good business.   For the big publishers, this approach has become extremely apparent…the big budget “Call of Duty” productions, for example.   The interesting thing is, it’s only good business if you happen to have 50+ million dollars to throw at a production, and you focus almost entirely on streamlining the gameplay to make it “playable” by anyone, and work to “up the ante” with the level of epic sets, destruction and fast paced breakneck action.

There’s no doubt; modern videogames represent a continuous flood of ground breaking interactive experiences that can thrill and immerse people unlike any other form of entertainment.  Even actual physical roller coasters are being challenged from a pure “lizard brain thrills” perspective with the latest shooters.    As graphics technology has improved exponentially, so have project budgets.  As budgets rise, so does risk.   In the 90’s, video game project budgets were low enough that studios could fund a large number of video games, betting that one would be a hit, and the revenues from which could end up paying for all of the projects, even if the others were flops.

In those days and earlier, browsing videogames in a software store meant browsing DIFFERENT GAMES.  In the “old days”, there was an incredible variety of games. Both from a graphical and gameplay stand-point…they were all written from scratch by passionate and talented teams with strong collective visions of unique original games.

These days, games are becoming more and more indistinguishable from each other, both from a graphics and gameplay point of view.    The reasons for this are varied and are discussed at length elsewhere.

The main point here is that our project has little to do with all the data that has been collected and used by many of the large companies to determine what “they” (the perceived masses) want and will buy.

Now, this doesn’t mean that we aren’t aiming for an experience that is “easy to play but hard to master”.    But it does mean that we’re building something that WE (iDGi) want to experience…

Obviously the exact nature of this production is shrouded in mystery, and this is because we’re still fully working out exactly how to achieve our ultimate goals with iDGi-1…

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