Author Topic: Let's talk about mobile games  (Read 894 times)

Marco

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2016, 08:04:54 AM »
I tried Brave Exvius briefly and it seemed a lot like Final Fantasy Record Keeper, but with better graphics and more story elements.  The multiplayer element seemed to be much like the one in FFRK; you don't actively play with other people, but one of your six combat units comes from your friends list (or a list of random players if you don't have friends).

Gwyddyon

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2016, 05:50:27 AM »
Yeah, instead of 'pick this guy and use his limit break twice' it's 'pick this guy and he's a party member with all abilities including summon'.

Really the key differentiators are the story (which is pretty rote and does it few favors) and the exploration/town areas where you actually walk around like in a 'real' RPG.

A few more hours into it and I've found that the stamina cost of missions increases at a steeper rate than the stamina bar does, thus compressing play periods (which I expect is part of the monetization strategy). If you do the daily quests you get some more stamina to play with but those are only 1/day boosts. So if you want to play for long stretches it inevitably includes farming out exploration areas for long periods while your stamina regens.
Gwyddyon | Gwyllow | Gwyah | Gwystal | Eckhardt | Gwymbulvetr | Tethys | Gwynyang | Gwyabolic | Gwynchester

Edalia

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2016, 06:19:11 AM »
So you can use Friend points or Summon tickets to get characters-the Friend Points banner made it sound like they were only temporary companions. I fed them all to my A team, though.
o/\o

Aviel

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2016, 04:37:05 PM »
TEENY TITANS!!!
Pay once. Pay. Kinda like Pokemon, but with figures Robin collects called... Teeny Titans! There is voice acting. It is great silly fun. Not long yet. Hoping for more updates. Definitely more funny if you watch "Teen Titans GO!"

Snique

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2016, 10:38:33 AM »
http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1762-5-reasons-i-lost-249000-iphone-game.html

This is brilliant and says everything I was going to rant about Game of War but in gonzo cracked.com fashion, which is way funnier.

Snique

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2016, 10:22:24 AM »
Two things as I continue sinking silly amounts of hours into mobile games. It's definitely competing with my WoW time.

War Dragons is an interesting tower defense/PvP game, with very pretty dragon models. You have a base and build it up using food (for training dragons) and lumber (for building towers). You uncover islands, each of which has a fixed layout of points for your towers. You breed and train dragons, which are hunter (specialist), sorceror (AOE glass cannons), or warrior (tanks, survivalist). There's a breeding minigame where you have to get certain dragons trained up to certain levels in order to cross-breed them. (Apparently all dragons are omnisexual since any pair can produce an egg.)

You get dragon XP by having them attack enemy bases, essentially pitting your dragons' skills and abilities against the specific layout chosen by the other players. People can assist on attacks and on defense. You can lose resources in a raid but your base is never actually destroyed (despite the cool visuals) so you can just keep building and training. There are special events that introduce other tracking things and give various rewards. The game is best played when you are part of a team (to get help on attack and defense, plus various specific rewards) and teams progress up in leagues that attempt to keep skill/experience roughly balanced. I somehow got invited to a very good team that worked its way up from silver through gold to now platinum and the skill bracket jump is obvious. You have to have a certain win rate in your current league to be allowed to move up and like all systems it can be manipulated but mostly people seem to go along.

It's a good way to spend 10-15 minutes at a time once or twice a day if you're casual like me. Some people are more intense, which leads to observation #2...

I've begun to realize that the mobile gaming marketplace is not like the PC gaming marketplace. On PC I expect to pay $X for a game and play it for Y hours. There might be expansions or add-ons or DLC but generally those are thought of as separate purchases of "gaming". If I spend $60 on a new AAA title, I generally don't tend to spend a lot more on games for that month or some months. In essence, it's "gaming money". Mobile games much more live and die by the in-app purchases. Games offer various "packs" and gamers are constantly bombarded by enticements to buy things for the game. It is entirely pay-to-win; that premise isn't even questioned. The model here is "hey, you have some money, spend it on this." It's not per se "gaming" money so much as it is, "Well, I could spend $3-5/day on a Starbucks latte or I could spend $15-25/week getting ahead in this game." And a remarkable number of people choose the latter.

As you'd expect in a pay-to-win environment as I've moved up in my various mobile games I'm seeing more and more spending and the community just expects everyone is ongoing spending money.

Edalia

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2016, 07:30:05 AM »
Richard Garfield, the inventor of the "pay-to-win" game*, weighs in on predatory F2P practices: https://www.facebook.com/notes/richard-garfield/a-game-players-manifesto/1049168888532667

*with love, I know he wasn't the decision maker in MTG's business model.
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Snique

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2016, 09:55:50 AM »
Trufact: I went to undergrad college with Garfield.

Marco

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2016, 11:29:46 AM »
I saw some ads for Valkyrie Connect and it looked pretty, but I wasn't sure how abusive the business model was.  Panser did a sponsored video on it today; after watching it, it looks like the model is similar to Final Fantasy Record Keeper and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, both of which are pretty generous.  I think I'm mostly done with that style of game (I didn't get very far into Brave Exvius), which makes me a little bit sad as this seems like a good entry into that space.  Unlike the FF games, Valkyrie Connect has a real PvP mode and a real multi-player co-op mode, but both appear to be side activities and aren't central to the game.

Edalia

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2016, 03:10:12 PM »
Since the announcement that FFRK's company, DeNA, is ceasing its NA operations, and a general malaise at supremely geared teams can still run into hours of retrying the harder fights, I've gotten into Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. Yes, it is EA. In light of that, it is a lot easier to succeed at being F2P than FFRK or FFBE.

I've been playing for probably 2 months, and I still enjoy regular progress. The core fights are squad-based battles, like FFBE and FFRK, but the timing is like FFBE, where the next character to act immediately does, rather than FFRK, which can sometimes suffer from issues where careful timing is necessary but there's no way to see timers (on buffs, etc.).

Core mechanics - You put together a squad of heroes and villains from all of the (new canon) SW properties, such as Luke Skywalker from ANH, Wedge Antilles, Darth Sidious, and Dengar. Some battles are designated as Light Side, where you can only have Light Side heroes (including Jawas, who I guess are at worst neutral), and some are Dark Side (where most Droids are, as the combat Droids are generally baddies). Each hero has a Basic attack, like shooting a blaster or swinging a lightsaber, and 1-2 special attacks which have CDs in turns. The specials are anything from a taunt to an AoE, or a particularly hard hit with a chance at a debuff.

In addition to LS and DS squads, there are several neutral squads. There is a PvP Arena, where you pit a squad against another player's squad, though this is not real time. Your opponent's squad is controlled by the AI, so it won't use Specials at optimal times and may blow heals for little benefit, so even a tremendous disparity in power can be neutralized by good tactics. There is also a Cantina, which is like LS and DS battles but with a neutral squad, and the Galactic War, which is like the Arena, but your health and CDs persist from battle to battle, and you can swap out squad members for fresher ones.

You can also use a Sim Cards currency to grind previous levels for you, so obtaining gear and shards by grinding is a bit more palatable. You can just queue up 10 attempts at a fight that has a chance to get Shards for a character you want, then collect rewards. I do this like 40 times a day, and it takes less than a minute total.

Acquiring characters/gear - Unlike the FFRK and FFBE methods of acquiring whole characters (BE) and gear (RK) through a gachapon, characters and gear are acquired incrementally in SWGoH. There are some characters that can be acquired through gacha, but usually they are acquired by collecting "Shards" over time. For example, Rey can be unlocked at 4* rarity by collecting 80 Rey Shards, or you can get lucky with Chromium packs (a bad use of in-game crystals). You can collect Rey Shards in Hard Mode battles or with Guild Currency. You can also increase Rey's rarity to 7* with those same shards, though each level requires more shards (5* is 65, 6* is 85, 7* is 100, all iun addition to the initial 80). Sure, this will take a long time, but if you concentrate on it, you can do it. I've been ranking up Qui-Gon Jinn for as long as I could, and I'm about to finally finish him off at 7*. It's better to have a core squad of high-rarity team members than a broad roster of 3* and 4* scrubs, so concentrating is key. It's not easy to concentrate, especially when something shiny like Boba Fett appears, but it's the best method.

Gear is crafted from drops, but there is no choice in what each character can use (thank god, as there are several tiers of 6 pieces each). You can choose a piece of gear you'd like, then find where its components drop all from the character screen.

Characters' stats can be tweaked with components called Mods, which unlock at character level 50. Once you go through the tutorial, ti's straightforward, but that's where some of the optimization comes in. For example, you can equip some mods that affect character health or crit chance, then later swap them around. Trust me, this is simpler than it looks.

F2Pness - This is the most important aspect to any of these games, in my mind, and SWGoH is one of the best. Since you have measured progress towards goals, like character shards, it's less blind than pure gacha, and you can plan your team out better. Premium currency (Crystals) comes pretty readily from all sorts of rewards, giving an F2P player enough to refresh energy and Sim Cards a few times. Spending Crystals on gacha packs is actually less efficient than just refreshing energy. There are a lot of activities to do outside of energy, so there's plenty of game to play each day if you'd like.

There's other stuff like Guilds, Raids, Ships-but I'll leave that for a follow up if anyone is interested.
o/\o

Snique

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2016, 12:49:57 PM »
Continuing my amateur sociology of mobile gaming, I find two things there that are largely absent from WoW: an event calendar, and a gift economy.

WoW's events are a handful of holidays that go for several days and are usually thinly veiled synchronizations with real-world holidays and events. They are, generally, dull as dishwater and don't add anything to gameplay. By contrast, mobile games seem to have nearly constant events that are often unique: e.g. an Avengers game event synchronized with the release of the Dr Strange movie that introduces characters from that part of the mythos into the game as playable characters. If you get these things during the special event then you have them; if not, not.

In other games, the events create new contests around existing game mechanics, such as a tug-of-war or capture-the-flags event, or a race to see who can breed the most or build the biggest. The regularity of these events encourages players to save up the relevant currencies and to log in often during the events to do time-limited things. Lots of the events have cosmetic rewards (character portraits, new armor models) but some also have meaningful rewards like really powerful dragons. You can certainly buy some amount of progress in these events, but it's possible to dump a lot of cash and just suck at it anyway. Having a really cool reward to show for a lot of hard work beats the sh*t out of yet another rep grind for a meaningless foo.

(Yes, I realize some of this is my own peculiarity; there's a reason only one of my toons rides the moose mount - she's the one that actually defeated that boss on that difficulty, even though others could ride it because the mount is account-wide.)

Then there's the gift economy. I've talked earlier in this thread about how these games encourage a constant spend, like "get a pack this week - it's less than a Starbucks latte every day". It's interesting that in many of these games when someone spends that way they get a lot of rewards, and everyone else on their team/guild/alliance gets a little reward, too. These rewards are shamelessly packaged as "A teammate got you a gift" with a button right there that says something like "reciprocate" so you can get them a gift as well.

On the one hand, this is obviously manipulating peoples' innate generosity; on the other hand, I see how it makes everyone feel good. You may see that someone is getting ahead - these are pay-to-win games for the most part - but you also see that they're being generous to everyone and it encourages people to cooperate. People team up to get and protect these rewards chests and sometimes people will outright give away some of their rewards. Game of War has a built-in "Gift" mechanic where you can (pay money to) unlock the ability to send teammates items that can't normally be gifted, and another "blessing" mechanic where you can (pay money to) give a teammate a huge speed-up in one particular activity, such as researching a new tech, building structures, training troops, etc.

Warcraft lets me do some of this - I recently got to make a set of unique Engineering toys and send them to Cupcakes who happened to be online there and wanted one, but it's not a built-in part of the game mechanics. If I buy a pet or a level boost that's a "selfish" purchase that I can't share even if I want to. Certainly there's no default game structure for it.

Seniummortus

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2016, 03:09:39 PM »
Time for some shameless self promotion ;P

I made a terrible bad silly stupid mobile game! You should play it and share it and... stuff. It's one of those "get the best score with your one life, probably while you're on the toilet" games.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.DecayingZombie.Zoom

It's nothing ground breaking, exciting, uber polished or the like but I thought I'd share. You'll also note my complete lack of artistic skills!

Feedback is welcome for future tweaks/my next stupid silly mobile game. Honesty is encouraged.

Snique

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2016, 06:11:18 AM »
I made a terrible bad silly stupid mobile game! You should play it and share it and... stuff. It's one of those "get the best score with your one life, probably while you're on the toilet" games.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.DecayingZombie.Zoom

Seekers should search for "Decayingzombie" one word if you want to find this - searching for "decaying zombie" as two words gave me lots of results that were not this app.

Snique

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2017, 06:21:50 AM »
Having grown bored with some of my mobile games I recently picked up Fallout Shelter from Bethesda. It's a base management game set in the Fallout world. You are the invisible overlord of a "Vault" an underground facility you can build up and that will be populated with survivors and babies they can make. You have resources like power and water; the currency is bottlecaps and various elements from the Fallout games appear (stim packs, pets, cola).

In addition to building rooms, excavating, and assigning people to them, you can also send people out in the wasteland where you get a text narrative of what they're doing. There are also random events like raiders or roaches or fires breaking out - I think I'm supposed to do something about that but it's hard to react quickly because see below...

I'm not very far into it but I'm having some issues with the UI. The view moves not only allowing you to zoom in on rooms but sliding around the display. This makes picking up your people (what do you call these guys?) difficult since you have to press and hold them. Press wrong and the map moves. Even if you press correctly your fingertip is way bigger than the thing you're trying to pick up. Frustrating.

HeidiB

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2017, 06:26:54 AM »
I'm not very far into it but I'm having some issues with the UI. The view moves not only allowing you to zoom in on rooms but sliding around the display. This makes picking up your people (what do you call these guys?) difficult since you have to press and hold them. Press wrong and the map moves. Even if you press correctly your fingertip is way bigger than the thing you're trying to pick up. Frustrating.
Is it designed for a touch screen computer or large tablet, while you're running it on your phone?  If not, sounds like bad UX.