We all realise things over time, I am no exception to that. I am old school (well, old at least), I come from the stock where you buy a product, you get a product and to some degree that is it. I was there from the very beginning. I have nothing against SaaS, I get the concept, I get the notions and the considerations that come with it. Yet when I see how some programs need to find a way to fund its creators, I get it, and I do not oppose (OK, that came across wrong), but you get the idea. There is (for the most) no such thing as a free ride).
When I look at the beginning of the iPad (I had the very first model), I got deeply into Blockheads. It was a free program and yes that was nice, but the programmer was really smart. He gave the players the option to get production upgraded to twice the speed for a mere $5.99. After a few hours I saw that I was going to like the program and spend the cash. I never regretted it and I still have the program, it served its lifetime stage, a dozen times over at least. It might be the best $5.99 I ever spent. Now, there are ways to get ‘free’ programs going. Micro-transactions was another option. Games had the option to earn the cards, or you could buy a booster pack (Magic) it is another way to get the return on investment. In the beginning games like Castle Age relied on it and it worked well, those who didn’t have the money, or would not spend the money could still play, without purchases you still made progress, but it would be slow and there would be grinding. I had this in Castle Age, I actually only made 1-2 purchases and the game became playable. A decent game for under $5, there can be no objection.
So as the SaaS model progresses, I looked at both Day One ($2.08/month), and EverNote which is a lot more expensive. I am looking at it a an option next to Tablet Journal, which was free at the time and only charged for the additional backgrounds and icons. I had no issue buying them and now that I am looking at the new iPad, I wanted to upgrade the programs I used.
Also, over time I noticed a few flaws in the Tablet Journal and I did program once, as such I was thinking to make my own version. Or at least make one that I liked completely (and it keeps me off the street which makes everyone happy). It also intersects with a few other issues I was having and the idea forming in my mind is a new sort of game, but I cannot start on that, my programming skills are just too rusty (the reward for becoming a data miner).
In all this I needed to address replay-ability, challenge, growth and independence. You might think that this is a joke, but the last element is actually a lot more important than you think. During AC Brotherhood, Ubisoft almost had it right, but their focal point was in another direction. As such I now see that the mobile/non-mobile environment needs to be embraced, not separated on or merged.
Gaming is a state of mind that must be protected and embraced, the mind is in different settings, the mind is the centre piece in the game and the makers seem to ignore it too often. Most game makers seem to see the brain, the person as the added appendage to the game, yet this is not the case, or at least I personally think that this is wrong, the brain is the entire piece n all this and the game is designed around it, as such the failures of Ubisoft become clear, when you make a game for everyone, you make a game that pleases no one.
We all have different needs in gaming, some prefer puzzles, some prefer stealth, some like it in RPG mode, some love closed levels, some need them to be open. I think that this is why Minecraft is such a hit, it is open and allows us to fill in the part we want to fill in. Yet, I have no intent of making some version of Minecraft, I believe in setting the stage to a group of people, so some will like it and a larger group will not, but it would be my intent to make it as appealing to those who want it as possible.
So what will it bring? I do not know yet (the rusty programming skill makes it a question mark). Yet, the larger stage is not what w like, or what we might like, it is the stage of being apart, being different. Just as I hope that Cyberpunk 2077 has larger true hacking skills, we see the need for a game that is about making us seem more clever, not a game that links piece one and piece 2. I am not referring t a puzzle game like Myth, but the added setting that puzzles brought in rendez-vouz with Rama. So not getting two cogs to compete the puzzle in Tombraider (no negativity implied here), but a stage where we need to see the puzzle and consider the solution, not fitting 2 parts, but finding the proper 4 parts out of 50 offered.
I get it, not everyone likes puzzles and some will not like the option offered, but I would make it for those who do like this side of gaming, the part where the mind figures it out. You see I always believed that games are a great educator and the proper game still needs to be paid for, but as the joy and educations progresses, we see a price that is eagerly paid by the player, all whilst those who lack funds (or prefer not to pay) can still play the game.
When we realise that we are better or feel better with the program in our midst, at that point the $5.99 is not a hurdle, it is the threshold to the next stage in our lives and if games like Minecraft, Blockheads, Magic, Archero and Fallout Shelter can please its audience, any other creator can too.