My thoughts on "Competitive vs Casuals"


#1

Hey everybody. This isn’t my usual thing, but since there seems to be somewhat of a demand for these sorts of things, I figured I’d try my hand at a writeup of sorts on an issue that’s been bugging me of late. There seems to be a mindset of “Competitive vs Casuals” floating around this and other sites as of late when it comes to the FGC. I decided to add my thoughts to the mix, take them for what you will.

Dumbing down a game for “Casuals”

Some argue that having games with obtuse, hard to grasp mechanics isolates players from enjoying a game. I do not believe this to be true however. When a game is built with balanced, fair (competitive) mechanics in mind, the game is more enjoyable to everyone involved. The “casuals” still understand and play the game, while the more competitive crowd gets enjoyment from optimizing strategies and playstyles.

Take away this depth, however, and the competitive crowd is left out in the cold. With no hidden layers of depth, replayability, competition, and overall enjoyment level for the competitive player is undermined significantly. Depth and solid game mechanics do NOT (despite what some would have you believe) preclude the “casual” player from enjoying the game however. So what harm are these layers of depth to the game as a whole?

Now, I know what you may be thinking. “Jigglypuff, my friends all say that Street Fighter combos are too hard! How can you say that this isn’t prohibitively difficult?” Well, the thing about fighting games (moreso than any genre) is that players that want to advance to the next level have to have the want to, the desire to level up. What many of these “casual” players don’t seem to understand is that it’s not the “difficulty” of the combos that are driving them away, because all that takes is a little practice. The main problem is much more deep rooted than anything to do with fighting games.

The problem is that we live in an instant gratification society. Don’t want to spend 30 seconds toasting a Pop Tart? Toss that thing in the microwave for seven seconds! Don’t have time to read a newspaper? Just hop on Yahoo News for a few seconds! Fighting games, however, have no quick, easy answers. It takes time and dedication to master, and there’s no substitute for experience.

Elitist attitudes drive the “casuals” away

This one is tricky. While it is true to an extent that sometimes fighting game players can be a bit salty towards the new blood, there’s also the fact that those selfsame “ellitist” players have put in the work to get where they’re at. A lot of times, the newer players will come with questions that have been asked a billion times in a billion threads and there are easy answers available to most of their questions if they will but take the time to find them.

This isn’t to totally excuse the “OGs” from blame in the situation either. While it might be tempting to tear this 09er retard apart, remember that these guys, like it or not, are the future. With a bit of guidance, one of those 09ers might just become the next Wolfkrone. I believe it’s our responsibility (I use that term a little loosely here) to be helpful to the newcomers as much as we can.

That doesn’t mean that we should let retarded threads and such keep piling up. You know what though? Instead of posting “YOU RETARDED SCRUB YOU DON’T KNOW THAT LEARN TO PLAY” or something similar, there’s always the option to link them to a thread where they’ll find the answers they seek. Also, there’s the Report button for when things really get out of hand.

Summary

I don’t believe the differences between the “casuals” and the “competitives” are so great that we can’t coexist with one another. We should all be working towards making this community as inclusive and helpful as possible. This isn’t to say that we should just roll over and let the new guys come in here and do as they please either, but with a little bit of correction and guidance most of those “casuals” can become productive members of the community. I know, because I was one when I joined. We just have to let 'em know that getting good takes work, that’s all.


#2

The problem is that the “casuals” on this site are Noah’s age.


#3

All I can really say in response to this article is…

Fuck casual gamers. Go play COD or Wii Sports if you want instant gratification.

I mean this in a very polite, loving way of course ^.^


#4

Yea fuck the people who actually provide income to these companies.


#5

God My Oh this. This is the culprit behind so many things. Don’t know the answer to something? Then just forget about instead of asking someone before looking it up.

In my opinion, this is the topic that should be discussed more and it affects society as a whole.


#6

I miss Dead or Alive :sad:


#7

The hardcore crowd kept the SF scene alive during '93-'08. The casual crowd didn’t do shit to keep the scene alive back then.

IIRC, WW/CE/HF were popular amongst both casual and hardcore crowds. SSF2 (1993) killed the hype, but the hardcore still kept on going with it.

EDIT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0CS0U05Qh8#t=2m01s


#8

Yea because there were 2 million plus harcore fans. :rolleyes:

Seriously why is this a hard concept to understand? Hardcore fans have never been large enough to keep a game funded single handedly. Well except for maybe WoW players. It always comes down to how well it is supported by the casual audience. The elites only make up a small percentage of the people who play the game. When you are in the top 30% of players that instantly means you only make up about 30% of the income!


#9

Virtua Fighter and Melty Blood would like to have a word with you.


#10

Yea how’s Sega doing financially these days?

Oh that’s right they are having trouble staying afloat last I checked. Before 2010 they had a couple consecutive down years including after 2006 when gasp Virtual Fighter 5 was released.

The truth is casual players bring in far more income than hardcore players. This is no different in any business. You don’t make money by making things for the select few (unless they are rich). You make money by making it so everyone can buy it.


#11

What did you say?

I gave you an answer - VF.

I don’t give a shit if Sega is having financial troubles. The point is that games can be funded solely by the hardcore crowd. ffs, VF5R has been a Japan-only release game since 2008. And then they released VF5FS (Japan-only release again). Obviously someone has to be funding Sega/VF if new versions are still coming out. It’s the hardcore VF crowd.

What about MB? It went from a Doujin PC game to having a full-fledged arcade release. It was eventually featured at SBO, for several years. And finally, it got a console release. And it was only released in Japan. It even gained a small but dedicated scene in the US.


#12

Just something logical about how the real world economics work. Nothing serious.

Am I the only who sees the blaitent contradiction in this line? You don’t give a shit if the company goes under? If the company goes bankrupt the game is all but dead! Plain and simple. A companies earnings is proportional to how well their game sells!

If the game isn’t producing money then companies won’t spend money to produce it. Also the quality of the production is also proportional to the amount of income that game can generate.

Companies don’t make games because a few hardcore gamers love playing it. They make games because hundreds of thousands of people want to play it. They are out to make money. Anyone who says otherwise seriously needs to go out an actually learn about the world for a change.

And do you honestly think that just a small scene in the US got the developers to do all that? All what? 10000 of them?

You need to understand that ultimately you need a sizable population who is willing to play money for your game. In this case MB found its market in Japan. This was not a small group of hardcore players, rather it was a sizable chunk of Japan’s population.

It’s the same deal with Blazblue. There was a decent US following, but Arc systems isn’t making money off of a few hardcore players in the US. They are making money off the fact that the Japanese in general love it. Blazblue was one of the highest grossing arcade games in Japan this last quarter.

Making video games ain’t cheap either.

When it comes to Street Fighter, it has fallen slightly out of popularity in Japan since 2001. Other games like Tekken were passing it by in the arcades and at home. So the target audience was less about Japan and more about the rest of the world. So making it hard to get into would not sell outside of Japan. Sad but true.


#13

most elite players are only in it to feed their own ego, they aren’t looking for the fun in the game, which is why you look for fighting games that have difficult execution, it’s basically real world grinding. games should not limit accessibility, yeah they should be deep but only deep in the sense that your individual ideas could generate an equilibrial domain for both minds.

This is why I want things like Soul Calibur’s CAS to be pushed foward, the more distinguished CAS gets the more attention to detail they can get with it. in all honesty soul caliburs base system is very very stript down from what it could actually be, but because of the mind set of the ELITE players we have to put up with simple game dynamics in favor of their concerntration on finger skills, DO NOT LOOK AT THE FINGER!! mother fuckers, because all that heavenly glory is being held back.


#14

From a personal perspective, the problem isn’t with casuals themselves but with how they impose their shallow views and demand needless changes to current games. They have no idea why previous iterations of FG franchises were popular amongst the competitive scene and have only a tenuous grasp on the overall mechanics that made these games such a thrill to play at a competitive level, yet still find it acceptable to bombard developers with instructions on how they *should *be designing their game. These casuals lack both the experience and the knowledge to suggest any beneficial improvements, thus focus on improvements that would help only themselves.

I encourage players to enjoy fighting games non-competitively if that’s what they feel comfortable with. However, the issue we have here is when these casuals decide to advance to a competitive level and begin spewing out their baseless ideas without first researching and understanding the competitive aspect of fighting games. For example, rather than spend the time to learn different strategies and styles to conquer certain match-ups, they pollute the forums with endless protests for “nerfs” and “buffs”.

Instant gratification is a prevalent trend in modern gaming, hence the colossal popularity of the Call of Duty franchise. It’s obvious in the majority of new releases that developers are now aiming for a demographic that favours immediate fun and amusement over skill and satisfaction. A major advantage of fighting games is that they offer both options, providing short bursts of entertainment for the casual button-bashers and long-term achievement for the hardcore audiences who wish to delve beyond a game’s surface and explore the substance rather than the style.

In my opinion, I’m glad fighting games are accessible to a variety of different markets. I’d rather players be able to find casual enjoyment in this genre than disregard it completely. However, I strongly believe that if you do consider yourself a non-competitive fan, then it’s entirely your responsibility to either properly adapt and educate yourself to the competitive community or remain silent and leave the suggestions/discussions to the serious players who actually know what they’re talking about and have devoted themselves towards competition.


#15

Real world economics? lol. you’re just doing the same ol’ *there are more of them then there are of you *spiel.


#16

How do you explain Bullet Hell SHMUPs then? They ARE a niche genre, even in Japan, and their target audience are hardcore players.

You know, companies don’t always have to try and make shitloads of money to be successful. A company like CAVE is successful at creating Bullet Hell SHMUPs. They are successful within that particular niche market.

I think you need to read my post again. A small US scene had nothing to do with MB’s arcade release / SBO appearances / console release / etc. I was merely saying that MB managed to gain a small playerbase outside of Japan, because those few hardcore American players enjoyed the game enough to buy Japanese PS2s and import copies of the game.

Nope. Bullet Hell SHMUP population in Japan is quite small compared to other genres. Despite the small but dedicated playerbase, companies like CAVE are doing well in that specific market.

And so what if the market is Japan? You can still have niche genres and small player bases.


#17

Well let me put like this. Casual gamers are majority, and we’re the minority plain and simple. We don’t like to admit, but the game companies( aside from a few) will do everything in their power to make sure the majority is happy. They don’t give a fuck about us. It seems to them they have broken logic and dumb reasoning to make a game that makes both parties happy. I give credit to NRS, ARC system works, and somewhat Namco for making games like MK9, BB, AH3, and the SC series( Need to play more Tekken) good for both the causal and competitive players. Why can’t Capcom do this? Is it really hard to make a game for both crowds instead one or the other?


#18

this thread is about our community. not “real world economics”


#19

OFCOURSE but what are your demands for completely new games? practiced and familiar views making the new game a reskinned old game? YUM!

the only reason developers have the ability to make fighting games these days is because the money it’s bringing in, whats the requirements? “MAKE IS LIKE STEET FIGHTER 2 BUT WITH CLOSE UPS AND FUN GRAFIX” if this post was a reply to my post then wtf? im asking for fighting games to come out of it’s shell (which developers want to do) but none of the fabled “competitive” scene are making any effort to push, you just sit back, demand the consistency of your drug and mong out

casuals or the elite, im confused here :confused:

this sounds like your backing up my complaint about soul caibur :rofl:

my complaints are based on lack of intellectual flexibility, there are way too many fighting games (counting each iteration) to be taking part in a boxed in wild goose chase

I really hope it’s not directed at me because you seem to neglect it’s been what? nearly 20 years and we’re still in the same spot, combat simulation is being held back by people like you


#20

Actually I was just making a general statement, Ki Shima. Though I appreciate your response.