The direction of casual games

Written by Klaus Kääriäinen

Casual games have been around only for a few years now. Nowadays it’s possible for almost anyone to understand and play various games and even have fun while doing it. Which is awesome! So what makes this all possible?

When playing modern casual games, it doesn’t take long to see how carefully the players are escorted through the gaming session. It is a standard in modern game design to escort the player by holding his hand as long as possible, until every aspect of the game has been discovered and taught. It’s considered as a failure, if the player is left on his own for even a short amount of time. These kind of situations might end up losing the player.

Is it possible that we as game developers are creating this kind of standard, by not treating the players as self-thinking people? Is it only possible to create games for casual gamers by doing babysitting tutorial designs?

I’m sure that we are moving to a direction where casual gamers start to seek more challenge from the games they play. Isn’t it obvious? A major part of top selling mobile games are strategy games with ever deeper game mechanics. Games are steadily getting more complicated.

I guess that because of the tutorials it’s possible for almost everyone to understand these complicated mechanics. But at the same time, are we taking away major part of the joy of discovery and challenge from the player? We, the SIEIDI crew we believe that there are other, more interesting ways to guide and teach the players than holding their hand for the entire journey. When you do this right, the player can still play the game without using days to learn the mechanics. And at the same time they experience the joy of discovery and learning. We think that is one of the major parts of a good game experience.