Skills to pay the bills?
December 11, 2015
A month ago, GameIndustry.biz posted an interesting piece on differentiating whether mobile games are based on the skill of the player or whether they possess the illusion of skill, revealing that the U.S. mobile chart is dominated with the latter.
Tilting Point’s Jesse Divnich dropped some candid heat by stating that, "No one is actually good at Candy Crush, but some people actually believe they are." Although we have the utmost respect for King, he’s pretty much spot on here.
"In these non-skill-based games, you can tell me how many hours you've played, how much money you have spent, and I should be able to tell you within a good degree of certainty how far you are in Candy Crush, what level your town hall is in Clash of Clans, how many times you've ascended in Tap Titans. For some, it is a scary thought to know that the most commercially successful games on mobile are really just well-designed rollercoasters. It's not a negative concept, it is simply what works in free-to-play mobile," explained Divnich.
This raises the interesting point in my mind to where ReRunners lies in these two factions.
I would say that the formula for figuring this out is based on whether the player can progress throughout the game by XP grinding and in-app purchases, or whether the player needs that little extra Je Ne Sais Quoi, as the French say.
What we pride ourselves in ReRunners is the game’s ability to appeal to both casual gamers and hardcore gamers alike. If you’re the kind of player who wants to explore leisurely and collect things at your own pace, you can do so. But, if you want to become the best of the best, you’ll have to grind and level up your character, which in essence is an illusion of skill.
However, you’ll have to use the four elements of skill - concentration, precision, input, and timing – to win Races…and for some, just to cross the finish line. Players will need to keep their cool and timing precise under pressure. I'd say that ReRunners fits slap-bang in the middle.
Either way you look at it, it’s an interesting dialogue to explore.