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Moochie Apr 6, 2013 @ 10:02am
Older gamers may have different requirements...
I've been involved with computers since the early 1980s, and have enjoyed playing a great many games. I'm now in my 60s, and find that the kind of game I enjoy -- FPSs -- are generally geared towards young guys with nimble fingers. The games are played at such a furious pace that I wonder why the creators bother lavishing us with such superb graphics, since they're rarely onscreen long enough to be enjoyed.

The greatest enjoyment I derive from these games is the ability to explore the wondrous worlds the games' creators have rendered so lovingly. I still enjoy working my way through the game, but gradually, at my leisure, at a pace that allows me to soak up the atmosphere and come upon wonders surprising and unexpected. Not everyone wants to be Quickdraw McGraw, you know.

My plea is that game makers be aware of a wider audience for their games. Perhaps include a new level, other than "Easy"; maybe call it "Explorer mode", where there are still targets to reach, but ones that can be leisurely attained.

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Xena Warrior Woman Apr 6, 2013 @ 1:41pm 
I can SO relate to what you are saying. "Explorer mode"? What an outstanding idea!!

I'm a woman in my fifties. In law school in the mid eighties, I was introduced to computers. I'm right at home with Macs, PC's, and the mobile platforms. I started on Macs professionally and learned Windows to expand my gaming possibilities. :)

Space sims are my preferred genre. I don't like strategy games that entail research & colony construction. I've no ambition to dominate the galaxy or own my corner of space. No, I am more the OTHER 4X space gamer: explore, trade, combat & loot. I'm a die-hard fan of Freelancer, Elite, etc. It was a dark day, indeed, when Microsoft canceled Freelancer II.

A while back, I was playing a space-based MMO/RPG with strong FPS combat. The combat was the closest I have come to a button-masher in a long while. After about 35 minutes, my hands were hot and stiff, my fingers swollen & painful. Players were chatting about the furious pace. I mentioned that arthitis prevented me from playing the way I wanted to. In chat that day were a group of young males. One of them piped up: "Arthritis?!! Lol. That's a new one. Next thing you'll be blaming PMS." The other players thought that was hilarious.

I am not unsympathetic. When I was his age, I'm sure I had no use for people who couldn't keep up, either. Later that day, another player PM'd that his arthritis seriously limited his participation. Yet another player sent me a similar message.(Interesting they felt so intimidated in a forum that's anonymous).

My favorite portion of Steam is Greenlight. I prefer indie games. I have never been disappointed by a game developed independently; I cannot say the same for the blockbusters. Greenlight is such a powerful tool, giving developers direct access to player input while it simultaneously gives us the chance to influence game development from the earliest stages.

Gaming is my "get out of jail" card. My systemic arthritis is so extensive that I am permanently disabled. Bone pain can suck the life out of you; even the strongest of pain medications only goes so far. Through gaming, we can circumvent the laws of physics & travel at the speed of light. We explore the heavens without ever having to leave home. The number of space exploration and trade games in the pipeline this year is exhilarating. Like you, I like to take my time exploring and discovering. I detest timed games or levels designed to up the pressure. (What is that about?) For me, games are about relieving stress. (Which is why I don't play racing games or platformers). I also hate when an in-game NPC barks orders & insults. After about 5 minutes, I mute the sound. I don't see why a developer would include that. But, hey... different strokes, right?

I suspect that developers underestimate the population of older gamers. I was in Gamestop behind an older gentleman holding a pile of games. The kid at the register commented that some little kid was going to be very excited. (Awkward!!). The man replied with such style: "No. These are for me."

KUDOS to you for taking the time to make our voices heard.
Last edited by Xena Warrior Woman; Apr 6, 2013 @ 1:49pm
C0untzer0 Apr 6, 2013 @ 2:11pm 
You both make very interesting points, There has to be a place where your voices will actually be heard by those who can actually do something for you. Perhaps create some kind of group and petition Indie sites, maybe even get together some kind of award (devs love them some award, it makes them feel they've not been wasting their time) but foremost, don't give up, I really hope that you can make "Games for veterans" a thing for when I'm your age, and I've lost the feeling in the next couple of fingers...
Do not go gently, people!
ShadowShifters Apr 7, 2013 @ 3:25pm 
Dene here, indie dev of Huntsman: The Orphanage. I'm 55 myself, and the game has been built around the premise that not everyone wants a fast-paced shoot-'em-up (and if they do, there are thousands to choose from).

We wanted to create a cinematic level of story, scriptwriting and characters that just happens to be interactive rather than passive, with a setting that can be explored at leisure. As long as you turn and run if you happen upon the antagonist! No weapons, blood or violence either - only empathy and pro-active actions will complete the game's objectives.

So the game isn't for everyone, but it is for a growing number of gamers who fall outside of the cliched stereotype. Gamers are growing older at a rate of one year per year, average age now mid-thirties; our own youtube audience ranges from 15 to 75...
daves Apr 8, 2013 @ 7:36pm 
I like the above ideas. Many of the games are very fast paced. An option in those games to allow a "pause" mode to look around the screen for a better understanding of the over all scenero and a chance to choose your next move would be good for us "older FOLKS"
Simplified commands would also enhance the enjoyment. I don't play first person shooter games as the combination of buttons/ controllers/ keyboard are awkward for us to fathom.
A large part of demographics in Northh Amercian are older
C0untzer0 Apr 9, 2013 @ 2:23am 
BTW wedge, shadow, and any other devs reading:
I didn't mean to imply that you would be insensitive unwilling or unable to help, I was presuming that devs on Greenlight are already pretty deep in their own projects and a shift as suggested above would be massively impractical.
ShadowShifters Apr 10, 2013 @ 12:55am 
Also of interest for me in relation to mature gamer appeal is that after the control systems are made good, lie the premise and dynamics of the game itself. In a word, story. Can you buy into the plot, do you feel immersed after a few minutes, can you happily suspend disbelief, have the characters enough depth and have they had enough life experience to be interesting, are the player motivations engaging enough to move beyond the old "kill everything that moves"...
Resolute Apr 10, 2013 @ 1:14am 
You might also like to check out Clans/Guilds made for older gamers so that when you do play these games you are playing against gamers of similar ... experience.

For instance you might like to check out www.theoldergamers.com

We have several thousand active members of which a large amount play FPSers together and an equal amount playing mmorpgs.

Here is the Steam community group some of our members use, just for Steam.

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/TOG
Last edited by Resolute; Apr 10, 2013 @ 1:16am
Moochie Apr 14, 2013 @ 8:32am 
Thanks for your response -- I'll be sure to check this game out.


Best regards,

M.



Originally posted by ShadowShifters:
Dene here, indie dev of Huntsman: The Orphanage. I'm 55 myself, and the game has been built around the premise that not everyone wants a fast-paced shoot-'em-up (and if they do, there are thousands to choose from).

We wanted to create a cinematic level of story, scriptwriting and characters that just happens to be interactive rather than passive, with a setting that can be explored at leisure. As long as you turn and run if you happen upon the antagonist! No weapons, blood or violence either - only empathy and pro-active actions will complete the game's objectives.

So the game isn't for everyone, but it is for a growing number of gamers who fall outside of the cliched stereotype. Gamers are growing older at a rate of one year per year, average age now mid-thirties; our own youtube audience ranges from 15 to 75...
Moochie Apr 14, 2013 @ 8:52am 
This is a great point. I've just watched a walk-through of Bioshock Infinite -- a fascinating game with gorgeous graphics. I don't know whether I'll buy it yet, though -- I haven't finished the original Bioshock!

BI is interesting and great to look at, but for the most part, it's actually just another shoot ';em up. There were a great many instances in the walk-through where it was difficult, if not impossible, to follow what was actually happening. I don't think so-called mature players are the only ones to find this kind of "bludgeon the player with colors and sounds" a bit silly,

BI's story borders on the esoteric, and while of interest to a few, will probably be irrelevant to most of those who purchase the game.

I think that story is important, but it might be beyond the capabilities of most game designers to figure out how to turn a good story into a game that holds interest and doesn't suffer from "how the ♥♥♥♥ do I proceed?" syndrome, you know, where you've done everything you can think of to no avail; you're stuck!


Regards,

M.



Originally posted by ShadowShifters:
Also of interest for me in relation to mature gamer appeal is that after the control systems are made good, lie the premise and dynamics of the game itself. In a word, story. Can you buy into the plot, do you feel immersed after a few minutes, can you happily suspend disbelief, have the characters enough depth and have they had enough life experience to be interesting, are the player motivations engaging enough to move beyond the old "kill everything that moves"...
Sgt.Psycho Apr 14, 2013 @ 5:31pm 
I am an 'older' gamer, in my early 40's. I started with the Commodore 64 and Amiga back when 7.14Mhz (not Ghz, megahertz), single-core CPUs were revolutionary and bleeding edge.

Yes, I played a lot of twitch shooters starting with Quake, Doom, Unreal Tournament, etc etc. I played in Quake 3 competitions until I realised I just didn't have the reflexes of the younger up and coming crowd.

I moved onto tactical shooters, focussing on Counterstrike clan wars and did pretty well in team support. My lifetime K:D ratio sits on about 0.7, as I'm always happy to 'take one for the team'. One shot one kill still puts the advantage in the hand of the younger set, and I find it a bit harder to keep up with the old 12-hour lan/online sessions. I work on a computer seven hours a day (coding/database support) as well as playing afterwards, so I am very careful about RSI. Even so, mega-gaming sessions have caused a permanent back injury, which takes it's toll on my general health. This sucks, take of yourselves people.

After much resistance, I've settled for Team Fortress 2. The class balance and specialization means you can fulfill a role helping the team achieve victory, at your own pace, and taking more laid-back, strategic view. To my chagrin, I find myself more and more sliding away from the front-line combat roles, and moving more into support roles such as engineer (base defence, logistics) and medic (buffing party, assists, breaking choke points). It's very satisfying to see your team come out on to, partly because you've helped them do it. It's a beautiful design, and other FPS devs should take careful note of how intricately balanced it is and how it caters to many game play styles and levels of ability, and how the metagame influences all of it. It is the only micro-payment game I would consider supporting.

I saw a forum thread once where this guy said he was physically disabled and wanted to play FPS games, but couldn't control his mouse properly due to muscle stress problems. He was really frustrated that he couldn't play the same games his mates did. Yes, there was a quite a few heckles tossed in, but a number of players rallied around and tried to help him out with some hardware suggestions, configuration tweaks and so on that would allow him to participate and not feel excluded.

I guess what I'm saying here is that no matter what your level of ability, there should be a game for you, that you can explore and enjoy without feeling unduly pressured. I've noted an increased in games like Miasmata, Xing, Adrift, and Wayfarer (to name but a few Greenlight games) that throw the twitch FPS design out the window and start over.

This is a good thing (not saying twitch is bad, just not for everyone), and whichever developer realises there is a potentially huge untapped market in providing games suiting the older gamer will reap the rewards. After all, we are generally very well experienced, looking for new experiences, and most importantly, have a large amount of disposable income to spend.
Moochie Apr 18, 2013 @ 9:16am 
Hear, hear!

M.
Moochie Apr 19, 2013 @ 12:07pm 
I like this comment. :)



Originally posted by Mindwedge:
Originally posted by Sgt.Psycho:
I am an 'older' gamer, in my early 40's. I started with the Commodore 64 and Amiga back when 7.14Mhz (not Ghz, megahertz), single-core CPUs were revolutionary and bleeding edge.

I had those too and an Atari 2600 before that, but you're still just a puppy. ;-P Early 40's? Not even old enough to have a cardiologist. Enjoy your youth while you still have it.

"I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!" - Moe Greene
Sgt.Psycho Apr 20, 2013 @ 4:49pm 
Originally posted by Mindwedge:
Originally posted by Sgt.Psycho:
I am an 'older' gamer, in my early 40's. I started with the Commodore 64 and Amiga back when 7.14Mhz (not Ghz, megahertz), single-core CPUs were revolutionary and bleeding edge.

I had those too and an Atari 2600 before that, but you're still just a puppy. ;-P Early 40's? Not even old enough to have a cardiologist. Enjoy your youth while you still have it.

"I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!" - Moe Greene

Ahah... one reason I was careful to write 'older', not 'oldest'. I'm sure there is always an older, wiser generation that's seen it all before.

I did try an Atari later, but of course I'd already been spoiled by the fandangled new technology of the day by then. It was certainly revolutionary and introduced the idea of a programmable games machine that did nothing else but entertain, and kick-started everything that we have today. The idea that people would actually spend money on a device to fill their idle hours with amusement was decisive in gaming history, I think.

I do find it amusing that as you get older you continually redefine your concept of 'old age'. I think it sits best at about T(1.10)+10, where T is your current age. At least gaming (twitch shooters aside) is something that you can continue to enjoy throughout your whole life, or so I've found so far.
PoodleDjinn Apr 20, 2013 @ 5:28pm 
This is a great thread. And I thought I was maybe the only 'oldie' around here! LOL
I'm a true Baby Boomer (just turned 60). Never was much into gaming when younger; but worked with computers, internet (web dev) etc. Now I'm suddenly finding I have started enjoying games (well, some anyway) and am exploring the different genres, having a whale of a time. Like many others here, there are age-related issues with nimbleness. I don't enjoy mind-numbing battle shoot-shoot-shoot games with little else. I respond strongly to a good storyline.
I really believe there is a vast reservoir of older 'closet' gamers and potential gamers out there. Games developers could do well if they decide to research this emerging market.
One more point: I came to PC (and console) games via the mobile platform. My guess is that with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets (and I see a lot of people in my age group embracing this technology) more 'oldies' will start playing games. If you can manage to hook into that interest, and get them onto bigger/other games ... it could be a whole new ball game.
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Date Posted: Apr 6, 2013 @ 10:02am
Posts: 39