Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Endless Ocean: Games for People

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8 Comments:

Blogger Corvus said...

Nice post! I've lamented the "Add More Pink" approach to design girl friendly game before. I think it's a cop out, not to mention a bit demeaning.

Nice to see there are games that break the mould!

05 December, 2007 11:50  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm not going to defend "pinkware" since like you I believe in making games for *people*, but it must be noted: if a game is primarily selling to an adolescent female market, the use of pink improves sales - possibly because it increases the chance that the target market will pick up a copy of the game.

Of course, the way around this would be to have a retail channel for videogames that was "female friendly" - most videogame stores are very male-oriented.

While there's a practical commercial value to the pink, it will be hard to get rid of it.

PS: this game is a semi-sequel to an earlier diving game by the same company; as a diver myself, although one who hasn't dived in years, I'm quite excited by the possibilities. Your review gives me some hope. :)

Best wishes!

06 December, 2007 14:35  
Blogger Krystian Majewski said...

Thanks for your comments!

The problem with Pink Ware is not the color. That's just a nasty cliché but you are right - it has become a symbol and it works.

The problem with Pink Ware is more the Idea: To create a game which is concentrates so much on such a specific target group. That is just narrow-minded thinking.

About Diving: I didn't write about the game mechanics of Endless Blue yet and there are some flaws. I might go into details some other time. One of them is that the technical aspects of diving are portrayed very rudimentary. I never dived but I heard that you have to watch the speed at which you re-surface. Well that's totally missing.

06 December, 2007 17:00  
Blogger K. Thor Jensen said...

Nice to see you posting again! Pinkware is a constant struggle, especially in the casual games industry where the audience is so predominantly female.

12 December, 2007 00:22  
Blogger Nicolas said...

For the record, I (a 20-year-old male with little to no interest in pinkware) actually saw this game in a store and wanted it, and it wasn't to see if I could accidentally get eaten by a shark, though the thought crossed my mind.

16 March, 2008 10:49  
Anonymous David Hellman said...

Nice post there. The cover of this game indeed appealed to me, and I suppose it's good that the publisher realized the breadth of EO's potential audience. This is the kind of broadly-appealing, easy-to-play, "about something" software I was hoping for on the Wii.

Unfortunately, the game itself is rather limited... It is almost a nice game about just swimming around and seeing what's there, but there isn't that much to discover. If the world had been more varied and spatially interesting, I'd have played it a lot more.

29 April, 2008 20:01  
Anonymous Rafael Van Daele-Hunt said...

"To create a game which is concentrates so much on such a specific target group. That is just narrow-minded thinking."

In theory, I agree. However, trying to make a game for everyone often results in crap. Game design involves making choices, so we need criteria, and having your "typical player" in mind is one good way to make those decisions. For example, would Endless Ocean be improved by a head-to-head mode in which you ride a shark and try to eat your opponent? That depends on who you want to play it.

06 May, 2008 12:39  
Blogger Krystian Majewski said...

One of my favorite "The Simpsons" episodes is "O Brother, where are thou". There, Homer is allowed to design a car that fits exactly to his needs. If you know the episode you know what came out of it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_Brother%2C_Where_Art_Thou%3F

The episode is not only funny, it also makes a very important point about design: Although it is true that it is impossible to please everybody, you can't expect your users to solve your problems for you. In the end, it is the designer who is doing the choices. Pink Ware is not smart because it enhances sterotypes, prevents exchange and excludes large parts of the audience. Saying that you designed the game with a certain audience in mind does not mean that your picture of the audience was automatically correct or that you did a good job.

06 May, 2008 14:00  

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