How to make a game last 20+ years?

General Discussion
Just thought about all the video games that ever lasted out there. All the games that were popular at one point or another. And just started thinking about the idea, how do you make a game that stands a test of time and lasts? Keeping it's popularity over a long haul.

For example WoW has lasted for quite a long time so far, much longer than their competition, which are all but dead. But even now WoW, as I understand, doesn't have the same popularity it once had.

So does anyone think it's possible to make a game that lasts a long time? Or should companies simply make the next version every few years instead, abandoning previous one? Feels like Diablo is for sure better off in the latter case.
When progress grinds to a halt is when things outstay their welcome.
WoW hasn't really lasted a long time. They just released a new expansion. Its like number 7 or something. Thats not what I call lasting a long time. If people are playing ten, fifteen years after the last expansion, then it lasted a long time.
02/01/2018 06:37 AMPosted by Midnight
Just thought about all the video games that ever lasted out there. All the games that were popular at one point or another. And just started thinking about the idea, how do you make a game that stands a test of time and lasts? Keeping it's popularity over a long haul.

For example WoW has lasted for quite a long time so far, much longer than their competition, which are all but dead. But even now WoW, as I understand, doesn't have the same popularity it once had.

So does anyone think it's possible to make a game that lasts a long time? Or should companies simply make the next version every few years instead, abandoning previous one? Feels like Diablo is for sure better off in the latter case.


Wow has been on a downward spiral since Crapclysm was released. What will happen is the same thing that happened to Ultima Online. The games player base will reach a plateau and hover there stale and stagnate. The same will happen to WoW. The same will happen to D3, as it already has with D2.
It's an unreasonable goal to chase, as per all the touted WoW-killers would come to know.

Basically, if you're taking a game and continually updating it, it's not really correct to call it the same game it launched as. If WoW never launched Burning Crusade or whatever its first expansion was, it's a safe bet there would be a significantly small number of people playing it to this day, nevermind as a subscription-based game.

I'd posit the beloved D2 would also have suffered a similar fate without LoD and various features it brought (in later patches). As well, I suspect most who "still play it to this day" are either taking advantage of mods or do not divulge the periodic breaks they take, as D2 content has not evolved nearly enough since its last major patch to justify healthy interest. Whether or not you can log on and see people are still playing it, how many of those aren't bots/RMT, or that said population may be greater than D3's isn't really important, as tends to come up in comparisons. And one thing I'd argue actually hurts long-term retention is the deletion of inactive characters. It may have made sense back in the day when HD space was smaller and more restrictive, but not today.

Otherwise, when shifting from routine content releases, the topic would then shift toward how much of a grind is attributed to what content is available. This is a dead horse topic for me, personally, as I'm at the point where no singular item in a game should take 10 hours to acquire when you're at the point where you can begin that process. This means steady upgrade paths need to be an option or if things are more RNG-based, some means to subvert that like we say in D3 here with gambling, the mystic, and the cube. Multiply this to available equipment slots, then builds per class, then total classes available and you can get yourself a game that can potentially take up a significant amount of the player's time, but in smaller segments that allow for some breakaway to play other games, have a life, etc.. Unfortunately, D3 goes on to sabotage this balance between paragon levels and seasons. Taking a break means you either fall behind or miss out, which doesn't gel well with player bias/elitism in the multiplayer sphere.

In the end, devs should be aiming more for games that are fun in the moment. In the event they happen to catch lightning in a bottle, that's when you start working on the expansions/DLC/sequels. Catch-up mechanics are also important, as the last thing a lot of players are willing to tolerate are games they can't play because they haven't slogged through some out-of-favor grind that's lengthened precisely because it's old and very few want to help them through it. Thus why MMOs tend to resort to level cap increases/raid tier resets.

There's also the hardware end of the spectrum. We're at the point where a lot of games from the early-2k era are no longer compatible with current PCs without remasters or patches. If the studio behind a title is dead, the likelihood of getting these diminishes significantly. Even if the studio is still active, the question then becomes a matter of cost. Is it worth spending resources on a title that likely wouldn't make those funds back? I'm tangentially critical of Nintendo with this relative to their retro-console launches and software store for the Wii/Switch. None of NES/SNES/etc. titles justify a $5 or more price tag for a download in this day and age while high-quality emulators have also been available for years for free. A one-time buy for access to all would be more agreeable and much less of an obvious cash grab preying on nostalgia. Then again, we also have companies like GoG who like to scarf up old PC titles and handle this aforementioned patching process if they can. They're also much more keen to bundling deals and fair pricing, unlike Nintendo.

But yeah, expecting titles to last years isn't really viable. Even popular stuff now like Overwatch will eventually get phased out for the next big thing. And who knows, by then, maybe VR gaming will actually be decent, which is a game changer of its own. If VR gaming ever does hit a point as depicted in fiction, you can pretty much guarantee all these 2D titles will die to all but collectors.
How to make a game last 20+ years?

New content every 1-2 years - Expansions plus classes
Graphic and sound enhancement every 3-4 years
Patches

02/01/2018 06:37 AMPosted by Midnight
Or should companies simply make the next version every few years

Works fine
:-)
02/01/2018 08:25 AMPosted by Saidosha
And who knows, by then, maybe VR gaming will actually be decent, which is a game changer of its own.

Won't be. A lot of players don't like VR gaming.
:-)
Well, music production was projected to make trillions and trillions of dollars simply through only needing to move bits of data in the form of completed music.

No merchandising necessary. No specific amounts of supplies necessary, really.

When the concept of global online gaming was conceived, it was a way to continue development during the running of the, "product." It was a means to continue the work on the same product after it has already been sold, and the only thing to meet on record, in terms of constraints, was to continue to let it sell. In other words, it was determining out physically proven revenue without needing to buy another's proven product.

The only stretch would be servicing, which would include maintenance. The only down side, really, would be messing things up and losing the already attracted player groups. Each mistake would be so foolish, that it must be blatantly intended. Legally, whether or not it was planned and intended, or merely a mistake - when money is in question and it involves work of any kind; these things are viewed the same way.

Games are virtually intangible. You can fix & improve on the fly. It's literally worth its weight in gold without needing to be supplied any gold.

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Personally, I would design everything my game would run on, so as to not have time & money wasted on compatibility issues.

Completed platform to work on.

Realistically speaking, if the graphics, sound, video, etc; can be or need to be upgraded, then, they weren't adequate to begin with.

I would incorporate appropriate levels of play along with the difficulties, so that anyone who picks it up can appreciate their own learning curve personalized for them. All this, while making it so that my game can be challenged at a greater pace, and that it is appropriately rewarding played that way. That - alongside, not having to worry about performance issues during those off days when you just can't burn through those calories.

Just like everything else, games can and will only be fair once it is purely based on the player's ability & skills.

Games can not feel like work, especially unpaid work. They have to be real without all the menial tasks & time contraints (or restrictions).
nothing like diablo will last 20 years.
have to be some boring game like crossword or tetris
02/01/2018 09:25 AMPosted by LouisDragon
nothing like diablo will last 20 years.
have to be some boring game like crossword or tetris


Really? Diablo 2 was released in the year 2000. It's been 18 years already and people still play that game. Want to try again?
I barely played 2 years at a time and went back here and there.

I honestly thought D2 was a dirty ripoff.

Besides, who would still actively play something that's just about 20 years old?

Especially, when there is barely anyone left on D3?
I was playing D2 until I ran out of harddrive space (only 500gb... several Cad softwares taking up a bunch of space) during a game session and my level 70something fury/rabies druid did not save. I had just upgraded Jalal's mane to elite level packing over 400 defense. I have been reluctant to start again.
02/01/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Seccie
Besides, who would still actively play something that's just about 20 years old?


I'm not sure if your being sarcastic or stupid. People still play pong, which was invented in 1958. I still play the legend of Zelda. Some games never grow old.
02/01/2018 10:52 AMPosted by Merp
02/01/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Seccie
Besides, who would still actively play something that's just about 20 years old?


I'm not sure if your being sarcastic or stupid. People still play pong, which was invented in 1958. I still play the legend of Zelda. Some games never grow old.


This is very much true. If I could find my father's old Intellivision, there are several games I'd spend several nights replaying. I still go back and play 'Gunstar Heroes' on my Sega Genesis and I got that back in 1993. Still play 'Battletoads' on my NES too, and that's a bit older. Baldur's Gate 1 &2, Fallout 2 all see periodic upstarts on my PC's and those all date around 1997-2000 and haven't had new content since then (I don't use mods).

Some games people revisit over and over and they haven't seen new content in ages. A game doesn't need a constant barrage of new content to be fun, but it does have to have a great design. A game should be simple to learn, but take a fair amount to truly master. It's finding those little nuances that can make revisiting an old game a new experience.

To be honest, if a game starts to feel like it needs new content for me to find fun, I tend to worry about the state of that game.

When was the last time Diablo 1 had a major update again?
02/01/2018 09:53 AMPosted by Merp
02/01/2018 09:25 AMPosted by LouisDragon
nothing like diablo will last 20 years.
have to be some boring game like crossword or tetris


Really? Diablo 2 was released in the year 2000. It's been 18 years already and people still play that game. Want to try again?

To me I really don't see the fun for D2 the last few years at least. I gave up diablo 2 after my first and only 99
02/01/2018 10:52 AMPosted by Merp
02/01/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Seccie
Besides, who would still actively play something that's just about 20 years old?


I'm not sure if your being sarcastic or stupid. People still play pong, which was invented in 1958. I still play the legend of Zelda. Some games never grow old.
I still do a replay of FF7 every 2 years. Catch a new ladder on D2 whenever I notice it coming.

I also play Magic: the Gathering religiously, and that's 22 years old.
02/01/2018 10:52 AMPosted by Merp
02/01/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Seccie
Besides, who would still actively play something that's just about 20 years old?


I'm not sure if your being sarcastic or stupid. People still play pong, which was invented in 1958. I still play the legend of Zelda. Some games never grow old.


It must've been sarcasm, I guess?

There's really no comparison.

D2 hardly has any real replay-ability.

Solo MF runs & gearing, really. The whole party aspect was to speed up your runs and fortify exp gains.

Cost comparisons of something stored away and coveted vs. buying a PS4 just for kicks and maybe 30-50 games to play on it.

I speak as someone who's been concurrent with these products, and (I) have actually been playing (enough of) them. <---- All of the games, as they are released are supposed to be really easy out of pocket. Otherwise, it would require greater returns.

My question, as it remains, is that why would anyone want to play pong this day and age? Actively play?

Pong is as relevant as to why it caught on and how it sold, in contrast to everything else that wasn't selling at the time, mainly because no one wanted to push anything else to sell.

Unfortunately, I was never for taking hits of @c|d (back then I heard it was barely 15th-30th of a hit... Canada had nothing to do with super stuff from the 10's) and watching Calico Vision on hours on end, downing martini's. Personally, I preferred cars, planes & infrastructure.

Memories reminiscent of past experiences are something else. However, remaining on a topic where people have been completely ripped off, abused & shoved down heartlessly begs to differ.

There was originally a consistent cycle for releasing remasters & remakes as bonuses. I used to have a closet full of disposable hand-helds running classic games. I even grew up with arcade systems all around me.

Maybe it's because I always kept track of how cheap those things resorted to being. However, my focus hasn't shifted away from how it led to games being run the way they are, still, to this day.

Games have been growing old. <---- Mainly because they were reduced from something else as a modeled design.

If you played the first Zelda game, and continued to play every single one of those games at each of their releases, on every platform release, I honestly don't think your appreciation for the first game would've been the way it is now.
02/01/2018 10:58 AMPosted by Zeddicuus


This is very much true. If I could find my father's old Intellivision, there are several games I'd spend several nights replaying. I still go back and play 'Gunstar Heroes' on my Sega Genesis and I got that back in 1993. Still play 'Battletoads' on my NES too, and that's a bit older. Baldur's Gate 1 &2, Fallout 2 all see periodic upstarts on my PC's and those all date around 1997-2000 and haven't had new content since then (I don't use mods).

Some games people revisit over and over and they haven't seen new content in ages. A game doesn't need a constant barrage of new content to be fun, but it does have to have a great design. A game should be simple to learn, but take a fair amount to truly master. It's finding those little nuances that can make revisiting an old game a new experience.

To be honest, if a game starts to feel like it needs new content for me to find fun, I tend to worry about the state of that game.

When was the last time Diablo 1 had a major update again?


I'd disagree in finding a simple game to learn that can take a fair amount of time to get used to playing and being good at. If it's simple, it's simple. Restrictions and nuances make simple games into drawn-out nightmares. I won't say I'm necessarily competitive, but I am heavily oriented into performance. I actually hate the idea of having to compete with just about anyone, especially if I've been putting more work into that I've been doing.

Maybe it's because I kept up with my reading and work as I ventured into paving the way for games. Unfortunately, gaming has been more of an inside trade scene. I admit, I never had to be restricted into this mess as a gamer. I just own & play games.

I honestly wouldn't encourage it, however it would be nice for things to be encouraging. If you were to completely replace all your electronics with the latest stuff, you wouldn't have the time to reminisce on your old shelved stuff.

It is bs, because games are, in fact, made out to be luxurious. However, if you were actually to embark upon a marathon of all of the titles to date, you'd be interested in more and other things.

I actually liked it better when I thought you weren't here anymore.

You hear about Gimpzor?
02/01/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Seccie
Besides, who would still actively play something that's just about 20 years old?

I bought D2 a few years ago and still play it. I still play Commander Keen, Heroes of Might and Magic II, and Ultimate Doom. Classic games are classic.
02/01/2018 12:11 PMPosted by Xombie
02/01/2018 10:11 AMPosted by Seccie
Besides, who would still actively play something that's just about 20 years old?

I bought D2 a few years ago and still play it. I still play Commander Keen, Heroes of Might and Magic II, and Ultimate Doom. Classic games are classic.


I used to really enjoy making levels for all the Dooms and Duke Nukem 3D. One of the levels I made ended up on a CD called 10,000 levels of doom (or something like that). I wish I made some money off of it. Sadly I no longer have the cds for those games.

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