The Mechanics Behind A Successful Cloud Video Game
The evolution of gaming over the years is fairly pronounced. We can anticipate cloud gaming to grow exponentially with developers and designers having access to inexpensive cloud based resources such as storage, collaboration and development/design tools. This will certainly help drive competition in the world of gaming development.
Cloud video games, or as they are also known in this capacity as online games and MMOs (massively multiplayer online), are the virtual mainstay of the current video gaming industry. While single-player offerings definitely still exist, the advances in bandwidth speeds, as well as the hardware and software that run modern games, have opened a whole new world filled with virtual universes teaming with other real-world players.
While the number of cloud games out there now are legion, only a relative handful have made any kind of a significant mark. Which begs the question: what exactly makes a successful cloud video game? Is there a clear path to success that future game developers can follow? Let’s take a look!
Starr Long, one of the driving forces behind one of the first and most successful cloud games to date, Ultima Online, claims that the primary factor behind a successful cloud game is performance. Latency, the number of players and the amount of in-game activity all have to be taken into consideration when it comes to developing a true winner in the cloud. No matter how cool a game is, if it cannot be played without performance hiccups, chances are it will fall flat on its face.
Cloud gamers are social animals. That may not always apply in a real-world situation, with many players actually preferring online interaction over that of the real world. This makes the community behind cloud games of extreme importance.
The development of a successful game community can impact the attraction and playability of a cloud game in many different ways, even more so than with a single-player one. The primary reason behind this is the simple fact that the main reason people play cloud games is to compete against real players, as opposed solely to NPCs (non-player characters). Developing the community surrounding the game is usually one of the best ways to attract more and more players.
Updates and Expansions
One of the coolest aspects of a cloud game is its persistence. Cloud games are designed as whole new worlds or universes, and as such, require new content in order to keep them fresh and exciting. Granted, this is also present with single-player games, with downloadable content usually being made available at some period after the game’s release. However, the updates and expansions released for a cloud game can revamp it completely, as opposed to the optional nature usually found in those released for single-player submissions.
With so many different cloud games available for play these days, it becomes of paramount importance to offer content that is not only challenging and exciting, but also varied. Cloud games are made to last, which makes a degree of variety a must have. Otherwise, gamers will simply move on to the next offering once they have gotten bored.
As you can see, the defining factors of what make a successful cloud game are a little different than what you would find for a traditional video game, due to its online and persistent nature. Do you have certain things that you look for when selecting a cloud game to play? Let us know in the Comments section below!
By Joe Peillicone