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"For social games to succeed, their designers must make a conscious effort to adopt and "make casual" the preceding 30 years of industry design knowledge.


So, to return to the question, what makes a game casual?

At first, it may seem trivial to answer: if a game is easy to play, it's casual; if it's not, it's hardcore. Yet "difficult" is a broadly subjective term that describes many different things.Pac-Manis difficult, but is it hardcore? And what about Tetris? Surely Tetris is casual, yet how can a game that always ends in failure not be considered difficult?

The distinction is accessibility. A game that starts easy is accessible, even if it ends hard. But knowing this doesn't exactly give us any revolutionary insight. To truly understand casual, we must first dig deep into specifically what makes a game inaccessible -- what makes it hardcore.

Six things that make a game hardcore:

  1. Difficult controls
  2. Overwhelming options
  3. Prerequisite knowledge
  4. Abstract memorization
  5. Unclear goals
  6. Unclear solutions

Six things that do not make a game hardcore:

  1. Challenge
  2. Trial and Error
  3. Strategy
  4. Theme
  5. Repetition
  6. Depth / Graduated objectives"


Comments:
Comment by solo2001 on September 28, 2010, 2:43 pm
According to this Tetris is a *little* hardcore. Citing all the memorization of where the pieces are best placed. Plus the goal is pretty damn unclear, or at least I haven't figured it out.
Comment by Gillz on September 28, 2010, 10:53 am
Pretty sure this article is satire :)
Comment by XaeL on September 27, 2010, 9:59 pm
They know nothing.
Comment by ManOfMiracles on September 27, 2010, 8:42 pm
nothing. they know nothing
Comment by Someone2knoe on September 27, 2010, 8:36 pm
What do they know about tetris?
Comment by themysticalninja on September 27, 2010, 4:27 pm
All i know is that Electabuzz is definently hardcore.
Comment by GoldPlatedDish on September 27, 2010, 4:13 pm
What do they know about the casual/hardcore distinction?
Comment by briannn on September 27, 2010, 4:01 pm
so tgm isn't hardcore

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