The Makers Of Ratchet And Clank Think Gaming Is Too Complex, The Solution? Facebook

The people behind Resistance, Ratchet and Clank and Spyro the Dragon think video games are getting so complex that they're leaving a huge potential audience behind. Their solution? A Facebook game.

"Spyro was a two-button game," said Brian Hastings, chief creative officer at Insomniac Games. "Ratchet and Clank was an eight-button game. Resistance was an analogue stick and eight buttons.

"You need to be a good game player to be able to get in their and have any fun."

But for those who didn't grow up gaming, the learning curve for many modern games is too high, Hastings says. That's where Insomniac Click comes in. Unveiled at South By Southwest earlier this month, Insomniac Click is a small studio inside Insomniac that will concentrate on making social games for web and mobile platforms. Their goal is to create games that can help introduce people to gaming and eventually lead them into the more complex, more deep gaming experiences of console gaming.

Their first game, which they hope to release this year, will be a Facebook title.

"There are a lot of other avenues we could have taken," Hastings said. "We think Facebook is one of the most exciting ones. There is such a large pool of people to reach."

In a story on Insomniac Game's website, Hastings promised that the games they make will be based on a "contract with our audience." That contract promises that their games will be fun for both players, be focused on the player experience, deliver the "richness of gameplay" expected in a console title, be easy to learn, but hard to master and finally be fun to play.

"We want to make games where the player comes first, where we are not using you as a tool to market our game," he said. "You can make money by having a good gaming experience."

While Hastings declined to say what the game will be about, he did say that it will be an entirely new game, one based on a new property that could make its way onto consoles one day.

"We are trying to make something different here," he said. "We are trying to make something that you would want to play. We want to make something that will be reviewed by console websites."


    While I don't play social games (I'm an elitist) I like what Insomniac is doing. As it's been said before, the more gaming is available for people, the more people will be considered 'gamers'. From a social perspective, thats cool, we'll no longer be an isolated fringe group. Financially, it presents some interesting opportunities, and it's good to see an experienced game dev taking a mature and serious look at those opportunities.

    I don't mind this approach at all, provided that the social gaming thing is something they do in ADDITION to their traditional/core games, not instead of them.

    Gaming getting more complex?

    I disagree. Games have been being made more stripped down, more streamlined, and in a few cases, dumbed down.

    What has been happenning is gaming has become more mainstream and thus has attracted a mainstream crowd with mainstream tastes, mainstream intelligence and mainstream attention spans.

    Since the economics of the console platforms force high development costs, games have to be made for a broad market rather than for niche markets (with some exceptions).

    Thus, the games haven't been getting more complex; the average "gamer" has become less willing to deal with complexity.

    That said, there's nothing wrong in and of itself with trying to create simple and accessible games.

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