The lights are on
The Walking Dead: 400 Days DLC was revealed and released in a matter of weeks. We barely had a chance to get excited about the add-on before it was in our hands with a review posted online.
Broken age, by comparison, is a game we knew about before it was even fully conceptualized. Backers for the game have had intimate knowledge about its development every step of the way, and after yesterday’s update, we know we won’t get a chance to experience the full game for some time.
Both methods are acceptable means of getting the word out about a game, with the latter being an especially radical and new way of delivering information. The question is, though, do you want that level of access? Even games that don’t offer the same inside looks during development can undergo unexpected delays, creating long gaps between announcement and release. Others that do release on time will sometimes get announced years before an actual release. Bioshock Infinite, even if it had hit its original release window, was still announced years before it was set to launch.
How much do you want to know about a game before it releases? And how far in advance do you want to know it's coming? Do you want a long period of development gestation giving you plenty of time to learn and get excited about a game? Or do you want the developers to withhold everything until the last second so you can go in as blind as possible? All methods of reveal have been tested and work to varying degrees, but which do you prefer?
Email the author Kyle Hilliard, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
I only want to hear small bits of info when a game is announced (preferably 6-12 months in advance), and have new info about the game every month or so. Just enough to keep me hyped!
This is a really difficult topic. The amount of information given over a certain amount of time, be it 2 years or a month, really depends on if the developer can pull it off. Bungie for example is really good at this with snippets of information and teases being given out fairly often with no real solid amount of info. But then they give out one giant bulk of info with a video of sorts. So it really depends if it's well done or not. But it is very tricky to do correctly.
I like regular updates (quarterly say) with real information about gameplay styles, options, theme, info on the music and voice actor's (if its that sort of game). I don't want to see the same tired trailer over and over with tiny pieces of information that don't really tell me anything.
I like to have enough info to know if it is a game I would like to play or not but not so much that I feel like I have played the game already.
I usually don't care that much about which engine it is built in - or what fancy new graphics software they have written - I am much more interested in gameplay mechanics - level design - gaming theory et cetera.
As long as it's got some kind of visual clue to the game, concept art, images or best of all gameplay. Otherwise it's a tad too intangible to maintain interest. Having a bunch of talk and no show just leaves you clueless most of the time.
Anything more than 6 months notice is dumb. And at very max 1 year. You fail if it goes longer. More details are always welcome so long as it doesnt spoil everything, because you can choose for yourself how much u want to take in. It doesnt make me happy to think destiny at a holiday 2014 would be waaaay too far off. Hopefully they change it up this time and go outside of fall/ holiday releAse and do like march
I like how Rockstar markets their games. Gradually releasing a bit of information every few months.
I prefer knowing what to expect from any upcoming title. If I don't know something about a game is better or worse, my buying choice is improper.
if its super smash brother i just want to know all of the people in it :)
I think it depends on the game. However, I think that Blizzard (not saying that they are perfect, mind you) has the best approach to it: they release all the information about what is going on, the updates, etc, all in chunks independent from one another and it allows the player to see what he wants/doesn't want.
As much as people might want to hate on D3, Blizzard put everything about the game out, down to the last bit (except for that flubbed PvP thing). So it makes it a personal thing whether you kept check or not. I think this is the best approach.
I would love if a game was always announced within a year of intended release. And I mean truly intended release, reasonably expected and planned for. Not the delusion/denial so many developers suffer from.
As for how much do I want to know... I rarely even read previews anymore. It is up to the developer but they should always leave at least a little left unsaid and to the imagination.
I'd say 6 months before released, with 3 teaser trailers over the coarse of 3 months and two gameplay trailers the last 3 months.
And no achievement/trophy reveals before release!
For me it depends on the game, some games like The Witcher 3, AC4 Black flag, Infamous Second Son, I don't want to know anything beyond a release date. Others like Watch Dogs, Killzone Shadow fall, Batman Arkham Origins, Beyond Two souls, I want to know as much as possible about, not that I'm actively looking for things to spoil the story but if I happen to find something big about the story it doesn't bother me to bad.
The wait time doesn't really matter. We're still waiting, whether we know or not. It's cool to sometimes see a game come out soon, others I don't mind waiting for.
As far as how much they should tell us, that's tough. I like being able to get excited about a game, but I still want their to be a lot of me to take in when I start playing. I don't want to know a fighting games entire roster before I actually pick it up. I don't want to know the entire story before I start an RPG. I don't want to know every mechanic about an action game before I have a chance to check it out myself.
I feel like Final Fantasy XV is a good example. Ignoring the fact that it's been forever in the making, I'm absolutely pumped for it, and I really don't know anything about it. I know some names and there's some sort of conflict. It's going to have action focused combat. That's really all I know. So when I finally get to play it, I'm going to be excited, but all the new stuff I find out for myself is only going to serve to make it more enjoyable.
I do not want last second information. I enjoying writing release dates on my calendar. I want something to look forward to. I am fine with a 2 year window from the first trailer announcement, but I really want most of the information around 6 months. Trailer! Tell me why I should care and why the story is intriguing. I can censor myself if I don't want to know more about the story. Game Informer does great job of spoiler warnings. Gameplay! I want to see gameplay before I buy it. I am bad at playing certain kind of games. I prefer third person and not first person. Gore! I want to know if I can turn off the gore before I buy a game. I may just pass if I can't.
The last of us release should be the highest amount of time between release and announcement. 1 yr and a half. Max.
And yes throw out as much info as is needed. By giving players the option of viewing the content they get to decide how much they want to know. I watched 3 videos of last of us since it was announced. Others may have watched more. That's how it should be
The truth is when a game misses its release window everyone expects it to be excellent, but when it comes out good then it becomes bad. I believe when the game is 70 percent complete, then it needs to be advertised and announced.
I luv knowing info about a game before I play it!
I want to know early, and i want to know allot, Game play wise, I like to know what I am getting myself into because the renting of games is vanishing. We are expected to pay out arm fulls of cash for a game we sometimes know nothing about.
Of course the completely wrong thing to do is announce early and then just go quiet, leaving the gamer to wonder what happened. Take Final Fantasy Versus X-III. It was announced early and then dropped dead silent for years, not so much as a perverted whisper was let slip from the developers lips, and many gamers thought it had been shelved or worse completely trashed.
We have to know what we are getting ourselves into without having the journey spoiled. An easy way to do this is a VR type gameplay demo. A simple room flooded with whatever the game needs to be shown off without being spoiled. So we can see the game in full flash without having any fraction of it lose its luster.