[casual_games] What is a Casual Game?

Aleksey Linetskiy aleksey at funostra.com
Wed Jan 4 12:20:09 EST 2006

I think there is one fundamental requirement for a game to be a casual
game: LOW REQUIRED INVESTMENTS FOR THE PLAYER. Investment in this case means any
possible resource - time, money etc - that the user should spend in
order to play the game. From this basic requirement come several others:

- Low learning curve (i.e. minimal time investment to start).
- Easily accessible - currently that means either web-based or
relatively small download. The pricing also plays important role here.
(Minimal investment of time/money to get the game).
- Low hardware requirements.
- Short playing cycles - either relatively short levels or relatively
short entire game (minimal time investment to play).

Two important notes:

1. ALL required investments should be low.
2. Only REQUIRED investments should be low - that means, for example,
the "easy to learn - hard to master" rule. Or, another example, the
game itself might be low priced - but the player later might spend ten
times more buying some additional stuff for his/her character.

That's how I see it.

-- Aleksey Linetskiy
-- http://grumpytech.blogspot.com

> Hi all,

> I've been reading the Wiki pages, the Casual game white paper and other
> resources, and they all seem to be pretty vague on what exactly makes a game
> casual versus core or hardcore.

> For example, on one site I read that a casual game is a game people can play
> for short period of time. Okay, I can do that with Doom 3 or Neverwinter
> Night, but these are hardly casual games.

> Simplistic gameplay also comes up when talking about casual games. I find
> that playing an adventure game like Fahrenheit is a lot less involved in
> term of gameplay mechanics than Darwinia (for me at least), but Fahrenheit
> is hardly a casual game.

> As for the file size, I think we can all agree that a casual game shouldn't
> require two days of download on a high speed connection.

> So, what do you guys consider a casual game and why?

> Thanks,

> --Eric

More information about the Casual_Games mailing list