The game industry has evolved every year since the first video games were released. The industry continues to absorb and improve upon new technologies as they become available, and this is one of the main reasons why this industry is so dynamic. Technological advancements and the reality of virtual gaming have turned this industry around and brought about many of the trends we see today. In this article, we will take a look at some of the more obvious game design and development trends to watch for in light of the goings-on in the gaming industry.
Before we dive too deep into the notable trends, it is important to understand that each of these design and development trends has smaller developments within them that provide an overall picture of what trends to watch for. In the technology trends section, one of these notable developments is the scaling of cloud gaming.
Cloud gaming, or Gaming-as-a-Service, has not taken off as many people anticipated, but it has still taken off greatly. Google Stadia was expected to come in and change everything, but PlayStation Now and similar technologies are now leading the industry. These services allow you to run intense games without investing in powerful and often expensive hardware. As these services become more widespread, they will give developers more freedom in how they design and develop their games.
For one, there will be no hardware limitations to think of since these services are run on very powerful hardware. New games will not have any technical limitations because they will be created for the cloud first and with virtual gameplay and worlds in mind. Third, lots of genres will be combined as there will be no limitations to doing so.
Lastly, there will be a blurring of online and virtual personas. With people putting a lot of emphasis on how they look both online and in the real world, developers will work to make virtual personas indistinguishable from real ones.
Internet of Senses
The other technological trend to watch out for is the internet of senses. For games to be more immersive, they will need to take advantage of all our five senses. We have already seen this happen with virtual reality and artificial reality where these games take advantage of sight, sound, and touch through displays, headphones, and vibration. Technologies like 5G will take this further by allowing tasting in games. Although this technology isn’t far along, we have already seen this happen with some display manufacturers who allow you to taste what is on your screen.
Virtual Reality Experiences
One of the most-watched technologies in the gaming space is virtual reality due to its capabilities. There is so much more that virtual reality can do, and many experts say we have not even started exploring everything. Game companies are doing the best they can by improving the graphics in their games. By doing so, they aim to give players better and more immersing experiences. We can surmise that the demand for virtual reality games has been pushed by the pandemic, with a lot of people wanting to be transported to other realities. Game developers took on the challenge to improve their games and now that they have started exploring what is possible, we can expect better VR experiences.
Blurring the Line Between Movies and Games
Another design trend to watch for is the blurring of lines between games and movies. Unreal Engine 5 has already demonstrated that it can create graphics that are indistinguishable from the real world. These Hollywood-level graphics can be combined with virtual avatars and interactive storytelling to change the stories, drama, emotions, and other elements in games while also enhancing the relationship between the developer and gamer. When this happens, the confines that hold gamers today will be broken. Gamers will be able to interact with the virtual worlds in ways developers did not anticipate, essentially making them producers of their gaming experiences.
Changes in Formats
With changing gaming platforms, developers are already making changes to the way they design their games as well as the different formats they put out there. One of the trends pushing a change in formats is mobile gaming. According to various research areas and bodies, over half of all smartphone users play at least one game on their phones.
As the total number of mobile gamers increases, game development companies have to rethink how they develop their games. We are already seeing a trend where game developers are developing computer and mobile versions of their games. Games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Call of Duty have already come to mobile, with casual games like casino games already following the trend. Reputable casinos already offer mobile versions of their games which makes it easy to find an online casinos ireland.
The main challenge for game developers in the coming years will be to port their games over to mobile for those who are yet to do so and expanding their games on the platform for those who have already done so.
Monthly Subscription Schemes
Monetisation is one aspect of game design that designers and developers have to think about carefully. While monetisation makes them money, it can turn players off depending on the strategy used. Game developers are already moving to monthly subscription models which have been used in the video and audio streaming platforms successfully.
Players have reported that they are open to subscription models in the games they play that ensure they do not come with ads, and include in-game purchases and loot boxes. This is a win-win for developers and gamers. Developers have a recurring revenue model and gamers get a better experience.
To cater to players who are not yet open to this model, game developers can leave the free versions of their games that come with in-game purchases, adverts, and other monetisation options.
The game industry will continue changing over the next few decades. As players, that can only be a good thing as you get better experiences and games to try out. Game developers get to take advantage of the latest technologies to create the best products they can.