by BlueFire, HSM guest contributor
Dailies are activities and tasks you take on every day. They are the essence of casual gaming. These casual, daily games benefit people who like to play games, but can’t dedicate much time to it. They are good for goal oriented people, because they give them something to shoot for, the ultimate goal or just a series of little goals. Daily games are also great incentives for long-term loyalty play. You can devote more time to the game overall, if your play is spread out over an extended period.
Farmville didn’t invent the concept, but they probably perfected it. In this game, crop planting and harvesting were tasks you worked on every day to earn rewards. Facebook games are successful because they are social and very casual. You don’t have to devote much time to play them. You can just check in once a day and still do well. In the 1990′s, we saw a version of this with digital pets, such as the Tamagotchi. You fed your pet on a cycle, and played with it once a day to keep it happy. Unfortunately, my pets always died, but I liked having a daily routine, and something depending on me to take care of it.
PlayStation Home has dailies too, with different sorts of tasks. The pioneer of Home dailies is Aurora. Like many in Home, I am excited by the recent news that Aurora may soon see an increase in the level limit beyond the long-standing 100. Other dailies include fossil digging in Granzella’s Southern Island, Granzella’s Defend Edo, and Digital Leisure’s Paradise Springs Casino. These are games you play a short time each day, and do a little at a time. They give you a routine, and something to do in Home.
I wish more games in Home adopted that format. Aurora even limits how much XP you can earn per day. I know some people get frustrated because they have no patience, but without a long-term, continuing game they would complain they have nothing to do.
I play app games on my tablet, and I like a lot of them, but I would like to see more of this type of gaming in Home. They could easily be monetized, by selling items or spaces that make the game easier or faster. You can see examples of this in Aurora and Granzella. In Aurora, you can buy a personal space, upgrades and clothing items that let you earn more XP per day. The upgrades make the process faster for the impatient, but still takes quite a while to reach level 100.
In Granzella, you can buy a personal space to access a different area to dig, as well as tools and charms that will help you find more fossils per day, with better odds of finding rare ones. You can also buy tickets to enter a paid site three times a day. For three dollars you can enter sixty times over twenty days, and find up to nine fossils a day in that site alone. With all the sites combined you can find fifteen fossils a day, but you have no guarantee of finding a rare one, just better odds.
In Edo, you can buy a personal space and upgrades to have a better chance of beating your enemies and earning ryo to trade. The Paradise Springs casino gives you free tokens once a week, and now offers daily free spins on a slot machine, and a new free daily poker table. Before these features were added, if I lost all my chips I would have to wait until the next week to get more free ones. Now I can return daily to play the poker table.
Some of Home’s existing games could be turned into dailies. Imagine if you could only do one mission per day in Mercia. Some people wouldn’t like it, but it might have been more interesting if the game had been stretched out over weeks or months. People wouldn’t have been tempted to spend an entire day maxing out their level to get all the rewards.
Dailies can be great fun, but they need a good balance of labor and reward. The recent egg crushing game in the Lockwood Showcase was a disaster. You weren’t limited to one session per day, but you couldn’t do too much in a session without getting dizzy. Earning the higher rewards took forever, even with the Rogue outfit.
Dailies also need a good balance of a high level limit, how much you can do per day even with upgrades, and reasonably priced upgrades. It’s also good if multiple games contribute to your XP, as in Novus Prime where you can play missions or shoot robot spiders to earn nebulon, or Aurora, where you can chase Orbs in the public space, or shoot invaders in the Aurora Island personal space.
We don’t come to Home for hardcore gaming. I wish Home would accept this, and add more casual games. Games that don’t require too much time, effort or money from their users, but engage your interest for a short session, and then give you a reward. Ideally, you would be sharing this game with your friends, before you go back to just hanging out.
Imagine if Home had at least ten games like this. If you played all of them, you would end up spending more money on upgrades, and more time in Home. At the moment we only have Aurora, fossil hunting in Granzella, the Casino, and to some extent Edo. There are other games in Home, of course, but few of them budget your time like a true daily.
When casual games demand more of your time, they begin to compete with serious disc games. And Home simply can’t compete there. Home is casual, and Home’s management needs to accept that, and own it. But casual daily gaming it can still be a profitable strategy. If you as a player split your time between multiple casual games, then you become less conscious of how much total time and money you spend in Home. You have more fun, and Home’s bottom line benefits.