What is a midcore game? Is it a hardcore game gone soft or is it a casual game gone hard? Well here is my definition
Midcore is a game with casual mechanics, only short term consequences and a long term strategy
Casual mechanics are easy to approach mechanics, often seen on mobile who needs a simple interface. This includes simple tapping to swiping left and right.
My favorite midcore game is Clash of Clans. Mechanics are all tap to use, there are short term consequences when you are attacked you actually loose something and there is a long term strategy in how you build your village. Now SuperCell have made a brilliant game design in terms of auto balancing the users, their strength and their profit, by pitching users with the same victory points against each others. This an auto tiering of players, pushing down players who don’t belong there and encouraging players to upgrade their town mostely by spending alot of real world cash, well done SuperCell.
Now most games fail at pitching players against each other in a midcore way, because they all fall for the big-brother concept. This is where the more experienced players bash the new players, because they can, they have everything to gain and they risk nothing. This makes new players leave and an overall bad game experience. But SuperCell has avoided this by
- Only short term consequences, you can only loose the “free” stuff (stuff that autoregenerates)
- Shield feature, getting attacked has a reward. You are left alone for half a day
So by being attacked and loosing you actually gain something and you only loose things you have not worked or paid for and are therefore not really attached to,
The game World of tanks by wargaming.net is also a midcore game. The game is simple, there is a tank in hangar and a big fat play button. When you press play you immediately enters a 3D multiplayer game, again with automatic tiering. The only consequence of loosing a battle is a damaged tank that can be repaired very cheaply, and you get money even if you loose. The tank can be upgraded and the better tank you have the better players you are up against. So the game keeps you entertained by opposing you to (mostly) slighty better opponents and the game has short term consequences a long term strategy and casual game mechanics (instant repair, instant battle, log off whenever you want)
Midcore has alot of potential and its the what I am trying to approach with my design on the Historyline remake
Gamasutra have written about midcore and their definitions are fairly close to mine, which is good