Hello. It’s us. Yes, we make computer games. We piranhas. Welcome to Piranha Becken TV. But for whom? For ourselves? Yes, certainly. So we make games that we ourselves find cool. But that’s not enough. That’s why today’s topic is ‘Who plays our games’. Who actually plays our games? The topic is audience analysis, target group analysis, market analysis. Dry stuff is what you could think. But it is actually quite easy. So this means, who do we knit the games for? We already had the thesis – you do mainstream and so on. But what exactly are we doing here? We make games that are fun. But for whom? I think that it tends to be very specifically tailored for a particular viewership. And not because anyone of Piranha Bytes thought at the beginning – now we want to make games for the group XY. But now we make a really great game and the group XY jumped on it somehow and it has remained so until today. So we’re lucky that our way of making games actually interests anyone at all. Actually you. Well, who are you? So what do we think who you are and so on. Because you always tell us. That means we get a lot of feedback and so on and then we can observe and illuminate. We’ve had that before – gamer types and so on. But a very simple thing would be – how old are you anyway? So that means, which age group plays our game most frequently? I think we have gamers aged 25 to 35 who play our games the most. But due to this we don’t tailor the games for this audience, but we also do things for a younger audience. And we also do things for an older audience and there are a lot of older people who actually like and play our games. Who are over 35 years old. Because we are old geezers ourselves. I am by now. Not you. Yes. So that means, you couldn’t call it a children’s game. This means we don’t make a children’s game. We make games for everyone. We want the game to be easily accessible. Meaning, everyone understands what it’s about and not some complicated market- trade- simulations or something. Or totally skillful, so that you can only win fights with a diploma or something like that. But it should be so, that the entry is very easy and that’s our goal. And we also say – okay, everyone who plays this, should somehow have the opportunity to play it. We write on our game RPG. ‘Freedom redefined in RPGs’ – stands on ours poster. This means, role-players should play our games. Are the role-players the only ones we address? No. Interesting question. There are also different types whom we address. So most significantly, what has been noticed over and over, all these years, our games are pretty German. What does that mean? Since we write stories from our everyday life into the game and also conceive quests and dialogues and stories like that, the German player feels addressed most often. So our biggest market for all the games we have ever produced, was always Germany. Or German speaking, in any case. So we’re doing something right here. Something the people here also like. Then to say, we’re making the game for anyone coming from Australia is, of course, the wrong approach. Of course we stay with what we can do best and do best. And so we make a game that is typical for Piranha Bytes. What’s typical for Germany? Of course you can somehow dissect this even more, but we don’t want to do that here. Because the question is often asked – why are you not as represented or as popular abroad as in Germany? That’s a result. That has many many different factors, but it’s just that we are Germans. We have a certain kind of humor. We always call it Ruhr valley – fantasy. We bring in our Ruhr valley charm and that is very represented here in any case. That means we even have someone who localizes our jokes, because out there, this kind of dialogues and these characters are often misunderstood or maybe even not so popular. In foreign countries or elsewhere this may not even be understood. No idea, that’s very difficult. Somebody else has to answer that for us. What leads us to the second point. You say RPG. Basically, we make games for fairytale tellers. That’s a term I use to describe what kind of person likes to play our games. Because in other countries, too, we are sometimes very popular with this group of people who likes this kind of narrative. Stories. We tell many stories. And that definitely makes us special. So, what do RPGamers expect of us? Meaning the genre differs from player types to player types. We said humor. We said challenge. Now let’s look at what different game-genre stuff we have. RPGs for example. What does someone expect who wants to play a RPG from us? A certain skill tree. Meaning, he wants the character to be able to progress appropriately. That he can work from rags to riches. So from a loincloth and a rusty nail up to a knight’s armor. Best armor ever and improve your skills. It should have a rich story with twists and turns, so I also get surprised. Visit many characters, who give me missions, so that I can move around in the world and that I can play my role in this world. That the characters react to what I do, for example. Then experience an epic adventure. This means, you should be able to decide how to encounter this world. Whether one is for the world or against the world and then maybe only for parts of the world or not etc. There must always be an epic story, an adventure you can experience. Because most of them choose the righteous way somehow. That’s the way it is. Nevertheless, one should also be able to play the ass in this world. And this epic story, this meta-plot, should always be about everything and in the end you should be able to save the world or not. That’s what you expect from a RPG. Then there should be a big world. RPGs have big worlds. So RPGs are not small. Few games, that call themselves RPGs, are small. Most of them are a little bit bigger, that means starting at 30 hours of playing time. Not somehow exorbitant 500 hours and we have 75 square kilometers. That is not meant. We don’t want that either. We don’t want to get even bigger. I emphasize that every time. Because that is asked very often. You are getting bigger and bigger. We really don’t want that. We want to tell dense stories, but it has to be a big world, so that a RPG can happen in it at all. Keyword freedom. I can decide. There are players who like to sit in the chair and watch the sunset. The game offers this. They just go somewhere and see what happens. Or I follow the dialogues, have a lot of dialogue stuff and so on. I have the freedom to decide for myself what I’m going to do next and where I’m going. And, of course, there must be a certain framework for this. Our opinion is that a RPG is best placed in an open world setting. Although there are other scenarios as well. There are RPGs which are constructed linear. That works too, but we feel most comfortable in an open world. We think you have the maximum freedom there. Every NPC can be the first person you can meet, choose your own path and the whole thing we always say. That’s actually the core of the whole story. And that’s what a RPGamer also expects. I go to the dwarfs or I go to the elves. I’m going somewhere else and look at that and can actually play there. You don’t get a barrier or anything like that. Although we don’t have dwarfs or elves now. Many assets. Meaning RPGamers expect many different weapons and many different races. There must not only be humans in it. Also humans, but then also different things like monsters, for example, or gnomes. Just fantasy monsters. That’s what somehow appeals to RPGamers. That belongs in there. RPGamers play our games, so we have to consider what a RPGamer expects from us. But that’s not the only player we take into account. Adventure players. What does an adventure player expect? That’s Point & Click Adventure. What does he expect from us? Puzzles for example. That one asks the player a question and he has to solve different things or figure out how to get somewhere. How else can I do that? How can I get around there? Are there different ways of solving something? The game has to offer this as well. Do I pay the guy the money back or just keep it? We got the assignment to buy the sword and he gave me money for it. Do I simply keep the money or buy the sword and then bring it back. Meaning, the quests and missions we design always have a trick. That means you can decide. That’s more adventure style. You can also play a role, but there is always some trick. What is the best way to get through the world? You always like to call that stuff-factor. That’s also adventure-like. Stuff-factor, what is meant by that? That’s the fiddling around with stuff in the inventory. That means I can collect different items and can do different things with them. I can go to the workbench and craft something different, maybe I can combine things etc. If the game doesn’t offer any of this, then you miss it. So a certain stuff-factor must come in, so that I have the feeling, that I can do something with the stuff. I have to find the things and can somehow brew potions. Sure, these are also RPG elements, but especially for the adventure player stuff like – I pick this vault – for example, are essential. So how do I find out the combination? I can look around, maybe it’s here somewhere. These are adventure elements that we build in. They are also explorers. An adventurer is definitely also an explorer. Meaning he looks around. What is that back there? He looks at things and how they relate to each other, etc. That’s very, very essential for an adventure player. And first of all he looks in every corner. That’s right, like in a 2D screen. He looks at everything. The fire extinguisher, can I take it? What can I take with me, what did I forget? Many have the aspiration, or perhaps the compulsion, to not forget any item. If I am already here, then I have to look everywhere. Did I really pick up everything? Could be, that I can use it again later and for that I would like to have it. The next type of player, considering genres, is the shooter. That is, the shooter player. What does he expect from us? That you can play the game through with a gun. That I don’t only have close combat, but I also get a gun. In Elex you can get guns and then play the game as a ranged fighter. But then the shooter player also expects of us that this works. And if you neglect this, then people will miss it. For example, we also had guns in Risen, but you could not aim with such precision. Then people ask – why can’t you? I would like to be able to really aim. What about body zones, What about headshots? So these questions are asked and sometimes we can serve them and we want to serve them and sometimes we just don’t. And how much of these shooter elements do you have in the game, so that the shooter-player also has fun. Are we making a game for shooter-players? Well, a little bit. It may not be our only target group. Someone who plays Call of Duty and is the crack in Counterstrike. For such a person maybe not. But at the end of the day, we want to put in a few elements of it, so he feels a bit at home and also likes to play the game. Above all, relating to the third-person perspective. Third-person shooter players are addressed more. Because we don’t serve first-person. And we basically have to completely develop the melee system and still offer many different ways to use weapons, to use ammunition and to let off steam somehow. In Elex more than ever. We went one step further in this direction. Yes right. What do combat game fans expect from us? Very clear, firstly the melee. Meaning the combat system enables to play through everything completely with the melee weapon and that the opponent-ai is cool and things like that. That you can just fight around the area, somehow have huge enemies, small enemies and so on. 30 percent of the time you actually fight against monsters. Either you shoot them or you flatten them in close combat. The player also expects that from us. What I read a lot above all else, were things like the satisfaction when you notice in the further course of the game – I have a better weapon, I have better skills, I have better armor and now I can actually defeat these huge monsters easier. Because in the game we have opponents, who don’t get stronger accordinlgy all the time and not these permanent spawns, which I don’t like at all – I killed the frog, turn around, there comes the same frog again … Then there’s a bunch of frogs … But I have this monster and it flattens me with one hit. I am frustrated and later I come back with my awesome armor, my wicked weapon and then I finally destroy him. Then I actually notice that I’ve gotten better. And this effect has to be in the game and this makes people happy and that’s what they expect from a Piranha Bytes game. Regarding adventures, something else comes to my mind – endless inventory, no other RPG has that. We don’t limit the inventory due to any weight limits or slots that are somehow limited and can be unlocked. We think that’s cool. At least for our kind of game. So with this for example, we don’t dilute the playing time at all. Because that’s a great way to dilute the playing time. If I can’t carry everything, so I go there and back, etc. But with us you can take everything you see directly with you and then have it in the inventory. I always remember Guybrush Threepwood, stuffing the dog in his jacket and everyone making fun of this. And we have this volume reduction backpack, where everything fits in and people expect from the game that you can do this. So we don’t only cater to hardcore fans of Piranha Bytes, but also to occasional players. Exactly. Maybe not for absolute beginners. I think they would have a hard time, starting with a game like this. Because it’s not easy. It’s not easy, but there are also some, who really got into it. Yes and not a few, that’s true. Such kind of players who let themselves be sucked in and also like the many dialogues, play our games as well. So it’s a colorful bouquet of players out there, all with different demands for our game and sometimes we serve them more, sometimes less. That is also our aspiration, I would say, that many people feel comfortable in our games and have fun. A goal analysis in this case is always very difficult. Which age group is how large. The amount of people, etc. So that’s very complicated and you could somehow plan yourself dead and we actually do this hardly. We say, we make the games that we enjoy, and we make sure that there is something for everyone. Okay, but we essentially make games that we like to play ourselves and mostly ignore any great analyzes that any important people make. There are also things like – I don’t know what they are called – these lootboxes and stuff etc., where actually some sales managers sit down and make analysis – how does the guy work, how can I get him to buy another box again? And there are no such mechanisms here. We don’t think like that. We think about how to make a gripping story, how do we make the game world plausible, how do we make the players have fun as long as possible in our game? That is our main concern and then, of course, taking in account the appropriate player types. But in a way that fits, without bending over backwards to appeal to everyone. And this works. At some point you start guessing, and when you start guessing, you’re usually wrong. So it’s better to stay with what we know is fun for us. And then let it be tested. We do that to see if there are also people, who may not like it. Of course. Do you have a community question? I do. Here someone asks – I would be interested in how difficult it is to incorporate weather effects, seasons and day and night rhythm in a game? Primarily in RPGs. That’s very difficult. There are many RPGs, which are similar to us, which don’t do that. Which have no day and night rhythm. That means you get there and it’s always the same time. You can’t even go to bed and somehow change the time, as with us. That’s a kind of… Maybe not a unique feature. I don’t know how many other games do this. I’m not so aware of this right now. But many games don’t do this because there is a certain time of the day when the game and the world look best. And they usually fix the sun there. And we don’t do this. We say it needs the daily rhythm, with the day and night times, with the lively characters sitting around the campfire in the evening and elsewhere during the day. The morning sun and the evening – ‘come back in the morning’. These things. That a character sends you away for 24 hours and that you somehow feel – okay it’s night, I have to act differently. At night the music changes and it becomes a somewhat different, more threatening music. In the evening it’s just darker. There is this American night that we have, so you can still see and things like that. That people actually behave differently in the night. Even monsters behave differently, some sleep and so on. That’s a integral part of our game. They don’t behave the same way. And at any time of day or night the game also must always look as cool as possible 360 °. That is a challenge. It’s tempting to say as a developer – I always know exactly, that when the player comes here, the sun’s rays are just above the mountain. Or if I come to the dark valley, then it’s always raining there. And it’s always evening somehow and so on. To stage that and say – then and then the player always sees the same picture and I know that because I’m forcing that it is so. That’s easier. That’s easier and above all else I always know what it looks like and the player always gets to see the best thing that he can see at this moment. That actually makes it seem prettier. On the other hand it loses a lot of immersion at this point. Meaning, of course it’s an influence if I don’t know when it starts to rain. If I don’t know if the player gets there during day or night, and where the NPCs are doing their daily routine. Then the whole world is also self-sufficient and more lively and also looks more alive. Achieving this effect is more important to us. Therefore it is a day-night-cycle and a weather change, which we only partly influence. In a way that we say – well, in the desert it’s just hot and it will not snow there. But up in the ice-land it does. Like this we can set weather zones, which limit the weather. So we say it only snows here. Nevertheless, you can go there at night or day and sometimes it’s snowing, sometimes it’s not snow. We don’t influence that further. And that’s a science. It’s damn hard to get that right. Because if someone makes a screenshot, at a time of day that is not so flattering and in an area that may not be so great now, then sometimes images are made, where we say – okay, that would have looked much nicer with that weather and that kind of sun. But you have to live with that. Then, of course, you get beat up – the graphics are better there and so. Okay, but do they also have times of day? There are games that build in a change of the time of day, but it’s exorbitantly much more work. OK. I hope we have answered the question and many thanks for watching and for your interest. Write down your comments below, of what you think about it. Then we’ll see each other next week for Piranha Becken TV. Take care. I also read this recently. Someone wrote – the screenshot is not even from this game. It looked very different to me. Or if the game would look like that. It’s the game, but I went there at another time of the day. This really is a significant difference.