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Plumpyfoof
July 24th, 2013, 06:22 PM
I want to start a discussion about our favourite pieces of video game production.
What I mean is, I want to hear other peoples opinion on what makes a specific game so great.

Things to discuss:

Characters
Game mechanics (list specific aspects)
Genre
Story
Emotion
Artistic content
Originality


And not necessarily a real game either, you can talk about what would be contained within your perfect video game. From the way you interact with an item to the way the animals in the distance screech at the ground or something Idk.

I want specifics here guys, I'm a production developer for an Indy game company and we want to appeal to the maximum audience we can. What better way to structure a good game, by asking everyone.


I'll get us started.

What do I think makes an ideal game?
I'm very much an emotional player, I like to be able to relate with my characters and feel what they're feeling as they feel it. An interesting and long story are also important to me, I want to want to go on this adventure for 15+ hours and still have this connection with the world.
I don't think I can realistically compare all genres and decided which is the best, although I find it difficult to play in first person because I am then playing as myself and I've already bonded with myself, I know my story and it's relatively boring. I want to bond with someone new.

In terms of mechanics, I know they're all relative to specific genres but I very much enjoy the music being woven into the movements of the characters or to be very intimately connected within the world every scene plays a different song for example.

Spartacus
July 29th, 2013, 01:55 PM
In a game, I like to see a range in character choices that have different attributes, traits etc. and you get to play as one of them. I also would be extremely satisfied with character customization throughout the game; weapon and armor upgrades, change in accessories, altering certain features of the character, that kind of stuff. This would fit, compared to any other genres, best in an RPG and that is generally the genre I enjoy the most anyway. You know, just venturing around, doing your thang, and you eventually end up with some monster weapons, armor and then you look back at when you were level 1 or something and just think "wow". The changes that you go through during a game for me are important. Looking at story, I'd want it to have quests, goals to reach but also the element of free-roaming which I think a few RPGs lack nowadays. Just like in Red Dead, I would head down to the Saloon after a hard days work. The game must also have things to do when you don't feel like questing and whatnot, I mean, several RPGs get repetitive in terms of things you do in the game so it would be brilliant to see things you could interact with more. I've always wanted to have conversations with random people in a game where you can say whatever you like and their reply will be based on what you said. Having certain relationships with other characters and having strong emotions between them. Speaking of emotions, I do like a good 'ol teardrop sliding down my right cheek. I feel more attached to games with emotion and will feel the urge to keep playing the game instead of quitting randomly at any time. In terms of graphics, they would need to be detailed, and I'm talking detail everywhere. In Skyrim, it's ideal because in a lot of places, the graphics are beautiful on high settings but it's clear they haven't worked one very single pixel. The game I would find perfect would have to have a whopping amount of detail, I want to see beauty, nature and mechanics everywhere I go like I'm a princess strolling through my castle (<3). The map would have to be huge, I like to explore in RPGs and having a big map would be the icing on the cake.

...In a nutshell, that's it. I will probably go on to double this later as I would need to give it a better think before going into too much detail. But yeah, the ideas I would want incorporated in the game have pretty much all been stated.

ƒin
July 29th, 2013, 03:33 PM
Vulnerabilities are important, if you're not seeing a person's vulnerabilities, you're most likely not completely understanding them. Games are no different, whether you're playing a hero trying you save the world, or placing blocks together such as in Tetris, you need to relate to the game by seeing the vulnerabilities. You need to see that a hero has a weak point, and that you can lose if they're exploited, you need to see that the mechanics of a game need to be adhered to, and you need to see how it could all fall apart, or else you'll fail in this game.

This brings me to my first point, a good game designer will always need to create a continuous challenge, this is what will keep the player hooked on the game. This is done when a game sets clear, and short-term goals which adhere to the level of the player and the context within the game. Each challenge should satisfy some sort of learning objective. This is seen when for example, answering a question, identifying a sample or completing a measurement or a portion of a map could be a challenge, part of a larger game. The player learns how to use a new item, or trick, or skill, to progress in the game. Making a game too extreme in difficulty makes it hard to engage with the challenge, but just as importantly, difficulty is a way of pacing rewards. It makes games enjoyable by spacing out the dopamine kicks of success, so that you never get bored of getting them, nor of waiting for them. Satisfaction for perseverance is key.

Making individual iterations convincing and pleasurable, is also a very important aspect of a good game. The feel of the game you're playing needs to be immersive and convincing. The first time you fire that virtual gun, when you feel the sound of the shot echo in your ears, see the recoil of the weapon you're holding, whether it offsets your aim, how your target reacts, all of this suggests something entirely different which interacts elsewhere in your game; the weight of the bullet, how hard it is, how the opponent felt or how hard it ricocheted of the object. This is just as important in games which aren't violent. If you're playing a platformer, you need to feel in complete responsive control of your character, your hands and the controls need to fit comfortably and reactively with what you're doing on screen, games like Super Meat Boy are a perfect example of this.


I feel that freedom is a very important aspect of games now, especially with this generation. The extent to which a game reacts to your choices with interesting results. A game that puts you in a ever continuing expanse of an empty field would have a lot of freedom in the ordinary sense of the word, but it's not just about maximising options. Freedom is about how many different options a game provides interesting responses to.

If the result is simply "your character moves a bit in that ever expanding field", that's not going to be very interesting. Games such as Deus Ex, even your choices about how you approach a wide-open level all lead to meaningfully different situations. Depending on what way you approach a mission, you may find it harder, such as shooting will spring a gun-fight with guards, but going about a mission stealthfully will give you more threats to think about in the long run. No matter how complex a game, freedom of choice on how you play, is so important.

The world you play in is extremely important. A lot of people miss the point of games, but they see the point in books very easily. Not many will disregard books, but it's no secret games aren't seen quite as much in the same light. Whether you're playing a game or reading a book, the resolution is the same; you're going on an emotional journey. Games can tell a story, they can make you feel and make you learn. The world you go through this story needs to be both appropriate, and interesting. It's hard to create a world which is not generic, but coming up with an area a player will want to explore and believe is important. A dead world is a dead game, a vibrant world leads to wonder and immersion.

A game needs to provide a promise, it needs to tempt the player into further possibilities. On its most basic level, the promise of ever-better items and stats keeps RPGs interesting way beyond the sell-by date of their challenge and feel. But promise can also be the anticipation of story developments, new puzzle mechanics or unknown abilities. This can count for replay value, and panning for a game. You need to know you're going to get your monies worth. Which is extremely important. Anticipation for more, and the appeal to the normal human greed in a person can drive a game.

Most of all, it's about creating a new world, it doesn't need to be current, it doesn't need to be Earth, it just needs to be consistent, and convincing. Drawing a player in, and allowing them to lose themselves in something as simply as collecting coins and saving a Princess such as in Mario, clearing rows of blocks and not allowing them to build up like in Tetris, or creating another life for a player to lose themselves in like Skyrim, is what makes games great. The developers just need to be making the games for the right reasons now, not just the money.

Plumpyfoof
July 29th, 2013, 05:15 PM
That's the kind of thing I want Fin!
That last little thing about money however, it costs money to make pretty much anything in this world. It takes money to eat, sleep, live with a roof over my head, if it were up to me games would be free, but I'm not a billionaire.
So the problem is I want you to want to spend money. The better the game the more mutually beneficial it is for the player and the creator.

Keep them coming guys I'm taking notes and you'll all be partially responsible for the great things we do.

BlueEspeon
July 29th, 2013, 05:57 PM
I can't really think of anything that doesn't sound stupidly obvious...
Sorry... ~_~

But... if if you can... a 3D-Free-roaming-platformer-RPG would be cool. But yet again that would be dumb of me to ask because that's a lot for a first attempt.

ƒin
July 30th, 2013, 08:43 AM
That's the kind of thing I want Fin!
That last little thing about money however, it costs money to make pretty much anything in this world. It takes money to eat, sleep, live with a roof over my head, if it were up to me games would be free, but I'm not a billionaire.
So the problem is I want you to want to spend money. The better the game the more mutually beneficial it is for the player and the creator.

Keep them coming guys I'm taking notes and you'll all be partially responsible for the great things we do.
There's that, but if a game is money driven (like Ubisoft like to do), it becomes all about the merchandise, and less about the game. Such as the way they're trying to sell off the Assassins Creed franchise so much. What I mean is, it should be more about the development than the publisher's goals. Of course the money is a massive factor, but a developer's ultimate goal should be about creating a great game, then money will never be an issue.