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Games All Designers Should Play (Organised) [NO LONGER UPDATED]


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#1 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 06:49 PM

NOTE: This thread is very old, incomplete and unmaintained. I'm leaving it here for archival purposes as many people apparently still find it useful or at least interesting - it should however be noted that the list ended up missing some significant games and entire genres, and of course doesn't include new entries.
Note: This is a work in progress, and I expect could take upto a week or more to complete (so do check back to see the completed list!). For anyone wondering, I'm collating the suggestions from TechnoGoth's (profile) thread Ten Games Every Designer Should Play, and adding additional information. At the current time, there are about 130 more items to add. >> Suggestions for additional games, further information for this thread (especially better websites for the listed games), or input on layout/what to include/etc are very welcome, but should be made in the other thread to prevent cluttering this one (note that as per this post, Sandman will delete any additional posts to this thread). Games will be divided by genre categories, with some genres merged into single categories for the sake of neatness. Each category will be in a seperate post, which you can jump to using the links following this paragraph. Any games which should ideally be listed under multiple genres will have a note placed next to thier entry in the first category into which they can fit, and will only have a placeholder in any additional categories. Categories: - Tabletop/Boardgame - Puzzle/Arcade - Sim(ulation) - Real Time Strategy (RTS) - First Person Shooter (FPS) - Turn Based Strategy (TBS) - Role Playing Games (RPG) Thanks To: - TechnoGoth (for the original thread) - rick_appleton (for collating the titles into an alphabetised list (link)) - sunandshadow (for giving me the idea behind this thread) - Sandman (for stickying the thread/input on layout) - superpig (for ammendment/correction of information) - Everyone who contributed to the original thread! Notes to self: (please ignore) 37 [Edited by - jbadams on March 14, 2010 6:07:54 PM]

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#2 Sandman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2136

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 02:46 AM

Stickied.

I'm leaving it open so Kazgoroth can update it - anyone else, please post suggestions in the other thread rather than in this one so as to keep it clean.

Anything else posted below this with be deleted.

#3 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 07:08 PM

Tabletop/Boardgame:
Note: Tabletop RPG are listed in the RPG category.

Games:
Checkers (Draughts) | Chess | Diplomacy | Pente | Rock Paper Scissors


Checkers (Draughts):
Strategy
Website: link
Summary:
A classic strategy game played on a board with 64 squares of equal size (32 playable). Players take turns moving thier pieces. Jumping one of the oppositions pieces into an empty square beyond it captures the piece (removing it from the board), and if a jump is possible, it must be made.
Look For:
-Simplicity
-Complex Strategy


Chess:
Strategy
Website: link
Summary:
A classic strategy boardgame for two players. Each player takes turns moving thier various pieces, each of which has different rules governing it's movement. The objective is to capture the opposition's King (or more realistically to force it into a position where it cannot be moved without being captured).
Look For:
-Extremely complex strategy


Diplomacy:
Strategy, Diplomacy
Publisher: Hasbro (current rights holder)
Website: link
Summary:
A boardgame created by Allan Calhamer. Although there are many variations, gameplay is based on an early 20th Century European setting, where (upto) 7 players control 7 major powers. Players order two types of combat units (armies and fleets) into combat against each other in an attempt to gain total control of Europe. Control is represented by ownership of Supply Centres (there are 34 of these on a standard board). The moves of players are simultaneous, and the success of each players moves is determined based on some simple rules. A core element of the gameplay, as implied by the title, is forming and breaking alliances with other players.
Look For:
-Complex player interaction
-Strategic use of diplomacy


Pente:
Strategy
Website: link
Summary:
A deceptively simple looking strategy game for two (or three) players. Players take turns placing tokens on the board, with the dual victory conditions of either placing 5 tokens in an uninterupted line on the board, or capturing 5 pairs (for a total of 10) of the opponents tokens.
Look For:
-Simple rules
-Complex strategies


Rock Paper Scissors (Roshambo):
Balanced, Simple
Website: link
Summary:
An extremely simple game requiring absolutely no equipment or items (assuming all participants have at least one hand). This game is the ultimate example of balance, containing 3 different moves, each of which defeats exactly one of the other two moves, and is defeated by exactly one of the other two moves.
Look For:
-Balance
-Simplicity


[Edited by - Kazgoroth on March 30, 2005 10:08:13 PM]

#4 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 07:10 PM

Puzzle/Arcade:
Note: May be expanded into seperate categories if warranted.

Games:
Asteroids | Duckhunt | Katamari Damacy | Lemmings | Pacman | Prince of Persia | Tetris | Zuma


Asteroids:
Arcade
Website: link
Summary:
The player flies a spaceship, attempting to avoid collision with the asteroids, and the occasional alien spaceship which tried to shoot them.
Look For:
-Simple gameplay
-Very simple controls


Duckhunt:
Arcade, Shooter
Website link
Summary:
In this Nintendo game, players use a lightgun to shoot at ducks on screen. The use of the lightgun made this game different from many others at the time.
Look For:
-Use of custom hardware (lightgun)


Katamari Damacy:
Arcade, Simple, Addictive
Website: link
Summary:
A rather novel concept where the player controls a ball rolling around. Collect objects by rolling over them, making the player's ball larger (and therefor able to collect larger objects). Objective is to get as large as possible.
Look For:
-Unique gameplay
-Simplicity


Lemmings:
Puzzle
Website: link
Summary:
A game in which small characters (lemmings) must be assisted to get from the entrance to the level to the exit within a certain period of time. Without assistance, the lemmings simply walk to thier death (or remain trapped until time expires in some cases). Players can order certain lemmings to perform certain tasks (often sacrificing the lemming in question) in order to help the rest to escape.
Look For:
-Complex puzzles
-Character branding


Pacman:
Arcade, AI, Emergent Behavior
Website: link
Summary:
A game where the player must eat all the 'food' or 'pills' in the level to progress to the next (harder) level, while avoiding 4 ghosts. Although the ghosts follow very simple rules, they interact in a complex manner, appearing to intelligently act together. The player occasionally gets to attempt to eat the ghosts, temporarily removing them from the map if succesful. One notably variation worthy of investigation is Ms. Pacman.
Look For:
-Emergent Behavior (complex AI interaction with simple rules)


Prince of Persia: (original)
Puzzle, Platform, Arcade, Timed
Website: link
Summary:
A brilliantly constructed game in which players have 60 minutes to complete the game (saving the Princess from the evil Jaffar), which is slightly more time than is needed for the average player to finish the game if they make a couple of mistakes, but is a short enough time to be a challenge. Although the graphics aren't particularly impressive (16 colour, and pixellated), the animation is brilliant, and the graphical style is well done. Completing the game involves an amount of thinking, as well as proficiency at the game controls (which are very simple).
Look For:
-Simplicity (very few controls)
-Animation quality (and general graphical style)
-Puzzles
-Respects player's time
Related Games:
-Prince of Persia II


Tetris:
Puzzle, Simple
Website: link
Summary:
A simple yet highly addictive puzzle game created by Alexey Pazhitnov in 1985. Players attempt to prevent a pile of blocks from reaching the top of the screen, by making complete lines using falling blocks. Completed lines are eliminated, and additional points are awarded for removing more than 1 line simultaneously.
Look For:
-Simplicity
-Replayability
-Low system requirements


Zuma:
Puzzle, Reflex
Website: link
Summary:
A simple game where players shoot coloured balls, in an attempt to create consecutive lines of 3 or more of the same colour. When all the balls are eliminated, the level is passed, but if all the balls reach the end of the level, the player loses a life.
Look For:
-Simplicity (particularly controls)
-Use of bright colours/animation and sound
-Continually varying gameplay due to bonuses creates replayability


[Edited by - sunandshadow on April 6, 2005 6:10:08 PM]

#5 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 07:11 PM

Sim(ulation):

Games:
Dungeon Keeper | Sim City | The Sims


Dungeon Keeper:
God Sim, Fantasy
Website: link
Summary:
In this game, the player plays as an evil character. Players build a dungeon, and manage imps and other minions in an attempt to stop the pesky heroes who constantly invade your realm in an attempt to stop you.
Look For:
-Unusual gameplay (for it's time)
-Different player perspective (plays as badguy)


Sim City:
Simulation, Resource Management
Publisher: Maxis
Website: link
Summary:
Players build a city, and manage it's resources, dealing with various events occuring and the effects they cause. The first of it's kind, and the start of a highly succesful series. Held largely responsible for the takeoff of the 'Sim' genre.
Look For:
-Unusual gameplay (first of it's kind)
-Generated Comedy (MadLibs-style newspaper articles)


The Sims:
Simulation, Virtual Family
Website: link
Summary:
Players control a small virtual family, customising them, and providing for thier needs (or not) as they see fit, in order to create interesting lives for each character, or simply to watch the interesting ways in which a character's life can fail.
Look For:
-Unusual gameplay
-Uses human instinct to tinker, and curiosity


[Edited by - sunandshadow on April 6, 2005 5:11:23 PM]

#6 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 07:38 PM

Real Time Strategy (RTS):

Games:
Age of Empires | Command and Conquer | Starcraft | Warcraft | Warcraft III


Age of Empires (I and II):
Realtime, Strategy, Historical
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios/Ensemble Studios
Website: AOEI | AOEII
Summary:
A real time strategy game (series) with a historical setting. Players play as one of a selection of nations, and advance from a simple stone age village to an advanced iron age nation. This game is somewhat educational in it's presentation of fairly accurate unit types, etc, and the original game included additional historical information that players could read if desired.
Look For:
-Well balanced
-Variety of nations
-Educational
Related Games:
-Age of Mythology


Command & Conquer (series):
Realtime, Strategy
Publisher: Westwood Studios/EA Games
Website: link
Summary:
A large series, beginning with Command and Conquer (aka Tiberian Dawn) in 1995, and most recently including C&C:Generals, these games go a long way towards defining the style of the genre. Players command one of a number of sides (depending on which game), in an attempt to gain total dominance over thier enemy. Titles in the series include:
-C&C: Tiberian Dawn (and Covert Operations expansion)
-C&C: Red Alert (Counterstrike, The Aftermath, Retaliation expansions)
-C&C: Tiberian Sun (and Firestorm expansion)
-C&C: Red Alert 2 (and Yuri's revenge expansion)
-C&C: Generals (and Zero Hour expansion)
-(C&C: Renegade (an FPS set in the C&C universe))
Look For:
-Extremely succeful branding (massive series)
-Defines one of the standard RTS control schemes
Related Games:
-DuneII
-Dune 2000
-Emperor: Battle For Dune


Starcraft:
Realtime, Strategy
Publisher: Blizzard
Website: Starcraft
Summary:
An extremely well balanced RTS with 3 teams, Terran (human), Zerg, and Protoss. The singleplayer campaign has the player go through a story where they play as all three races as the plot unfolds. This is often thought to be the greatest example of an RTS to date, owed mostly to it's multiplay, interesting storyline, and well presented graphical style.
Look For:
-Balance (between the 3 teams)
-Genuinely different play mechanics for each team
-Graphical style
-Unit feedback (smarta$s comments when you click them too much)
-Battlenet (Blizzards multiplay service)
Related Games:
-Warcraft II, III


Warcraft (I, II):
Realtime, Strategy, Multiplayer
Publisher: Blizzard
Website: Warcraft | Warcraft II
Summary:
Among the earlier RTS games, these were very succesful. The cartoonish graphical style, amusing sound effects, and general excellent presentation of the games made them a big hit, along with the very well polished all-round design of these games. Warcraft 2 in particular is notable for it's use of Blizzard's Battle.net multiplayer matchmaking service. This service is considered largely responsible for the success of a number of Blizzard titles, allowing players from all over the world to quickly and easily locate other players and compete in multiplayer games.
Look For:
-Overall polished design
-Battlenet


Warcraft III:
Realtime, Strategy, Heroes
Publisher: Blizzard
Website: link
Summary:
While notable for largely the same reasons as the previous Warcraft games, as well as Starcraft, such as the impressive attention to detail, distinct graphical style and impressive cinematics, this game is particularly notable for the somewhat RPGish concept of Hero Units. These units gain experience, and can learn additional abilities, and can easily mean the difference in a critical battle. While not completely unique, and not a universally liked feature, the hero units in Warcraft III are a notable variation on the well established formula for succesful RTS games.
Look For:
-Hero units
-Overall polish


[Edited by - Kazgoroth on April 3, 2005 9:38:29 AM]

#7 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 08:24 PM

First Person Shooter (FPS):

Games:
DooM | Duke Nukem 3D | Goldeneye | Halflife | Halo | Quake III | System Shock II | Unreal Tournament 2004


DooM:
First Person Shooter
Publisher: id Software
Website: link
Summary:
The second First Person Shooter (preceeded by Wolfenstein 3d, also by id Software), but the first to sell on a large scale, and the one that really got the genre started. Play as a lone marine, trapped on a facility on Mars where a portal to hell has been opened, and demons are around every corner. This game was also notable for it's network 'deathmatch', in which up to four players could play head-to-head.
Look For:
-Multiplay
-Scary opponents
-Notable lack of solid storyline (I'm aware this has later been expanded upon/developed)
Related Games:
-Wolfenstein 3d
-DooM II
-Any FPS title


Duke Nukem 3D:
First Person Shooter, Character Branding
Publisher: 3D Realms
Website: link
Summary:
A fairly 'run of the mill' FPS, but one that was extremely popular largely due to the character branding of the Duke Nukem series, as well as a few gimmicky features, such as laser mines, a shrink ray, and the 'holoduke' - a device which when dropped could project a fake version of the player to distract opponents.
Look For:
-Character branding
-'Cool' and different weapons/gadgets


Goldeneye:
First Person Shooter, Console, N64, 007
Website: link
Summary:
An immensely popular FPS title released on the Nintendo 64 console, and based on the storyline from the James Bond movie of the same title. Excellent adaptation of the movie to gameplay, and a good selection of weapons and gadgets.
Look For:
-Gadgets
-Branding (007 series)


Halflife:
First Person Shooter, Storyline, Mods
Publisher: Valve
Website: link
Summary:
A well made FPS based on the Quake engine, licenced from id Software. Players are thrown into a large story, trapped in the Black Mesa Federal Research Facility, where a portal has been opened to another dimention - you must deal with the many creatures that end up throughout the facility as a result of the experimentation. The real strength of this game lies in it's friendliness to the modding community, with many extremely successful mods being made from this game, including Counterstrike, Natural Selection, and many more.
Look For:
-Multiplay (especially of mods)
-Mods (and the friendliness of the game/developers to mods)
Related Games:
-Halflife: Counterstrike
-Halflife 2


Halo/Halo II:
First Person Shooter, XBox
Publisher: Bungie/Microsoft Game Studios
Website: Halo | Halo II
Summary:
Halo, while not bearing marked differences from many other FPS titles, is considered largely responsible for the success of Microsoft's XBox console. Each game provides a number of singleplayer missions following a storyline - additional details can be gained by playing the missions on a higher difficulty setting. Both games include very strong multiplayer capabilities, allowing up to 16 players to simultaneously go head-to-head in a number of different game modes. The second made solid improvements upon the original with such additions as dual-wielding weapons, and boarding manned vehicles in motion, as well as setting up the storyline for a third title, widely expected to be released on the XBox2 platform.
Look For:
-Multiplay
-Storyline (small changes based on difficulty level are notable)
-Excellent soundtrack


Quake III:
First Person Shooter
Publisher: id Software
Website: link
Summary:
Follows the typical id Software FPS format, providing players with plenty of action, and a good selection of weapons, but without much of a story to get in the way. This one is most notable for it's brilliant implementation of Deathmatch gameplay, and there are many mods building on this.
Look For:
-Multiplay
-Focus on player skill, with no distractions
Related Games:
-Quake series


System Shock II:
First Person Shooter, Character Development, Storyline
Publisher: Looking Glass Studios
Website: link
Summary:
An excellent FPS with RPG style character elements, and a large scale storyline. Puts the player in a large enclosed environment. Much of the storyline is left for the player to discover in the form of audio logs and emails from the crew of the ship in which the game is set, and the usage of audio makes for a very immersive game environment.
Look For:
-Player left to discover story
-Character Development
-Environment
-Use of audio


Unreal Tournament 2004:
First Person Shooter, Multiplay
Publisher: Epic Games
Website: link
Summary:
An extremely popular multiplayer FPS game containing ten different game modes, and allowing up to 32 players in a game simultaneously. The game contains controllable vehicles, a wide array of weapons, and a huge variety of different maps to play on.
Look For:
-Multiplay
-Numerous/varied weapons
-Vehicles


[Edited by - Kazgoroth on April 5, 2005 9:24:01 AM]

#8 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 08:31 PM

Turn Based Strategy (TBS):

Games:
Alpha Centauri | Civilization | Master of Orion


Alpha Centauri
4X, Strategy, Diplomacy
Publisher: Firaxis
Website: link
Summary:
A turn based Sid Meier game, very similar to the Civilization series, in which players control one of a number of factions who have crashlanded on the planet Alpha Centauri. Players could design thier own custom units using parts aquired through reasearch.
Look For:
-Involved gameplay
-Player custom unit design
-Interesting backstory


Civilization (1, 2 and 3):
4X, Strategy, Diplomacy
Website: Civ I | Civ II | Civ III
Summary:
The classic Sid Meier turn based strategy game, where players control a nation, building cities, managing the population and resources, researching new technologies, and dealing with rival civilizations.
Look For:
-Involved gameplay
-Range of player options
-Attention to historical detail (some educational value)


Master of Orion (1 and 2):
4X, Strategy, Sci-fi
Website: Link (un-official)
Summary:
A game of interstellar exploration and conquest, including colonising planets, diplomacy, combat and designing and building fleets of starships. Although some players have trouble picking up the game due to its complexity, it offers a very detailed experience, giving players control over many different things.
Look For:
-Replayability
-Intricate gameplay
-Steep learning curve


[Edited by - Kazgoroth on August 2, 2005 1:31:27 AM]

#9 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 05:53 PM

Role Playing Game (RPG):
Note: Many of these games can be considered "hack'n'slash" rather than true RPGs, but are still listed in this section for convenience.

Games:
Baldur's Gate | Diablo | Fable | Neverwinter Nights | Vagrant Story


Baldur's Gate (I, II):
Role playing, AD&D, Storyline
Website: BGI | BGII
Summary:
A large and immensely popular CRPG based on the Dungeons and Dragons (2nd Ed.) ruleset, set in a section of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. These games are very well made, and have a large story told throughout, along with numerous small side quests thrown in to ensure the player has plenty to do and to create a more believable world. The large pre-rendered maps provide a very nice playing environment, and a wide range of character classes are available to play.
Look For:
-Good implementation of AD&D rules
-Prerendered backgrounds
-Storyline


Diablo II:
Hack'n'Slash, Dungeon Crawl
Website: link
Summary:
This game was very popular, presenting large dungeon crawls through maps proceedurally varied for each playthrough of the game. The graphical style was excellent as with all Blizzard titles, and a number of character classes were made available to players. The storyline was also quite well presented.
Look For:
-Skill/Spell tree system
-Map generation/randomisation
-"Hardcore" (single life) characters in multiplay


Fable:
Console, Role Playing, Customisation
Website: link
Summary:
The character customisation in this game is what makes it truly notable. The character of the player is adjusted based on what happens to them (injuries, behavior, etc.), and a large amount of customisation is also offered to players in the form of which stats they choose to assign. Development of the character is actually graphically shown, with injuries being retained, the lifestyle of the character being reflected graphically (lazy characters becoming fatter for example), and the alignment of the player shown by a halo or small horns at either extreme.
Look For:
-Character development


Neverwinter Nights:
Role Playing, D&D
Website: link
Summary:
A Dungeons and Dragons (3rd Edition rules) based CRPG by the makers of the Baldur's Gate series. This game contained a reasonable sized singleplayer campaign, but the real selling point was the multiplay - most specifically the fact that anyone who has the game can use the included toolset to create, host and maintain thier own game world, with customised adventures.
Look For:
-User created content
-Good reproduction of AD&D 3ED Ruleset


Vagrant Story:
Role Playing, Action RPG
Website: link
Summary:
A historical fantasy RPG with a theme of religion vs. magic. Instead of a party system, this game has only one playable character who can use 6 different classes of weapons. Special abilities are earned by using a particular weapon or technique a sufficient number of times. This game also has many puzzles involving manipulating crates. The puzzles and some bosses are available as time trials after they are defeated once, and the game keeps track of all monsters encountered and gameplay stats such as uses of each weapon type in a convenient Gazette accessable from the menu.
Look For:
-Excellent Story
-New Game+ feature
-Unique combat combining RPG-style equippage and weapon/armor crafting with arcade-esque gameplay requiring players to push the correct button at the correct time.


[Edited by - Kazgoroth on April 18, 2005 1:53:31 AM]

#10 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19406

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 07:18 PM

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS THREAD.

To comment, make any additional suggestions, or correct included information please use the original thread, found here.

Posts to this thread will be deleted. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.


Explanation:
As mentioned in the opening post, this thread is a work in progress; I am taking the suggestions from the other thread, and organising them into a more useful list, with basic information included on each game. If a game isn't yet present, it may still being included, I just havn't gotten around to it yet, as this is taking me quite some time. Replies are to be made in the other thread to keep this one uncluttered, it will be locked once the list is completed.




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