Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

What makes a game fun


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
18 replies to this topic

#1 codeman_nz   Members   -  Reputation: 230

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 01:52 AM

I know there is no right answer so what does everything think what makes a game fun for them?



Sponsor:

#2 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 18621

Like
7Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:46 AM

Obviously this will all be very subjective, but...

 

 

Things that make a game fun for me include:

  • Interesting mechanics, preferably with some variation so that I don't become bored with a repeated experience.  If those mechanics are novel but not excessively hard to learn they may be extra fun.
  • Good controls that are comfortable and stay out of the way; I should be thinking about the game-play, and never which button to press.
  • An interesting theme.

Things that prevent a game from being fun include:

  • Bad controls; if I have to think about which button to press, or if it's too easy to make mistakes it's very off-putting.
  • Complicated menus that delay me reaching game-play; the menus should be straight-forward and allow me to be playing the game-mode I want with as few interactions and delays as possible.
  • Excessive delays during play, whether that be from loading screens or simply because the pacing of the game-play includes excessively long rest periods.
  • Bad tutorials that I can't skip through, especially on repeat plays; it's good for a game to help me learn to play, especially if the game is complicated, but if I figure out what I'm doing before the tutorial is over I should be able to skip the rest.
  • Anything that breaks immersion.
  • Most mistakes from "the no twinkie database", which I think do actually include all of the above problems.

 

Hope that helps you! smile.png



#3 ivan.spasov   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1760

Like
5Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:47 AM

As you said it yourself, it really depends on too many things. In general, I think thath a game can be seen as fun if it gives the player an evolving space of components. Be it evolving the player's skill to play, be it evolving an interesting and immersive story or be it evolving in competition in multiplayer. To me, fun would be to feel rewarded - to see your progress and realize that you've achieved something. It can come in all shapes and sizes - beating a high score, getting through an interesting story, looting that one good item that makes you go "Yeah ! Awesome !" or going past a serious challange in the face of a boss or a puzzle. It all depends on how the core mechanics are going to be handled. A big MMO game, like WoW would give you long term satisfaction by allowing you to slowly but surely increment your long term evolution - each raid counts, each quest counts, in the end you know that after investing your time, your character is going to evolve into something strong and it will make you happy. And that's just one of the many sides of such a big scale game. Now, to look at something really small - a casual game. For example Dumb Ways To Die. It's a game you would play for a couple of minutes in the subway with no real long term evolution. However, what it gives you is an evolving game pace. It gets faster and faster, each time you master one speed level. And mastering the speed level is where your evolution as a player is nested. Getting better and better at saving the guys in the game makes you feel good, because you are going forward with your skills. Ultimately, this makes you have fun.

And again, this can be just one of many, many interpretations and means of having fun. This is really a subject that cannot be covered easily.



#4 Poigahn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 519

Like
4Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 09:36 AM

Game Speed is another factor for game play.   A Racing game should feel like a racing game where reflex is important.  Code should feel responsive to the players actions.

For me this holds extremely true to certain type of role playing games.  FPS and Fighter Simulations Code should feel like when you pull the trigger or through a punch, the game code is responding immediately.

Strategy, should keep to a turn based system.  Real Time Strategies (RTS) with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) player tend to favor the software as levels progress, I usually lose interest after the 5th or 6th level once progression has been stopped.

  Games should Challenge The Player, If Failure is part of the game design then so be it. If your game has a linear design where certain task must be completed within a certain time period 100%, then that is a poor game design. Although let us say that you only have to complete 75% of those task in order to progress then that is challenging.  When Failure then happens, which will stop game progression, the player could restart play, do something different, continue on to see how many of these task are completed, then when time is up if the player obtained at least 75% (They do not have to know) then game play can continue.

  Here is the catch, and challenge to the game designer / programmer... If the player needs a key to unlock the door, but did not get the key in the previous step, but did achieve an 80% completion rate to advance, you should design a system where the player can get that key later.  Give the player say 3 chances to get the key.

  I think if this is done, for me at least, it will not only challenge me, but keep my interest as well!


Your Brain contains the Best Program Ever Written : Manage Your Data Wisely !!


#5 codeman_nz   Members   -  Reputation: 230

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 01:40 PM

What about graphics?  Do they contribute to the game's fun-ness or do they not matter so much?



#6 Dodopod   Members   -  Reputation: 604

Like
4Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:15 PM

Before I decide to play a game, I see a lot of screenshots, gameplay videos, trailers, concept art -- in other words, the graphics. If the game doesn't look good, that can turn me off of playing it.

 

But once I get immersed, the graphics go away. The sprites/polygons become people, buildings, streets, what have you. Unless the art suddenly changes style or something doesn't jive with the color scheme or the graphics glitch out or some important item blends in with the background, I don't even notice.



#7 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -460

Like
-3Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:37 PM

many things, maybe even unlimited amount of things, to long list to mention



#8 Scouting Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 669

Like
5Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:47 PM

Playing games is instinct.

 

From a young age people play games not just to entertain them selves, but also to improve there survival skills.

The "fun" you gain from games is your brain rewarding you for learning and improving skills.

 

Finding hidden things, collecting, building stuff , cooking, finding shelter, solving problems and hitting things on the head with a stick, these are just few things that games use to allow people to have fun.

Because our brain rewards us for learning these things we can often find tedious actions fun to do in games, chopping wood is hard and boring work yet people can spend a whole afternoon deforesting a minecraft map.

The more people associate a skill with daily survival the more fun it is in a game, a game about math will appeal to people who realize the value of math and would bore those who don't.

 

Immersion into a game is important, the more a person believes what thy are doing is real the more fun it is.

Graphics is a very important part of immersion because people trust there eyes more than any of there other senses, it is also the quickest way to immerse some one into a game.

High quality 3d graphics doesn't always mean good Immersion, this is do to the way people understand objects and movement and is similar to the "Uncanny valley" effect.

The more convincing a object is the more we notice strange behaviour.

 

So to summarize: 

You don't need the best graphics for a game to be good, but it helps.

What makes a game fun to play is instinct and different people like different things.

 

Most hardcore and casual gamers have played a "hidden objects game" at some point.



#9 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

Like
4Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 04:03 PM

For me a game is fun primarily because it makes me think a mix of interesting and pleasant thoughts.  Thoughts can be inspired by story, art, and gameplay that requires strategic thought or creative problem solving.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#10 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 530

Like
4Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 04:12 PM

The problem with defining 'fun' in any particular sense is that the concept is different for each individual person. One person can like shooters, another can hate them. Simply taking what the first person says at face value, and creating a simple shooter game, will only satisfy the first person.

 

However if you put, say, 5 people together and ask them whether they like being able to customise their character. If four people say yes, and one person says no, then being able to customise your character can be considered, in a fundamental sense, 'fun'.

 

This is where things start getting picky. In reality, you can define fun simply by saying 'anything the majority of people consider entertaining'. Yet that one person still finds it boring. This is where you look at two things. Who am I aiming for within my game? Once you achieve that, then you ask: what does the majority of the target audience consider entertainment?

 

So, for example, you decided to create a rogue-like. Your target audience is rogue-like fans, now you research what your target audience preferences in entertainment are. One of the biggest factors in a rogue-like for the fans is the variation within the randomness, the more they feel like every game is different, the more they enjoy the experience.

 

In reality, you'll never satisfy everyone. Just look at what you can do.


If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.


#11 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1547

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 07:53 PM

The only thing that makes any game fun, is players. Glorious players! The good, the bad, the new, the old and everything in between. And if you want to make players feel great, give those players' spectators! Games are nothing without these. No matter how rad they may seem.



#12 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2138

Like
2Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 08:49 PM

the touches on what i call the "reward feedback loop".

 

its seems that many games that aren't pure chance have a "reward feedback loop" as part of the basic game mechanic.

 

the player does something, and receives feedback. actions that move the player towards success in the game provide rewards.

 

this can be seen at both the micro and macro levels:

 

"reward feedback" at the micro level:

player turns left (action), car turns left (feedback), avoids hazard (reward).

player turns right by accident (wrong action), car turns right (feedback), player hits hazard (penalty).

 

as for the loop part:

1. player kills stuff to get treasure

2. player uses treasure to get gear to kill more stuff

3. goto 1.

 

 

when i was first designing Caveman, the loop was "find stuff to make stuff".  This turned out to be too simple.   So skills were added.    So now its more like "find stuff to make stuff" and "find and make stuff to learn skills", and "find stuff, make stuff, and use skills to do things".  

 

the point is that all fun games seem to have this reward feedback loop where positive actions on the part of the player are rewarded. and a multi-step loop ( do A to get B to get C which make you better at doing A) seems to make for a more interesting game. OTOH, arcade shooters are fun , and sometimes just have a simple, "hit something - increase score" type reward feedback loop.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#13 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1624

Like
3Likes
Like

Posted 02 March 2014 - 08:49 PM

I have several posts trying to get to the root of games in general. This was the reason for this post:

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/652775-whats-in-a-game/

 

and this one:

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/650786-any-game-makers-here/

 

If I can go back to what I considered fun as a child, usually when I was having fun, I was laughing and feeling exuberant. 

This is a decent definition of game from a google search:

"a form of play or sport, esp. a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck."

 

So combine that definition with good game mechanics that create that child-like exuberance and you have a fun game. 


Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 02 March 2014 - 08:49 PM.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#14 Mister Donovan   Members   -  Reputation: 169

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:59 PM

Just as some people must have good graphics, I must have a story of some kind, and the game play must match the story.



#15 Hawkblood   Members   -  Reputation: 723

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:06 AM

Graphics is the "bait" and content (what the player can do and the story) is the "hook" of a game (for me). My two latest favorites are Fallout3 (also Fallout New Vegas) and Skyrim. They both have great graphics, but what makes them worth playing over and over again is the sheer volume of content available to the player. I find myself wanting to start over just because of the challange of staying alive long enough to develop my character to the point that it's no longer a challange.... Vicious cycle....

So, I think the most interest for me is the survival challange. Scavenging, avoiding obvious dangers, collecting neccessary supplies, etc...

#16 TaggM   Members   -  Reputation: 137

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:09 PM

Emotional gratification and positive reinforcement.

1.
excitement
adrenaline rush
"social emotes"
being cool
silliness
making a mess

2.
Make a choice.
Do and accomplish something.
Feel good or get rewarded fairly -- too much and too little are both not fun.

immediate gratification
winning
doing the extra-ordinary
simplicity (vs absurd complexity)
misusing things for unintended purposes



#17 Platinum_Dragon   Members   -  Reputation: 162

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:51 PM

A fun game is one where repetition does not feel boring. Everything in life is about sufficient repetition; therefore, the most important aspect is to make the repetition of the game interesting and immersible.


I use QueryPerformanceFrequency(), and the result averages to 8 nanoseconds or about 13 cpu cycles (1.66GHz CPU). Is that reasonable?
I though that the assembly equivalent to accessing unaligned data would be something similar to this order:
  • move
  • mask
  • shift
  • move
  • mask
  • shift
  • or
So it seems reasonable to say that it takes 14 cycles for unaligned data since we'll have to do the series of instructions once to access and once to assign?

#18 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1547

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:53 PM

Play is fun, play leads to rules, rules create challenge, challenge leads to reward, reward creates competition, competition attracts spectators, spectators creates glory. Glorious, glorious, glorious fun that I'm better at having then you!

 

Play is fun.

 

Play is an interactive, artistic rendering of life. These interactive artistic rendering seem like more fun then real life because real life is too complicated and the rules are riddled with unseen variables and more interconnected then one person could ever know. Life is a great game though, in that it only takes a few years of the 100 or so you can play to learn most of the controls. However the win conditions are vague and the perma death makes much of the mini games too high risk to enjoy but on the whole you can't find a better game for crafting.



#19 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:28 AM

Graphics is the "bait" and content (what the player can do) and the story is the "hook" of a game (for me). My two latest favorites are Fallout3 (also Fallout New Vegas) and Skyrim. They both have great graphics, but what makes them worth playing over and over again is the sheer volume of content available to the player. I find myself wanting to start over just because of the challenge of staying alive long enough to develop my character to the point that it's no longer a challenge.... Vicious cycle....

So, I think the most interest for me is the survival challenge. Scavenging, avoiding obvious dangers, collecting necessary supplies, etc...

This is very similar to me.  Skyrim's story wasn't really my cup of tea, and that's the only reason I haven't replayed it yet.  But I would jump all over a Skyrim clone with a different genre of story (no horror, more romance-fantasy-adventure).  I'd probably scream with frustration if it still had the two MAJOR design problems that drove me crazy in Skyrim (mount not shown on radar and unkillable NPCs) but I'd play it anyway.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.





Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS