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AdmiralBinary

The Art of Fun

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I was initally confused by your post, but after rereading it i think i am able to grasp what you are thinking. So am i right in assuming you consider designing a fun game as an art and there is no step by step method to make a game fun. Well if that is the case, then i think its too late as it aready has become a 'science' for most game types. Look at all those first person shooters out there. I would consider quite a few of them fun, but they all follow the same methods to acheive the fun-ness. Basicly what i see is that they all (in the case of fps) follow the same methods (science) like finding routes around blocked paths, incrementally upgrading you weapons to better and better guns, destroying objects with gunfire, ect. After that the art comes in with the addition of new features no one saw before (like shooting people apart in SOF, or blowing holes in the wall with red-faction's geomod). Then after a while these features become part of the science of making a fun fps game (not the previous examples yet ). Of course once the art (comparible to a theory?) is incorperated to the science (comparable to a proven theory becoming a law of science?) it just isnt as 'fun' anymore because it's been done. Anyways the same thing goes for all types of games (RTS, flight sim's, themepark games, racing games). So i dont know what my point is, but i guess its some food for thought.

edit: I just remembered my point after re-reading your post...
Point is, yeah it has become a science, yeah it does suck, and yeah its inevitable because large companies dont want to risk putting out a completely original game with unproven ideas, when they can fall back on the money-makers.

[edited by - IllMind on March 4, 2003 4:03:09 AM]

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All i know is that as you get older, making stuff that is fun can be very difficult as you demand more from your entertainment resources.

Game Theory, which has frustrated me emensly for ages now tries to instigate what you''re talking about. This is really deep stuff and at the end of it you start thinking you''re a schizophrenic. Don''t worry about it imo.

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All i know is that as you get older, making stuff that is fun can be very difficult as you demand more from your entertainment resources.

Game Theory, which has frustrated me emensly for ages now tries to instigate what you''re talking about. This is really deep stuff and at the end of it you start thinking you''re a schizophrenic. Don''t worry about it imo.

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quote:
I was initally confused by your post, but after rereading it i think i am able to grasp what you are thinking. So am i right in assuming you consider designing a fun game as an art and there is no step by step method to make a game fun. Well if that is the case, then i think its too late as it aready has become a ''science'' for most game types. Look at all those first person shooters out there. I would consider quite a few of them fun, but they all follow the same methods to acheive the fun-ness. Basicly what i see is that they all (in the case of fps) follow the same methods (science) like finding routes around blocked paths, incrementally upgrading you weapons to better and better guns, destroying objects with gunfire, ect. After that the art comes in with the addition of new features no one saw before (like shooting people apart in SOF, or blowing holes in the wall with red-faction''s geomod). Then after a while these features become part of the science of making a fun fps game (not the previous examples yet ). Of course once the art (comparible to a theory?) is incorperated to the science (comparable to a proven theory becoming a law of science?) it just isnt as ''fun'' anymore because it''s been done. Anyways the same thing goes for all types of games (RTS, flight sim''s, themepark games, racing games). So i dont know what my point is, but i guess its some food for thought.

edit: I just remembered my point after re-reading your post...
Point is, yeah it has become a science, yeah it does suck, and yeah its inevitable because large companies dont want to risk putting out a completely original game with unproven ideas, when they can fall back on the money-makers.

Heh, after reading my post again, it does seem a tad vague I agree with you completely, although I would take it a little further. I reckon that eventually, games will be made that have absolutely nothing to do with the real world, and possibly nothing to do with logic, and yet they will be - for some inexplicable reason - "fun". It could be simply clicking on different sized blobs, and still be far more engaging than a good multiplayer game of UT2003. All this simply because scientists will have isolated the "X factor" of fun and can apply it to whatever they want. Sounds a little weird, I know, but my guess is that it''s gonna happen
quote:
This is really deep stuff and at the end of it you start thinking you''re a schizophrenic.

Too late

RESIST SCIENTIFIC FUN!

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quote:
by IllMind
So i dont know what my point is, but i guess its some food for thought



But things that you find fun one day may not be the next. So on that i think that it is the individuals choice to decide if they want to percieve something as fun of not.

- Resist the resistance, it is not irrisistable!

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Look at other forms of human entertainment/endeavor; are there any where the elements that constitute "fun" are well known? It would appear so. Performance/sports cars should be fast, flashy and handle well. Spectator sports should provide anticipation, challenge and release (watch football/soccer with a real fan to see what I''m saying). Sports participation should require effort and training, present challenges and obstacles and yield tangible reward upon overcoming. Fun, much like the elements Dauntless has identified with regards to programming or playing a musical instruments, more often than not involve challenges (even the sports car requires driving skill to push the vehicle to its limits and remain safe throughout).

Video games that present challenges - preferrably more than just dexterity challenges - appear to be both the most fun and enduring. The most played games of all time, in my estimation (non-scientific) would be Tetris, Solitaire, Minesweeper... Take it off the computer and we''d still have Scrabble. Games which involve some thinking, but not too much. Those who say they want a game that you can play for 20-30 minutes say when you get back from work or before heading to school haven''t disqualified thinking/puzzle games; most people play them in this capacity as opposed to the sit-down-at-the-couch-and-get-comfortable variety.

Will fun become a science? Probably, and to a large extent it already has (there are oodles of fun games out there, just not necessarily the most-hyped or best-selling ones). The question is "Does it, or will it matter?" I don''t think so, as long as we can still experience the joy of producing and consuming fun-providing games and can still refine the science. Automotive engineering is a science, but the minor (and rare major) breakthroughs that the engineers have make it fun for them - and for us, their audience.

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If some scientist actually DOES isolate the exact "fun" in games and makes the most fun game EVER, why is that bad? WHY??? Do you WANT to have less fun?

I am totally cheering for that scientist to find my nirvana point so that I can quit my job and live the rest of my life in eternal bliss and ecstacy.

That being said, fun is a fickle thing. It can''t be isolated because it is constantly moving.

But the more work we put into it, the more fun-ness will come out the other side...and I am all for fun! And fun for all!

500
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I don''t think that there will be one thing that will be considered fun by all people. You might find something that will be fun for a majority of people at least for a time. Take a look at the study that was release a few months ago about the worlds funnies jokes. The top winner I that was on the lame side. Most of the runner ups were funnier.

If I remember correctly the study even broke up the jokes into geographical locations and the type of jokes people liked varied quite a bit from country to country.

Also you have to take into account that even the most fun activities will eventually loose their funnes if it is overdone. Ever play for hours with a box when you were a kid? When you get older (at least for me) a cardboard box just isn’t that interesting any more.

So for the most part I think making a game "Fun" is mostly art with a little bit of science mixed in some of the time, general trends, popular opinion, etc. And even the "science" will be an art because there will always be exceptions to the rule. Just being able to blow away body parts in a game does not make a game fun.

For example, I like FPS/TPS games the most, but two of my all time favorite games are Sid Myers (SP?) Alpha Centauri and Tetris.

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