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Warsong

What makes a game addicting?

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Addictions are bad, so how do we make one? Lol Well I would assume that something simple is addicting but not too simple to be boring. To make the person feel he has accomplished a lot when they do a little. Any other suggestions, perceptions, or hints?

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Make it so that you can always get better or do better the next time.. something that you can improve on

This is why I think level based RPG's do well, you can see its only so many more fights and you'll be in the next level... or if you raise this much cash you can get that really cool weapon.. or in the next room there is a boss and I'm sure to get something good..

or in the case of a puzzle game.. whoa I was so close to the top 10 scores, 1 more try

Please visit Turt99 Productions

[edited by - Turt99 on October 21, 2003 5:35:05 PM]

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i actually heard this from the guy who created tetris, or was it breakout? it was breakout. you have the player experince a victory and a loss every few seconds. in brick out the victory was when the ball was on the top and you didn''t have to do anything. the loss was when you were racing to keep up w/ the ball. it''s the same idea for tetris. -PmanC

"Ford, you''re turning into a penguin. Stop it." - HichHiker''s Guide to the Galaxy

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I think it might be more accurately stated that you would create brief moments of tension followed by brief moments of victory.

This is essentially what I was getting at with my previous post. You want the player to be constantly achieving small incremental goals. These goals can remain the same (hit the ball with the paddle), or increase (new breakout levels). The brief moments of tension (trying to hit the ball, trying to beat the level) help enhance the euphoria when you achieve the goal (hitting the ball, beating the level).

Cheers,

Jeff



Jeff Thompson
CTO, CodeTek Studios, Inc.
http://www.codetek.com/

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Suspense can drive you to play a game beyond the point of no fun.

For instance... I prefer multiplater Starcraft, but I felt compelled to finish all of the single player campaigns first because I really enjoyed the story.

On the other hand, Age of Empire''s story wasn''t as compelling and so I''ve never finished all of their single-player scenarios.

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according to my sister, intermittent rewards are the most effective way to learn a habit or response. meaning, to get a truly truly addictive game, you should make it so the player is rewarded sometimes, but not always. for some reason the human mind will want to keep going longer and harder than if they are rewarded with every click.

i think this is what everquest does. or did, rather, once i went to EQA (everquest anonymous).

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krez:

I think this comes down to creating a sense in the player that they "can" fail. Even sometimes having them fail (though there should be a way for the user to get back to the pre-failure point without "too much" frustration). By creating this tension or sense of the possibility of failure, you make the attainment of a goal/reward have even greater perceived value. Winning without feeling you have truly been at risk or done something that truly required something of the user is not nearly as satisfying.

-Jeff



Jeff Thompson
CTO, CodeTek Studios, Inc.
http://www.codetek.com/

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Two types of addiction for games - coming back for further sessions, and being "unable to stop playing" during a session.

For the latter, a lack of hiati (hiatuses?) is important - if the player ever gets to a point where everything stops, there''re no ongoing sidequests, no critical plot developments, no "just 6 more Exp then I level up and get access to the cool new ability", just, say, a page of text and a couple of minutes loading time for the next level, then the player is going to bail out there and then (assuming he intends to stop any time around then) where with a continuous game where even between moments of high tension there''s still something to do, some 5 minute goal - solve a puzzle or gain a level or take the magic horseshoe to the farrier (in addition to the 1 hour goal - complete a mission, gain 10 levels or complete a dungeon and the 20ish hour goal - win the game) the player may well keep going for an hour or two longer - in some cases all night

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quote:
Original post by neurokaotix
One thing that makes any game addictive to me is the ability to gain expirience or skills etc.

James Simmons
MindEngine Development
http://medev.sourceforge.net
*nods in agreement* This was my observation as well. I also think people like to collect items as well, be it armor or rare pokemon

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One word:

Replayability.

You can only become so addicted to a game that has no replayability.

Now how to make a game with high replayability? Variety. Variety of paths, variety of characters, enemies, make it where the player literally can''t do everything in the game the first, second or even maybe third time, no matter how hard they try.

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Well i''m very new to this buy i''m a highly expereinced gamer, what i find addicting more than any other game out there would be starcraft. I think the reason for this because it''s a simple game but at the same time it''s so complex it doesn''t eve make sense. Also playing online helps you always know there is someone better than you and that makes you want to play to get better than them. There is just so much to do and the action is really fast pace and you have to think real fast and it makes everything else seem boring after that thus making you want to come back to get that fast pace feel again.

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One of the key things, I think, is how the player feels when they lose the game.

Take regular breakout, for example. If you can''t keep the ball in play, it''s your fault. The ball''s physics were predictable; the game didn''t try to distract you or trick you; you are the only person to blame for your failure to keep the ball in play. So you think "Damnit! I know I can do better than that!" and you play again.

Contrast that with a version of breakout where the ball occasionally changes direction in a random way, at any random time. If you lose because the ball changed direction when it was across the other side of the playfield from you, you''re not going to be pleased. It wasn''t your fault; the game picked that precise moment to send the ball where you wouldn''t be able to reach it in time.

So, I''d say, remove luck from games, completely - a good player should always do well, and a bad player should always do badly. Bad players will strive to improve; good players will also strive to improve, though eventually they''ll reach what they consider to be their personal best, and move on to something else. (That''s probably a good thing - nobody should be addicted to something for too long).

Richard "Superpig" Fine
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.
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I agree with superpig''s reasoning, in that randomness can definitely take away from a game (I feel CS became too random over the last many versions, which is probably the main reason I stopped playing it), but I think that some amount of luck is also required. Otherwise, a newbie won''t be able to compete at all in any way and will feel like the game is beyond him/her.

Also, complete apparent randomness can be very addicting as shown by the great number of people that lose everything playing slot machines or the like =-)

I think the real factor in addiction is risk and reward. The more you put at stake, the more you stand to win and the worse off you will be if you lose. You can go head to head vs the most powerfull monster in a game, and if you win you get all kinds of cool stuff and lots of experience etc, but if you lose you get to start the game all over(assuming the game has permadeath like most do). That is too much risk for most players, so they stick to stuff around their own strength (with in RPGs means an easy kill most of the time and very very rarely death). They feel they are doing something, that they can both reap rewards or lose, even if their chance of loss is very low it still SEEMS not so low, so it feels like a risk when it really might not be.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
<a href="http://googlefight.com/cgi-bin/compare.pl?q1=addictive&q2=addicting&B1=Make+a+fight%21&compare=1&langue=us">addictive is the winner</a>

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quote:
Original post by Extrarius
... but I think that some amount of luck is also required.



I think that luck in a game should only make the game easier. What I mean is that it would be more addictive for a game that might sometimes make something easier, but would not sometimes make something impossible as in the breakout example.

quote:

Also, complete apparent randomness can be very addicting as shown by the great number of people that lose everything playing slot machines or the like =-)



Lots of bright flashing lights play a big part, methinks.




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quote:
Original post by Doc
quote:
Original post by Extrarius
... but I think that some amount of luck is also required.



I think that luck in a game should only make the game easier. What I mean is that it would be more addictive for a game that might sometimes make something easier, but would not sometimes make something impossible as in the breakout example.


OK, yeah, that''s good. Like suddenly finding that a particular medipak heals 40 units of health, rather than 20. The chances of that happening could be affected by the difficulty level.

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Details. Anybody remember Sensible Soccer ? I still can not forget the feeling I had when I was trying to finish the season and to see the new transfer offers from other clubs. It was such a wonderfull experience. The more deep the game the more fun you have.

Emre,

[edited by - digitalquake on October 23, 2003 3:04:59 AM]

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