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addictive video games

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it seems that every time i come up with a idea for a video game, document it a little, and write it, the game always comes out stale, boring, and gives me a headache looking at it. how do you prevent that crap from happening and how do you come up with a fun, and addictive video game.

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Not sure is this will be helpful, but most games I find addictive have numerous incremental goals that are challenging but inevitably surpassable and one large goal that I may or may not be able to achieve.

For example, World of Warcraft. I am always doing quests and grinding mobs for experience to reach my next level. But will I ever be able reach the level cap?

Tetris too. Every time I score another 10 lines the speed and level increases. How high a level can I reach though?

And, of course, Animal Crossing. I just finished paying off my first debt, but immediately I am faced with another one that is twice as large. Will I ever be able to reach financial freedom?

Reward the player constantly, but don't spoil him. Make him feel as if he's won the battle but the war is still on.

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I find that the other side of what makes games addictive is whether they are multi-player or not. Computer AI is never going to provide as much unpredictability as real people. Playing against real people always keeps you guessing.

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thats sort of but not exactly the answer i'm looking. you see, a few months back, i started developing a asteroids clone called "skytroids" and i finished it in about a month. i noticed though that skytroids, although it was completed and everything that was in the sketches was in the actual game, i didn't find the game one bit challenging, or addictive. i played the real asteroids on an atari 7800 and i thought it was way better than my version. how do you prevent a nightmare like the one i just mentioned from happening?

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That could depend on a number of factors, it would be nice if we could have a look at Skyroids. ;D

Its difficult to say what makes a game addictive, but usually it has to be something that challenges the player, be it gameplay or story hunting.

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you see the reason you are having your problem is this, you are not gonna get addicted to a game you have played to deat, you could make a clone just like a game you played to death on the atari or nintendo, hell you could *buy* a atari and astroids, you probably wouldn't like it as much as the first time because you have already played it to death, few games can hold your attention for an extended period fo time, even if they are an amzing game eventually you will lose interest. (otherwise you could just play that gameforever)

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Addictive games are, personally, ones that are so simple that its funny, but keeps you hooked forever. Good puzzle games usually fall into this category.

A few examples, the most recent is probably Lumine for PSP, which will probably be the biggest thing since Tetris was first created.

Personally, two other addictive puzzle games for me has been IQ (for PS1, one of the oldest PS1 games) and Devil Dice (or known as Xi in Japanese) and its sequels. IQ had the really original concept of giving your final score in IQ point, which was really neat if you played with friends, since you can gloat about how you're smarter than they are. Devil Dice was not very well known, but highly addictive once you got past the initial learning curve. With the newer version of Devil Dice for the PS2, known as Bombastic, your games can last forever, especially if you play a friend in cooperative mode. My record has been a game with my friend that lasted 9 hours, and it only ended because we decided to put down our controllers. The pace got so fast and furious that we literally spaced out and could barely hear, see, think of anything else other than the game. Now, if that's not considered addictive, I don't know what it.

Ironically, Devil Dice also has a multiplayer mode for up to 4 players that is actually head-to-head player-vs-player combat done in a really neat puzzle form. Fast pace and nerve racking. Five minute in that mode would be so intense that it'd feel like 1.

So, I think the key to creating an addictive game is to keep it simple, tight, and clean. You want to do something specific and pull it off very well. The initial learning curve can be a little steep as long as you have a good tutorial mode.

That's my two pennies.

[Edited by - WeirdoFu on May 29, 2005 2:24:49 AM]

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Personally, one of the greatest qualities that brings me back to a game is it's randomness(is that a word?). A game with a random mission or level generator can last forever, always providing the player with a new, but familiar experience. When I am planning out my games, one of the first things I think of is if I can implement random levels. Not only is it fun , but it takes away that immediate need to have some sort of level editor once you get your game running.

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Random levels are a double edge sword. When done correctly, you get cool rich content. When done incorrectly, you may end up with something worse the .hack series of games where the random dungeons start looking similar after like the 10 or 20th one you explore.

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