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What people want from games?

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(Edit: What are )people's expectations from a game, (ie. what features / qualities ) events that they are looking forward to, the next enjoyable battle, getting to a new level in a game, seeing something cool, meeting fun characters, a sense of achievement, their plants growing in Harvest Moon. What types of things that keep people playing (not so much replaying but playing), and what are the basic psychological drives behind them. Anticipation? Sorry if this sounds kind of stoned, I'm staying up too late. [Edited by - Ketchaval on June 2, 2005 6:31:37 AM]

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What *I* want from every game I play:

-That it doesn't makes me think "the design has a flaw here..." or "how come I cannot do that?" or even "this is boring... it could have been automatized.. why didn't they do it?", meaning, that it doesn't makes my illusion bubble of happy happy fun time explode.

-That after I have played the game for a while, I do not feel stressed, even if I was stressed before playing.

-That after playing, I don't think that I wasted my time with a stupid game.

-Zero annoying bugs, like that boss so big and a collision detection algorithm so bad, that you were inside the monster and couldn't get out while he was hitting you. Again. And again. Devil May Cry 1 was painful in that sense XD

That makes a game good enough for me. There are lots of things needed to make me think that it is great, but I think that if something covers this, I won't have any trouble. I don't even have to think it's fun.

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At a very high level:

game n.
1) An activity providing entertainment or amusement;

2A) competitive activity or sport in which players contend with each other according to a set of rules

entertain v.
1) To hold the attention of with something amusing or diverting.

entertainment n.
3) Something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or show.

amuse v.
1) To occupy in an agreeable, pleasing, or entertaining fashion.

compete v.
1) To strive against another or others to attain a goal, such as an advantage or a victory.

There's the textbook definitions. The question then becomes what activities in a game fullfill the above definitions?

From the above i view computer games as something that provides amusement/entertainment or a competitive endeavour. Digging deeper within the various elements of a particular game (often called mini-games) is to ask whether each aspect of gameplay serves the above requirement? If so then it has a place in a game. If not then it is probably detracting from the game and should be removed.

~PD

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http://interactive.usc.edu/members/jhall/archives/2004/10/eight_kinds_of.html

Quoted from the above which quotes from Marc LeBlanc's Eight Kinds of Fun
Quote:

1. Sensation
Game as sense-pleasure

2. Fantasy
Game as make-believe

3. Narrative
Game as drama

4. Challenge
Game as obstacle course

5. Fellowship
Game as social framework

6. Discovery
Game as uncharted territory

7. Expression
Game as self-discovery

8. Submission
Game as pastime

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I like to explore things. This can be a model of a semi-realistic environment or a completely abstract presentation as long as it's interesting. I also like to play with the objects and characters I find from the environment, and observe different reactions. Interactivity is the dreaded word I guess. Also, I like the fantasy aspect of games, not necessarily the typical medieval fantasy, but in a broad literal sense. There was an interesting article here in gamedev, something about games and imagination. Anyway, it's a bit theoretical and makes some assumptions but very interesting read anyway.

I also enjoy making my own plot with my actions, instead of following a written script, although this is a very tricky thing to implement well. I remember one example: I was playing Ultima VII and hanging around in Empath Abbey. I was stealing apples from the abbey, when Iolo(a npc companion) told me he didn't aprove my actions, but I ignored his protests and stole some more food. So, he apparaently got angry and left the party, which I found quite hilarious, until I noticed he still had some objects in his backback that were crucial to the quest. I started to look for him, and found him from his hut. I tried to talk to him, but he said he didn't want to join me again. At this point I was astonished. I wasn't used to npcs having such a strong character. I felt that if he refuses to cooperate, I have to take what is mine with force. So I murdered him at his home with my other companions and looted his body. Later on I found out that he would have joined me again, had I just asked him repeatedly, which made my character seem a bit cruel. But I was really impressed by all this and the fact that this cruesome soap-opera had taken place because I just had to steal some apples from the abbey. I thought it was brilliant, although I know better not to expect these kind of things from most games.

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Quote:
Original post by A_Borellus
But I was really impressed by all this and the fact that this cruesome soap-opera had taken place because I just had to steal some apples from the abbey. I thought it was brilliant, although I know better not to expect these kind of things from most games.


The trial scene in Chrono-Trigger is another brilliant (although part of the plot) example of this kind of thing it puts you on trial and then shows you things that you did (or didn't do- some of these things can be avoided) earlier as part of the evidence against you / the case for you.

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It really depends is the game a single player or multiplayer.

If single player I would like to have a game which has solid gameplay and an engrossing storyline. If its multiplayer then just make it runs smoothly with solid gameplay.

Graphics are a necessary evil

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I've been playing Morrowind & Boiling Point:Road To Hell lately, so this applies mostly to open-ended games:

- Have variety & alternative routes & shortcuts/fast travel!

In BP:RTH I found myself traveling far too much the same main road back and forth, and the gameworld kept repeating itself (much more than Morrowind) except for a few unique places. In fact, this reminded of the old Amiga adventure game Faery Tale.

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Judging from whats out there, people want sequels, sequels, sequels... as well as anime, anime, ANIME! Oh, and let's not forget AMAZING GRAPHICS!!1. Sex and violence has been hot lately too.

Alright, I've had a bad day, but the above is true. This is why I hate the commercial games industry.

I say we should stuff $2.99 indie published games down people's throats until they cry with happiness over the treasures they never understood. We should storm the console companies to make their SDKs free or we will distribute them on BitTorrent and steal their application signing procedure and algorithms.

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I don't care if a game is a complete waste of time in hindsight. I just don't want to feel that while I'm playing it. As a serial-procrastinator, everything in hindsight is a waste of time to me, like posting here, which is one of my procrastination methods. My philosophy is, if I'm going to procrastinate, I might as well enjoy it, then worry about how it was a total waste of time later.

As related to the topic, I'm a sucker for good stories and presentations. Actually, its very rare to come across an original story. Almost 99.9% of all possible stories have been told, in one form or another. So, it all boils down to presentation. The story can be banal in hingsight, but it must feel fresh when I'm in the middle of it.

Good puzzle games can always kill hours for me. I forget how many hours I've killed on a Lumine clone written in java....or was it that Lumine is a clone of this....

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